7 Tips to Advance Your Career In Lockdown

It feels like now would be the wrong time to think about advancing your career – most people have been forced to work from home, and many are worried about their job security. While it’s understandable you might be focused on the short-term right now, there’s never any harm in thinking, and planning, ahead and considering your next career move.

One of the significant challenges of working remotely is that you won’t have as much time with your managers as usual. It’s also more challenging to make your work stand out from home. That doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless, though.

While it’s true that one-to-one meetings and the like are still happening, these meetings have become more impersonal and lack the nuance and body language of a “real” social interaction. Managers should work harder to ensure that they schedule meetings with their team and check in on their progress.

Here are seven tips on how to advance your career during the lockdown.

• Don’t Panic

The worst thing you could do right now is panic and lose sight of what you want out of your career. Make proactive decisions based on what you want to work on, where you want to be, and what you consider the most critical aspects of your job.

• Consider If Working Remotely Works For You or Not

This is hardly the typical remote working situation, but this is the time to decide if you want to keep working remotely. For all the talk about how remote work is the future of work, it isn’t suited to everyone. Some people find it a detriment, while others feel it would be the best thing for their overall quality of life and career. This is your chance to make the change permanent and keep working from home, should you want to.

• Look for New Ways to Interface With People

If you’re the type of person who likes to interface with others, then you need to find a way to have the same impact when working remotely. What team-focused ideas could be implemented? How could you replace the meeting with something that works just as well? As Winston Churchill said, one should “never waste a good crisis.”

• Don’t Put Career Advancement on Hold

Some people have put their careers on hold because things are so crazy right now. Don’t let yourself be one of them. Everyone is still working the same role as before, so your manager should always be looking for ways to support your growth. Give them a gentle reminder if they’ve forgotten.

• Give Teams Clear Expectations

Managers should be giving teams clear goals and expectations they can work on without much supervision. The particular sixth sense that managers have is less potent from a distance, so keeping written records of expectations and what people should be doing has never been more essential.

• Managers Should Still

Have Career Conversations
Talking to someone about how they could advance their career doesn’t seem fair in situations where people are being laid off. With that said, managers should always be talking to staff about personal development and career development.

• Accept that Reality Hasn’t Changed

The reality of work and management hasn’t changed, whether people work remotely or not. People should feel like their career, and personal growth is being respected. If they don’t, then they’ll look for other opportunities. Many people are still hiring right now, so don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.

Things are a little weird right now, but that’s no excuse to lose sight of your personal development goals. Think about what you want and work towards getting it.

Petra Cambell

Freelance graphic designer; I've been working from home since I left University 12 years ago.

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