I had a client yesterday tell me that their boss sent them to Melbourne for a work trip and when they got back even though they had not been around people with the coronavirus and displayed no signs and symptoms that the boss insisted (mandated) that they go into lock down for two weeks and work from home; a difficult task when you are in the real estate business.
In outside world, I am hearing on the news that industries such as musicians, airlines, conference centres etc are all been restricted in some way due to conditions placed on public events and not gathering in groups of 500 or more; the economic impact is that this potentially will have a devastating impact on our economy and take some time to recover.
On the positive side, the crazy panic buying that everyone is engaged in at the moment is seeing Coles employ another 5000 casual employees nationwide to cope with the demands; so whilst some industries are clearly struggling others are growing in terms of labour requirements at the moment so much so that they are not coping with the demands just look at what is happening in Woolworths, doctors surgeries etc the lines are so long and supplies are in short supply (both material and labour).
So what we have here from a very clinical point of view is the Labour Market expanding and contracting, shifting and changing, to adapt to a new (hopefully temporary) world where it is said that the vast majority of the world’s population will contract the virus on some scale over the coming months from what I read an estimated 80%.
Thus, the question is not will I get the virus but when I get the virus what will I do.
At the moment the self-isolation period is for 2 weeks in which time you are not to leave your house and potentially infect others, so if you are sick please adhere to this, but in the meantime from a career point of few what can you do to manage your career.
CAREER PLANNING STRATEGIES TO EXECUTE OVER SELF ISOLATION PERIOD
First and foremost if you are employed on a full time, part time or casual basis explore options where you can minimise going into work for example what remote working strategies are available to you? Have a sensible and realistic conversation with your employer about working from home, the guidelines, expectations and boundaries around this.
When you are required to self-isolate use this time review your career – for example
- Ask yourself – Are you hitting your career goals? If no – why not?
- Pinpoint your happiness and satisfaction scale – Are you happy in your present job – if yes great – what can you do to take the next action step in your career or if no what are you unhappy about – are you feeling frustrated, lost confused etc?
- Has it been a little while since you update your Resume or CV, LinkedIn, Seek profile now is the time to do this either yourself or through someone like me that offers telephone and online consultations (as well normally face to face consults –as long as you are not infected or come into contact with others who potentially or who have recently travelled overseas)
- If you are not sure about what it is that you want to do in your career, or maybe you have been in a career for a while and want to try something new – now is the time to explore either through Career Planning Services with someone like me or explore career options and labour market statistics online and find out what is available
- As I tell many clients, think about what your values, motives, needs and wants are in terms of employment opportunities and environments and create your own Selection Criteria so when you are reviewing job advertisements on line and wondering is this for me you have something to refer back to – a tick box of sorts, to help you define if this is the right opportunity to pursue or not at this present point in time – will it help you achieve your long term career objectives.
- Develop an Academic Planning Strategy – identify where you are in your career and what qualifications or continual professional development courses you need to undertake in order to reach that next opportunity and confidently apply for it.
- Review TAFE and University programs offered on line and on campus, what are the educational requirements you need to undertake a course i.e. ATAR’s, recognised prior learnings, are these courses accredited by industry bodies, will the course help you gain industry recognition upon completion.
- If you are a partner of a Defence personnel and have recently moved to a new location check out the PEAP program and see what services you can access, telephone someone like me and ask for a quote, put that quote in and get the ball rolling in terms of the approval process and moving forward with Career Counselling and Employment Assistance Services
- Explore your Professional and/or Leadership Strengths and Competencies through a Workplace Personality Index; identify your strengths as well as your areas of development and set a plan to address any areas that you need to develop; look into online continual professional development – short courses and increase your competency and competence.
In short whilst the Corona Virus will have an impact on the labour market and the economy in general it does not have to be all doom and gloom every – focus on the positive what you can achieve during this down time, make use of it – create a career plan – grow, develop and evolve as an individual and professional during this time and then when things start to recover you will be in a better position to capture new and exciting opportunities as you have capitalised on the down time rather than squandering it.
Make a solid choice to use this time wisely to plan your career and make your future goals a reality by doing your research now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW. Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type. Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.
Authors Notation: As a result of writing and publishing this article one was invited by ABC Radio (Hobart) to participate in an interview on Career Change with the renowned Louise Saunders on 18th May 2020 at 7.10pm; to listen to the program segement click here and fast forward to 7 min 30 into the commencement of the program.