Career planning in 2020 is much different than the past few years. Many companies are restructuring their businesses as we’re in the midst of a pandemic. The hospitality industry in particular is having to come up with innovative ways to keep their operations afloat to withstand trying times like the current. These companies have also been forced to allow their employees to work from home. While some businesses don’t encourage work from home, according to Airtasker, productivity among remote employees have increased. Before we know it, the need to be collocated in the workplace is going to be a thing of the past. It’s a win for the employer and the employee depending on the industry.

For the employee, it saves time and money on commuting each year. For the employer, one study suggest that a company’s overhead will be decreased by as much as $11,000 per half-time employee per year. That’s a huge amount of savings! Pair that with increased productivity, I don’t see why it should be any other way. It is my opinion that this is a step in the right direction; pandemic or not, the benefits of the transitioning workforce is something to look forward to. It’s also something job seekers need to take heed to in making sure their skills are top notch. 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or plan to work for a company, the steps outlined below will be helpful to you. I’ve laid out 3 steps below for you to follow on your career journey! 

Know who you are and what you want

There’s no way to be truly fulfilled in your career if you don’t know what you want and what you represent. Sure, if you’re lucky you’ll land in a role that you didn’t necessarily look for and end up loving it. But, I’d suggest taking This Personality Test and see what career paths are most aligned with your personality type.  This is a huge first step because you’re more likely to excel in a role if it’s something you actually want to do. If you need a job just to get by, that’s fine but don’t get comfortable if you know it’s not something you want long term. If you’re working at least 40 hours per week for at least 46 weeks per year, that’s a significant amount of time dedicated to something you don’t enjoy.

Also, don’t limit yourself in the thought process of figuring out what you want. It shouldn’t be for your career only; but, for your life in general. Two of the most important questions to ask yourself are: What type of lifestyle do I want to live? How much income will it take to support that lifestyle? Your answers to these questions along with your personality type results, will lead you to the type of career paths that support what you need.

Develop a plan

Once you’ve figured out what you want in life, it’s time to put together a plan. Be very intentional with the steps you’re taking and be diligent in your efforts. Career planning does not and should not end with 1 job. Your wants and needs will evolve and so should your work life. For me, I knew that I loved projects. The process of turning nothing into something was and is still very satisfying for me. So, it made sense to structure my plan  in a way that allowed me to work in any projectized environment. Whatever your chosen path is, plan accordingly by seeking mentorship and setting long and short-term goals. Not just in your head, actually take a pen and paper and write everything down.

Moreover, be careful not to be too broad because you may start feeling overwhelmed. Be as specific as possible. Write down very simple attainable task that you can for sure get done. Cross each item off the list as you progress and add to the list as needed.

Try not to complicate the process.

Follow the trends and develop skills

As you’re starting your career, it’s very important to pay attention to what employers are looking for. In 2020 it’s imperative that you understand how to use computers. I know you may be thinking, duhh who doesn’t know how to use a computer! Well, you’d be surprised. While knowing how to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint is great, you should also be prepared to use other platforms like Salesforce or Oracle. Having a diverse understanding of technologies is definitely going to make you stand out. 

Similarly, soft skills are also important. Here’s a list of the top 11 skills employers look for in candidates. It’s no surprise that the top 3 of the list are leadership skills, communication skills and teamwork skills. These are equally as important as having hard skills. Just make sure that you’re keeping up with what the market is demanding and continue to improve on your skillsets.
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