Our careers will look a lot different after COVID. People are talking about the light at the end of the tunnel; I don’t think we’ve even entered the tunnel yet. How can we position ourselves for job security in the midst of a pandemic? I see three primary ways to build a sustainable career.
More skills, more opportunities
Only dramatic change will pull the economy out of this downturn. If we use the recession of 2008 as an example, most companies will be cutting and consolidating. That’s why it’s crucial to position yourself as someone with different and unique skills that can help the organization meet its goals.
When we exited the last recession, polymath communicators came out of the tunnel in a better position. They could be versatile and flexible, and developed their skills to meet their organizations’ needs. To paraphrase Kennedy, they were the ones who asked not what their organizations could do for them, but what they could do for their organizations. And right now, what organizations need is help with sustainability.
It’s old-school thinking to consider sustainability in terms of regulations and government mandates. Don’t get me wrong; it would be great if we could invest in sustainability initiatives in a sort of New Deal approach to recovery. But even if we don’t take those political steps, there is already a lot of financial and investor pressure on companies to be sustainable and resilient.
Today, sustainability is at the heart of a fundamental reshaping of finance and capital reallocation. Smart investments (and jobs!) will be with forward-looking, resilient organizations.
3 ways to advance your sustainable career
There are three primary ways to advance your sustainable career.
- Anticipate a green New Deal and hitch your wagon to a business or industry that will be on the receiving end of large-scale infrastructure projects.
- Help to position your existing company for a new, sustainable future. You can help them to identify areas of strength, or areas of improvement. Your efforts can help to shape the business into something viable and resilient for the long term, and helps to differentiate the business from its competition.
- Future-proof your career by learning the skills needed to help any organization meet their reporting goals. This is important in communications, but can be relevant in any department: finance, manufacturing, engineering, operations, or even IT.
By anticipating trends now, you could be in a better position by the end of the year.