Pandemic Playbook Part Three: Advance Your Career

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We’re more than halfway through this building your pandemic playbook series. In part three, we’re walking you through how to leverage your talents to advance your career and maximize your impact.

Need to catch up? Check out parts one and two.

Part Three: Advance Your Career

While the pandemic has caused an unfortunate pattern of furloughs and positions placed on-hold, it’s also opened new job opportunities where you can pivot with your skills and help people.

Use this time of uncertainty to understand where you are in your career, where you want to be, and how to get there. Your professional path is unique to YOUR journey. Don’t get caught up in the comparison game. Focus on being the best player you can be in the office, on the field, and at home.

1) Figure out your gifts and milestones

Documentation is your friend. When you get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of any job, it can be easy to push aside your accomplishments. A week turns into a month, which turns into a year without keeping track of your milestones. The time to keep track of what you’re doing is now.

Start listing your talents and accomplishments in a notebook or digital sticky note today.

  • What are your talents? List your soft and hard skills.
  • Are you good at leadership? Working with a team? Communicating with all departments? Writing? Technology and troubleshooting?
  • Note your top three accomplishments within the past 6 months, personal and professional.
  • Include a mix of qualitative and quantitative milestones.
  • For example, “Trained six teams within a six-month period,” or “Wrote 10 top-ranking articles on athletes and mental health.”

By listing your gifts and accomplishments, you’ll paint a clearer picture of where you are in your journey. If you need guidance, we’re here for you.

2) Expand your professional network

One of the most important aspects of advancing your career is who you know and how you leverage your professional network. Your neighbor could know the head of a company you want to work for, or your coach could put in a good word when you want a promotion at your job.

Keep in contact with classmates, previous coworkers and managers, and connect with new people when you can.

Here are a few ways you can expand your network virtually:

  • Attend a webinar. Drop in a link to your website or LinkedIn in the event chat.
  • Connect with people in your industry through email, LinkedIn, and Slack communities.
  • Invite a new connection to a virtual coffee to listen and learn about their journey.
  • Watch an Instagram Live from someone you admire and want to work with. Comment, participate, and follow up sharing at least one takeaway you got from the session.
  • Write a recommendation for someone you worked with.

Share resources with your network. Ask questions. Be kind but be bold!

3) Strategize how you can use your gifts to help people

Once you’ve made a list of your talents and connected with people you want to work with or learn from, it’s time to create an action plan. How can you leverage your gifts and help these people? What gaps are you seeing that you can help fill?

Think about what your passion is and how you can use your skills to help people. Apply for that job or that promotion. Highlight your strengths in your cover letter. Show your manager and teammates that you’re an expert at what you do and explain how you apply your unique abilities to step in when they need you the most.

Advance your career one step at a time

You might notice a pattern in this series. We want you to take action one step at a time to see movement at a steady pace. Pick one area to focus on: figuring out your talents or documenting your milestones. Develop these habits before moving on to your strategy.

If you need guidance on how to advance your career and talk through the next steps, we’re here to help. Shoot us an email titled ADVANCE MY CAREER at darryll@secondchanceathletes.com. Stay tuned for part four of this series where we’ll dive into how providing solutions can help accelerate your business.

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