3 Keys to Keeping on Track with your Career Goals in 2020

Do you feel like life has taken you on the most unexpected detour of all time? 

Here we are, who would have thought that in just a few months our lives would be taken for such a spin, the ultimate test drive in measuring resilience.

And how are you doing?

Do you feel like life has taken you on the most unexpected detour of all time? 

If you answered “yes”, you are not alone. For sure, there has been a shift. And while you show your strength in adapting to life’s new route you must not get blind-sided on the direction you had intended. Where were you headed?

Are your career goals still highlighted on your road map to success or have they taken a back seat during the pandemic?

Perhaps the changes over the past few months have adjusted your career mindset somewhat. The changing economy, the uncertain job market, the shifting perspectives on what is a safe and/or acceptable working environment – it all plays a part!

Resilience in its truest form will be your ability to reroute, reconfigure and revitalize in getting back on track to achieving your career goals. If you’re not sure just where to begin, then consider these 3 key strategies to motivating yourself and getting back to where you need to be.

1. Needs vs Wants

Maybe in the midst of this pandemic, you have had to evaluate your priorities and be purposeful in identifying your needs, such as focusing on the bare essentials of life – food, shelter, safety of loved ones. For sure, the balancing act of life has intensified and while your focus may be on managing your income, it is imperative to take a step back and assess whether your current priorities are sufficient in supporting both your immediate and long term goals.

In fact, let’s go a step further – think back to 2 years ago, what were your concerns then? An even bigger question, how many of those concerns are still looming? Both time and growth play major roles in what you consider your priorities, where you’re headed and what success looks like to you.

Has your idea of success changed? Even in light of all that’s happening in the world, is your goal still the same? This is a sure way to acknowledge what takes precedence and identify what changes or sacrifices you will need to steer ahead.

2. Eyes on the Hills, Feet on the Ground

If ever a saying resonated with me, this was it. I had the good fortune of being introduced to this concept years ago, during a recession. It’s a concept that’s helped me stay grounded while not forgetting my vision of where I want to be.

Any time there’s an economic downturn, it’s helpful to know how to be resilient. In fact, resilience is often what determines our accomplishments, the success of our goals and the make or break of what we set out to achieve. It is our response to the challenges we face that is the ultimate tell-all of our passion and commitment to achieving success.

This is why having long term goals and a realistic approach is vital to the sustenance of your drive to succeed, and your own ability to weather a storm. Maintaining a level head when establishing your needs and wants is a crucial step. You no doubt have needs and wants over and above simply paying today’s bills. Let’s not forget the future plans you have for your life, your family, and for yourself. It is good to plan for the future and to take small steps. 

When financially strapped a few years ago I still made it a habit to put some money aside monthly for my children’s post-secondary education. However, I wouldn’t have been able to continue to follow through on this commitment without being honest with myself on what I thought I needed and what I actually needed. It is easy to lose focus on what does not give us immediate gratification, things that appear to be so much further down the line that we falter on our efforts.

Take my word, it is a trap! Distractions carefully orchestrated by life to deter you from your goals and keep you side-tracked. But, before you know it life happens and you’re dead centre in what was seemingly a distant occurrence. Stay focused!

3. Look for the Light at the End of the Tunnel

It may be hard to believe from where you’re sitting, but rest assured that whatever setbacks you are facing are temporary, especially when you keep your eyes on your long-term goals.

At this point your progress may be slower than you’d like – or may even seem to have stalled – and that’s ok. It’s temporary! It is important to stare reality in the face while still progressively making plans for your future. You have a better chance for long term success when you own your energy towards strategically planning your career.

How do you stay motivated about the future when the present appears to be so dim? Do not be overcome by the challenges. I know what you’re thinking – easier said than done, right? I heard this saying recently which seems to be so relevant during this season – “Don’t just go through it, grow through it.” Life’s twisted sense of humour has given you yet another opportunity to strengthen yourself. Are you going to stare life in the face and accept the challenge, or will you accept defeat? I’m going to assume the fact that you are here, on this blog, at this present time, is enough of an indication that failure is not an option. So, where do you go from here?

Celebrate: Firstly, take the time to acknowledge that you have been strategically – and even unknowingly – kicking life’s behind. Celebrate small victories both personally and career-wise. 

Learn: Utilize this opportunity to maximize your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. There are many no-cost and low-cost online learning opportunities right now. Just think, what are 3 skills or knowledge areas that could significantly impact and support your goal. Familiarize yourselves with systems and tools that heighten your efficiency, acquire in-depth knowledge of a particular scope/area within your career that you’ve had an interest in and brainstorm how you can utilize your expertise to make a mark within your industry.

Connect: In such a time of physical disconnect, it is imperative to stay connected. For sure, you’ve probably already initiated staying connected with family and friends but how well are you staying connected within your industry?  Think of how you can expand your network or propel yourself within your field, or a field you’d like to move into. Make connections with thought leaders, connect with someone from that company you’ve been prospecting and while you’re at it, work on your professional profile.

I promise you, if you keep these elements in mind you are one step ahead in conquering this season of your life and career but, don’t just take my word for it. Download the Career Growth Checklist and let’s talk about getting you where you need to be.