Seven Effective Steps to Redefine Your Career Post COVID-19

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Unlike other epidemics in the past, COVID-19 is not only taking human life but also is a catalyst for the significant disruption in economic activities. According to Gita Gopinath of IMF, the cumulative output losses in 2020 and 2021 could be around 8 trillion dollars, pushing the world economy in the worst recession following the Great Depression.

Till scientists find effective measures to control this pandemic, one of the precautionary measures to contain the spread would be physical distancing due to which economic activities are severely hit across the globe. There is an undercurrent about an uncertain future with growing nervousness about when will full-fledged economic operations resume.

When this uncertainty phases out, there might be a new world with more challenges and difficulties. New world economic order may emerge, or new ways of doing business may come up. Some business segments will face immense pressure, whereas new businesses will come up. All these changes will cause notable job disruption in the marketplace too.

Before I discuss what steps need to be taken, you need to understand what probable emerging trends are, and try to gauge the situation around us.

In the short term, it is evident that tourism, aviation, and entertainment-related industries would suffer the most, whereas online education, telecommunication, and healthcare sectors would gain the most. Globalization would take a minute set back, protectionist policies may have more backing, changing industries working, affect migration and capital flow etc. Businesses will look for every opportunity to reduce the cost and will opt for innovative processes based on technology for efficient operations. In these processes, millions of jobs will be lost, and many of them probably may never come back.
Your success will depend on what value you are adding to organisation through your job and the following are seven effective measures to be taken during this lockdown to face this new reality and increase value in the marketplace.

1.Stephen Covey’s first principle “Be Proactive”-Your behaviour is a product of your conscious choice of decisions, primarily based on your values, rather than a product of your conditions. As a result, highly proactive people don’t blame their circumstances but instead, respond positively to find out a solution with regards to their current issues based on their capabilities. So let’s accept the reality and find out solutions.

2.Cut down your expenses and assess your financial resources: As there is uncertainty looming around, hold on to your financial resources by cutting down your unnecessary expenses on priority and keep the target of cutting your costs by 25 to 30%. Please involve your family in this decision, make them aware of the situation, and mutually agree for saving measures. As a result, this ensures a smoother family transition for challenging situation. You and your family members should learn to do housework. Further, assess your savings, investment, and how long you can survive in this uncertain world. Don’t love your finances and if required, sell it off. This will help to boost your confidence for surviving well, which can motivate you to do new things in career development. Deleveraging will give you peace of mind, so avoid any new loans and also negotiate with financial institutions for the best possible interest rates reduction and interest-free moratorium period for instalments of existing mortgages.

3.Make a SWOT analysis of yourself: Find out your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. As mentioned before, some industries will have a difficult time, whereas some may have a brighter future. To fall into the latter, check if you have enough strength to align with a new scenario. Figure out your weaknesses and use them to find your threats. Work on these said threats, keeping in mind that every crisis brings new opportunities. So are you ready to read and grab new opportunities? Your SWOT analysis can help you to have a more realistic view of yourself and your response to the surroundings around you.

4.Up your ante in technology: After this pandemic is over, we will see a resurgence of many sectors, all of which will have one common factor: Technology. As such, you should be well-prepared. This can be accomplished by familiarising yourself with technology. The fundamental skills that you will acquire through this course of action will benefit you in the long run.

5.Up-Skills and reskills: Of course, it comes to no surprise that qualifications with degrees and certificates will give you an edge over others, but that should also be accompanied by soft skills and a positive attitude towards the job. Talents must be up-skilled and re-skilled to be aligned with the market requirements; hence any investment in such an education would be long term beneficial.

6.Improve social networking: Social networking will steadily increase in importance as more and more jobs are filled by networking rather than postings. So in this lean time, upgrade your social quotient with quality exchanges of thoughts, and ideas of the sector you are currently in or want to go to in the foreseeable future.

7.Build your emotional strength: Lockdowns provide you with a rare opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones. Please utilize this time for better understanding and bonding among family members with love and affection. Reset your dreams and build strength to achieve these set milestones together when the situation improves.

Life is always dynamic, and the future is still uncertain, but God continually helps those who help themselves. So only you can change your situation by deciding how to respond and prepare to face any challenge.

Salim Desai is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with Al Razzi Holding Co KSC. He holds MBA, CMA, CIPA and also passed CPA. He is an expertise in Finance analysis and Investments and passionate educationist.
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