You’re concerned about your future.
Social distancing and working from home has become the new reality for many workers.
Right now, 46% of businesses in the United States have implemented a work from home policy for their employees. The consequences of this can be profound: Events and conferences have been canceled, trips are cut short, sales may be lost, and it’s harder than ever to make the right business connections.
While this crisis poses a challenge for many American workers, the right strategy can help you make it to the other side unscathed.
Whether you’re working from your home office or your couch, here are seven ways to stabilize, keep your career safe, and get ready for the best possible comeback.
1. Take time for reflection.
With a regular work schedule, it’s easy to brush off self-reflection. When you’re busy going from one activity to the next, there isn’t much time left for personal growth.
Now that you have some time at home, take a moment to reflect on yourself, your career, and your personal values. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What about my current career am I proud of?
- What are things I still want to explore?
- Is there room for improvement?
- Where can I improve?
- How can I find a good work/life balance?
Answering these important questions about yourself and your career offers an opportunity to reflect on both your accomplishments and areas where you’d like to improve. Consider this an opportunity to set goals for yourself as you focus on implementing a strategy to achieve them.
2. Read, read, read.
The benefits of reading are undeniable. Reading even just a little bit every day can expand your vocabulary, heighten your memory, and improve your concentration.
In this time of isolation and social distancing, it’s more important than ever to keep your mind stimulated. Try exploring texts on productivity, career improvement, or industry-related knowledge to stay focused on your goals.
3. Keep networking.
Many of the avenues for traditional networking—conferences, events, co-working spaces, and more—aren’t available right now. When these physical spaces are shut down, it’s easy to let personal connections fall to the wayside. It’s crucial that you continue reaching out to new people.
It’s unclear how long social distancing will be in effect, so don’t wait for things to settle down. Be proactive about reaching out through online networking means, like emails, social media, webinars, online chats, and more.
In fact, many people will be thrilled that you reached out during this difficult time. Building connections during a crisis can lead to even more fulfilling relationships in the future.
4. Start working on your strategy.
During challenging times like these, what you do now can have a serious impact on the opportunities that come your way in the future.
Now is the best time to start working on a career strategy. Think about the long-term—where do you want to be in the next year? The next five years? 10 years?
To help you hone your strategy and get closer to reaching your goals, consider enrolling in a webinar or another online class. Not only will this keep you busy, but it can also provide you with valuable education and knowledge, so you can come back from social isolation fully prepared to continue your career growth.
5. Bring new ideas to the table.
When times are uncertain, it can be hard to take the initiative and step up. But now is a valuable time for you to be proactive and bring new ideas to your coworkers and supervisors.
Due to the sudden shift to remote work, people across the country are struggling with communication, productivity, and more. If you or your team are facing certain challenges, take the time to brainstorm ideas and offer your help and expertise. They will certainly appreciate it.
6. Offer support to those around you.
In order to understand how to move forward, we first need to process what we’re dealing with now. Even if you’re miles apart, this is the time to connect with others online. Offer your support and your comfort.
Check in to see how people are doing. Are there any challenges they’re facing—personal, financial, or work-related? How can you help? What resources can you offer them?
As the voice of calm, reason, and compassion, you’ll stand out to your boss, your coworkers, and your customers. When businesses emerge from the crisis and things go back to normal, you’ll have earned their trust as a proactive problem solver and a visible leader.
7. Embrace your community.
Now is the time to create, build, and maintain a community. Stay connected to your network, reach out to others to offer support, and build new relationships with those outside your circle. If you’re in a situation to help others, do so, even if it’s just a few words of encouragement.
Tough situations can bring out the best in people—being part of an active community can only serve you well in the weeks and months to come.
Your Career During Social Distancing: What You Can Do
The most important thing is to not give in to hopelessness or despair.
View this as an opportunity to not only develop yourself and your career but to start making a meaningful change in your industry. Work on building a community forged through hardship and you will come through on the other end even stronger than before, with a network of people who look to you for support and guidance.
During stressful times, it’s vital that you continue taking care of your mind and body. This includes keeping up oral hygiene at home and immune-boosting habits. For more on self-care, check out this post.