Has the pandemic powered down your career? Here are three tips to rediscovering that zest for professional advancement.
As a legal recruitment firm McKenna & Associates has spent years helping people find jobs they love, and employees find passionate staff. We’ve seen talented professionals lose their drive—and rediscover it.
Reset perspective with an adaptable mindset
Life is full of change. Throughout the span of a career, enthusiasm for climbing the corporate ladder can ebb and wane. Adapting to a new normal is part of life, but when the new normal is a pandemic, adjustment becomes an ongoing process.
While resetting perspective traditionally involved accepting and re-aligning with your present reality, coronavirus has made the present feel unstable. In this new world, an ability to adjust and adapt to shifting workplace parameters has become an invaluable skill.
A 2019 Worklife 101 piece by the BBC asked, Is AQ More Importance Thank Intelligence? Your adaptability quotient, as described in the piece, is “a subjective set of qualities loosely defined as the ability to pivot and flourish in an environment of fast and frequent change”.
The piece features comments from Natalie Fratto, a New York-based vice-president at Goldman Sachs, and her TED talk “3ways to measure your adaptability—and how to improve it” offers useful insight even more relevant in 2020.
Define your place in the industry
Feeling alienated from old goals? Distanced from dreams once cherished? You’re not alone. The ING Future Focus Report, released in May by ING Banking, showed more than 3 million Australians were rethinking their work choices, and career plans post COVID-19.
As recruitment professionals, we’ve seen how events outside the office inspire people to re-evaluate their professional situation. Perhaps you’ve been in a rut for a while? If feelings toward your workplace are ambivalent, or even negative, this could be the time for change.
Another option is to consider is shifting the focus of how you work in your field. For legal practitioners, this could mean a different area of law. For support staff, study that results in additional skills and accreditations could make new roles available to you.
If a lack of motivation feels more an internal response to the current situation, re-examine why you chose your career in the first place. Take stock of past achievements. Remembering the past, fuelled by dreams of the future, might kickstart your passion in the present.
Be kind to yourself, and communicate
Eustress is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as” stress that enhances function”. But for some, aspiration can be a form of pressure during a crisis, rather than a tool for positive motivation. If fixating on lack of ambition is causing distress, take a step back.
Don’t let self-care basics fall by the wayside: balanced diet, regular exercise, and the inclusion of social activities matter. Healthy intra office communication is also key. Talking openly with co-workers could be the first step toward rediscovering workplace zeal.
The 2020 piece by Forbes, You Shouldn’t Have to Sacrifice Your Mental Health To Achieve Your Goals argues that when it comes to ambition, big visions can eclipse our needs. Points discussed include:
- How to figure out what is a good goal for you.
- Deciding what is going to be enough for you.
- Getting out of other people’s heads.
- Setting boundaries with yourself.
The Australian Government Comcare website offers resources and practical tips regarding the mental health and wellbeing of workers during the coronavirus outbreak. Support via confidential helpline services like Beyond Blue, Lifeline and MensLine Australia is available.