Is your inspiration and motivational drive lacking this morning? Maintaining a positive and determined mentality while confined to working at home with the world in unrest can seem impossible.
Recently, I came across an article published by Forbes that stuck with me, as it succinctly summarized five key “power skills” to focus on during the pandemic. Here are five ways to use these power skills to keep your career momentum during the pandemic and WFH restrictions:
1. Don’t overcommit.
Taking on more than you can handle will leave you feeling stretched too thin. In addition, overcommitting usually does more harm than good and won’t position you to achieve long-lasting success.
Instead, ensure you have the time required to deliver excellent work. This will enable you to deliver more valuable results and feel proud of the high-quality materials and projects you create.
One method worth consideration is “timeboxing.” Check out “The Art of Timeboxing: How Budgeting Time Can Boost Productivity” to see how you can visually represent your schedule and plan your workload for the week.
2. Be your own advocate.
Though acknowledgment at work won’t always appear in the form of a gold star, it’s important to recognize your own self-worth and advocate for yourself.
If you want to excel in your career, learn how to verbally advocate for your goals and the hard work you’ve put forth to achieve them. It can be hard to let go of preconceived notions that advocating for yourself sounds arrogant or obnoxious, but once you do people will start acknowledging you for your personal drive and success. This can turn into a chain reaction across your team, establishing a work culture built on supporting and celebrating the growth of others.
You can take this a step further by communicating the different areas in which you want to gain expertise and how those around you might offer you support—for instance by offering classes, reading or new assignments. Next time you’re in a meeting with your manager, come prepared with a few skills that you’d like to improve.
3. Grow your network and connect.
It’s crucial to build your personal network in today’s society. Eighty percent of jobs are filled through personal and professional connections. Spend time seeking out meaningful connections with co-workers and those who hold similar interests with you. It will not only be fun and educational but will allow you to participate in relationships that can be mutually beneficial.
One easy way to grow your network with like-minded individuals is to look on LinkedIn, search for those in your area of expertise who have similar interests, and connect. With more than 610 million members, you’re bound to find someone who is looking for a mutually beneficial relationship in the same field. Having the skills and confidence to build and remain strongly connected within your network isn’t easy, but it will help you gain outside perspective and mentorship while opening new doors.
4. Embrace a helpful mindset to support your team.
Finding ways that your skills and knowledge can be used to support others will take your career to a whole new level. Try to make it a habit each day to listen to the challenges your team is facing and consider how you can help find solutions. While you don’t want to stretch yourself out too thin, always think about how you can support your team. In turn, you’ll boost your confidence and direct your attention to challenges that allow you to build a problem-solving reputation.
5. Step out of your comfort zone.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Although it can be easy to stay in your comfort zone and cruise through each day, not learning will hold you back and affect the trajectory of your career. Instead, spend time each day to determine what you’ll do to get out of what’s familiar and safe and into the uncomfortable.
Whether it’s asking for a new project or learning a new technology, be willing to become a student and learn new skills. Check out the thousands of online classes available on Coursera or edX to advance your career. It’s in the challenging moments when true growth and development occurs.
While adopting these five tips won’t automatically have your manager knocking at the door with a promotion in hand, it will move your career forward. By being consistent and thoughtful with your actions, you’ll begin to improve your work, develop new skills and advance your career. Life is never predictable but focusing on continual self-improvement will pay off in the long run and pave the way towards a successful career.
Maddie Nance works for Communique PR. A version of this article first appeared on the Communique PR blog.