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2020 has been quite the year. It’s becoming a common question not only in business circles but as a casual conversation topic amongst family and friends (often via Zoom!): “How long will this pandemic go on?”

The future is starting to look brighter from a business perspective. The reopening of many states is slowly but steadily unfolding. We are trying to get back to a sense of normalcy, balancing work and family decisions, staying healthy and safe. I have spoken to many of you who want to figure out whether to make a move or just stay put for fear of uncertainty in the job market. It is difficult to get into a mindset of what to do next right now.

But not to panic. These uncertain times doesn’t mean you should put your aspirations on hold. There are many attractive positions out there and companies are still in an active mode of recruiting – they are looking to grow and thrive, and need talented folks to make that happen. Don’t wait. Keep focused, stay positive, act and think like a leader. Pursue a range of possible opportunities. Investigate that dream job you see posted. You have options, see where they lead!

Here are 3 actions to take now to propel your career growth:

  • Evaluate all department opportunities within your group. If you seem stuck in your current position, look at the “total job” first. Has it changed in the past 4-5 months? If so, measure what the job will look like in the next 6-12 months. Do you like what you see ahead? We’re all experiencing various stages of discouragement, rejection, and missing out on the normal routine of the past. The future can be just as uncertain in the best of times too. So it makes sense to open yourself up to new opportunities and keep yourself resilient to future change ahead—be it within your own company or outside.
  • Consider what your next planned promotion should be, based on your last performance evaluation. This is key. Normally your supervisor needs to hear from you as to why moving to the next level is deserved. Yes, you can plant a seed of pursuing the next promotion from your home office by keeping connected with your boss, preferably a virtual face-to-face. Remember, “out of sight, out of mind” applies even when working from home. Bypass the email or text message. Get on the video when talking with your boss. Visuals are memorable.

It’s easy to think because of the pandemic there is no need to get on the radar for that next level promotion. Wrong. Internal promotions are moving right along so don’t hesitate. Make yourself and your intentions known up front about that next career step. It shows initiative.

  • Reconnect with contacts outside your company and in the industry. It’s easy to think social distancing is not a great moment for building and extending your network. But with more people than ever communicating online, it could be a good chance to reconnect with old contacts too. Some studies suggest distant connections (old college friends, roommates, past colleagues) are often better places to offer you new perspectives and honest advice than your nearest and dearest trusted family and close friends. Make a bold move and pick up the phone and ask, “hey, any new positions in your company?” Yes, it could feel awkward but just reconnecting and telling stories of good times past could be all it takes to rekindle that relationship and put you on the radar for new opportunities and connections.

Especially now, you could be in one of two places in life: moving forward or stuck-in-a-rut. Which one are you in? Take small steps forward to advance your career—even in an unprecedented year of challenges. Make it count!

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