We are experiencing unprecedented times, and it is likely that the career challenges that you were facing yesterday regarding your future career goals may only now be compounded in this current professional landscape.

Needless to say, having a successful career can feel like a struggle. Between navigating the politics of promotion, adjusting to continuing demands, expanding expectations, and trying to maintain a reasonable integration between life and work, overall, you can feel easily overwhelmed, stressed, and even discouraged.

Having had a 20-year corporate career, and having coached and mentored thousands of high performing women, I know firsthand the challenges of striving to maintain a competitive advantage in an evolving economy. Additionally, trying to remain visible and valued while working in an organizational structure that may or, may not value your true contributions and/or your ability to lead authentically can be especially challenging.

You Don’t Have to Struggle.

I’m going to share about the top 3 career challenges I’ve seen within the last month that are recurring for my clients, and what you can do that will help you get a handle on adjusting to this new professional landscape that we are all facing.

1. Stay Positive & Remain Proactive

It is within my nature personally to be a results-oriented person. What this can mean for me, is at times I become too overly focused on the outcome rather than the process itself. If you’re like me, I want to encourage you to remain positive and focused on what is going on for you right now in this professional moment. This might even mean that you are making some decisions professionally due to your current personal situation. I would advise you not to worry as much about the next 3, 6, or even 9 months. Instead, if you are considering making a transition, have been forced into a furlough, laid off, or otherwise, it might be more practical and psychologically comforting to just generate income.

Try to remain positive about what you can do in this moment to continue the flow of income, and, what possibilities are realistic for generating income, and creating career opportunities in the next 4 weeks.

This requires you to be very astute and strategic about what your day to day life will look like to generate the outcome you’re working towards a month from now. The better you feel mentally, the more likely you will be to remain proactive, positive, and optimistic about your future results.

2. Reconnect and Identify Supports

This is the time to reconnect and identify individuals, relationships, partnerships, and associations that can be beneficial to leveraging current and future opportunities.

Direct your available energy towards working on what is realistic and possible for you to do right now, and then create a plan for moving forward.

Relationship currency is especially critical during this time. Maintaining relationships, increasing your visibility, and staying top of mind with stakeholders and key decision-makers will prove to be valuable in coming weeks.

By changing the perception of key decision makers this will allow others to view you as the best candidate for the next opportunity, position, or project.

3. Be Prepared to Pivot

I hope this last suggestion is one that you have already considered. This is the time to be prepared to think outside the box. Expanding your thought process will require that you consider possibilities including changing industries, or, taking a position that is horizontal on your career path rather than vertical.

Ask yourself what are you open to doing if needed, to achieve and accomplish your professional goals?

Engaging in an in-depth review of your career history, skills, strengths, motivated abilities, accomplishments, etc., is critical. Be prepared to update your resume, invest in your professional presence, and evaluate your current and future options for advancing your professional campaign for promotion, positioning, or transition.

I recently worked with a client who heard these words, “…Your work has meant so much to the company, you have been like family. So, we are giving you the time you need to find another position.”

These words landed like a lead balloon for my client, she was stunned, disappointed, and afraid of what was to come next for her. Ultimately, she had spent 10 years in this position without considering a plan B. In hindsight, she believed that this layoff literally saved her professional life. She had become so comfortable with the status quo that she had failed to remain competitive in an evolving market.

Getting clear on your VALUE translates volumes…

Getting clear on your VALUE requires 3 important steps:

  • Step 1: This literally means identifying the VALUE you provide to the industry or market place (e.g., what is your unique value position).
  • Step 2: Understanding the VALUE you provide to your employer (e.g., what problem do you solve & how does that provide an ROI).
  • Step 3: This last step requires that you get absolutely clear about your internal VALUE (e.g., what are you worth?–only you can answer this question) and here’s the kicker, being able to articulate this internal value verbally and, in measurable terms (i.e., which means that I’m crystal clear about what I won’t do).

Now that you know how to overcome these 3 big career challenges, you’re absolutely ready to adjust to this new professional landscape without having to worry about what to do tomorrow.

What do you think? What steps are you taking to adjust to this new professional landscape today?

I’d love to hear from you. We’re in this together. Let me know how I can help.

You can reach me here, and on LinkedIn.

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