Tips for setting post-pandemic career goals

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The pandemic has created a feeling of paralysis, and people don’t feel they can push forward with plans at this time because things are constantly changing. But we should recognise that within this experience there’s an opportunity to build one’s resilience

That means approaching your career goals differently in 2022. While the pandemic hasn’t necessarily changed the process of career planning, it has forced many professionals to be more intentional and proactive about reaching their goals.

If you’re in the process of assessing and setting your career goals for 2022, try incorporating these tips for shaping a path forward after the pandemic.

Re-evaluate your priorities. Self-reflection is always the first step in mapping out a career path; the only difference now is you have to consider how the pandemic may have affected your personal priorities and professional prospects. Take a moment to consider how your priorities may have shifted as a result of the pandemic and whether your goals need to be realigned.

You first need to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, what you really want, what gives you happiness and meaning, and what you want to build and focus on. Perhaps the shift to remote work made you realise you appreciate the increased family time and you want to build that balance into your post-pandemic life. Or maybe you’ve been yearning to return to the office and want to increase face time with customers and colleagues going forward. Uncertainty in the marketplace may have you concerned about your career resilience.

Whatever realisations you’ve had over the last year, now is the time to integrate your new priorities into your 2022 career goals.

Resist complacency. The pandemic has affected every industry in some way, meaning it’s very possible that your role is not as secure as it once was. Simpson recommends every finance professional make a habit of vigilance by assessing industry changes, observing shifts within their organisation, and keeping an eye out for any signs that their role could be at risk.

If you’re concerned the pandemic has accelerated the automation of some of your skills, this is a good time to consider how you might be able to leverage yourself into a slightly different role or into a broader role.

Depending on your role, you might consider some professional development, learning a new skill, or searching for a job at a company that seems more likely to weather any instability caused by the pandemic.

Divide goals into small steps. Breaking large goals down into manageable chunks is always a good idea, but it’s especially crucial during a time of recovery and lingering uncertainty.

Keep your longer-term aspirations but walking backward from there and considering what steps you can take over the next few months to get closer to those goals. Make sure those goals are aligned with your priorities, the values of your organisation, and how you see your role evolving in the future.

Then break down your goals into the smallest steps possible. For example, if you’re hoping to get a promotion in the next year, your first steps could be as small as updating your LinkedIn profile or reaching out to someone who is in a role you aspire to.

Form thoughtful connections. Even in the disjointed landscape of remote working, it’s important not to ease up on networking.

You shall looking for opportunities to build those relationships by participating in events put on by professional associations and seeking out creative and inventive ways in which you can connect with your peers.

The intellectual stimulation you get from talking with others who are doing the work you’re doing, or the work you hope to do, can not only renew your motivation but also help you forge a path towards your career goals.

Everyone should aim to have at least one hour of thoughtful connection a week, and one social connection a day, which could be as simple as talking over Zoom or chatting with your barista. Those interpersonal connections can help not only build relationships, trust, and your career path, but also increase your happiness.

You should voice your goals to your manager, mentor, and anyone who could help to achieve them, and then actively seek out feedback and do the work to gain any necessary skills or experience.

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