Don’t use COVID as an excuse not to move your career forward

Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2022 by Belinda ElliottNo comments

At the start of 2021 we all hoped that we would see the end of COVID this year but as we enter 2022, COVID remains a threat. However, with a substantial proportion of the nation now vaccinated, we are in a far better position than we were a year ago. Is it now time to stop making excuses and make 2022 the year you move your career forward?

COVID has made many of us review our lives and lifestyle, in search of a better work/life balance. But wanting a better work/life balance should not be at the expense of your career. I totally agree with the sentiment that “we work to live, not live to work” but like everything in life there needs to be a good balance.

Some will have decided to work for themselves, but this is not for everyone. You can still achieve a good work/life balance as many more employers are now open to flexible working than ever before. Before requesting flexible working, ask yourself how that would look for you. Knowing your reasons behind your request will help you present a better case if asked. For example, if your reasons now are to work around your family commitments, will this change? If so, how do you see yourself working then?

Moving your career forward does not have to mean changing companies or jobs. If there is a skill you would like to improve, why not speak with your line manager or HR as ask them if they would support you.

If your company has a review process and you have an appraisal coming up, make sure you use the opportunity to initiate a development discussion. Career development should form part of the review process so give it some thought and be prepared. It is also a good idea to tell your line manager that you wish to discuss training and career development in your appraisal so they can be prepared too.

If there is a cost involved in training in a new skill or course be sure to highlight the benefits to the company. Move the spotlight away from you by listing the ROI for the company such as passing on new skills to your team, finishing your tasks faster, accepting more responsibility. If they are unable to help with your training there are plenty of online courses and training providers around that could help you achieve your goal, just check out their reviews before committing.

If you are looking to change jobs internally, the first point of contact should be your line manager or HR and talk to them about your aspirations to do something different. Do not go in without any plan, have some idea in your mind about what you would like to do next. Ask them what they recommend you do to achieve this? If something completely new, ask if you could shadow someone doing that job in your own time. Maybe use a day or two of your holiday allowances to do so, as roles as never quite as they appear from the outside.

If you have no luck with your line manager or HR, and you are really serious about moving your career forward, it is time to work on your CV and start looking out for that career move or course help you move forward.

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