Career Development During the Pandemic

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It’s safe to say that the global pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our lives, particularly our career development. From remote working arrangements to changes in norms and needs in the business world, the way in which we work day-to-day has rapidly transformed. 

If you’ve been thinking about how to get promoted in these uncertain times, it’s crucial to adopt a growth mindset to help identify opportunities in career growth. While some industries such as events and tourism have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 restrictions, our changed circumstances have also fueled new occupations and business activity. 

The National Skills Commission says that although COVID-19 has radically affected Australia’s labour market, resilient occupations, resilient industries and emerging occupations have also surfaced since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate has declined to 4.5% as of August 2021. Businesses are also looking for change leaders to help guide them in an era of adaptation, which serves as another opportunity for mid-career professionals to climb the corporate ladder. 

Read on as we explore how the pandemic is impacting career paths and give tips for finding opportunities in today’s fluctuating business landscape. 


How a changing business environment is influencing career growth

The pandemic has impacted the way we work, the way we connect and the way we grow within our careers, especially for mid-career professionals poised to move up into a more senior position. Several aspects of the pandemic have had a disruptive effect on traditional pathways towards career growth, namely office closures, changing consumer and client needs and canceled industry events and conferences. 

Let’s look at how remote working arrangements are affecting pathways towards a promotion. 


Communication

As COVID-19 restrictions have sent the majority of employees to work from home, our daily communication style has evolved and moved from the real world to the virtual world. The switch to working from home can pose a significant barrier to effective communication both within businesses and between businesses and clients.

This challenge is best understood through the concept of communication bandwidth, which compares how much information is conveyed by different communication methods. For example, face-to-face requests have a high bandwidth, whereas low bandwidth email conversations are an average of 34 times less successful. 

Relationship building

Online collaboration technologies provide a multitude of benefits for teams during the pandemic, but the emotional nuances that help build relationships can be quickly lost over email or instant messaging. Even with video calls, network lags create gaps and strained conversations.

Relationship building factors often absent from our post-pandemic working arrangements include:

  • Tone of voice
  • Synchronous communication such as real time reactions
  • Body language
  • Facial expressions.

Career growth pathways

Open communication and strong relationships are both essential steppingstones to being considered for a promotion, so it’s no wonder that the pandemic has created obstacles for career growth pathways.

On a larger scale, many companies are restructuring rather than growing during the current crisis. This means opportunities to move up the ladder via a traditional pathway may be more limited than usual. Instead, you’ll need to think strategically about how your skills can serve changing business needs.


Adopt a growth mindset for mid-pandemic career development

The pandemic has dramatically changed our working lives, which means our habits also need to change to create opportunities for career success. Here are some ways to kickstart this process. 

  • Expand your knowledge

According to Forbes, preemptively gaining the knowledge, experience and certifications needed in the role you want is an effective way to show how invested you are in your future. For example, qualifications like our Graduate Certificate in Business Administration help you gain recognition for your skills as you continue working. 

You can also expand your knowledge by taking an active interest in working areas outside your immediate job description. Learning more about how others work can also help you identify institutional gaps where there’s room for you to step up into a leadership role. 

  • Keep on networking

Face-to-face networking may be off the table at the moment, but that gives you more time to invest in networking online. Upgrade your LinkedIn presence and reach out to people in your industry to discuss potential career growth over a virtual chat. 

  • Be a pillar of support

Remaining a supportive coworker increases your value within a team. Being a pillar of support for others’ projects and deadlines actively demonstrates your competence and capabilities to those around you. 

Supporting others is key to leading others, which means those who play a supportive role within their teams are more likely to be viewed as well suited for leadership positions as they become available. 

  • Get out there

Make yourself known in the industry you’re striving to grow in by participating in workshops and mentoring programs external to your workplace. The pandemic has spurred a plethora of online webinars allowing you to build your reputation, either as a panelist or an audience member. 

  • Track your performance levels

It’s helpful to have concrete evidence of your value in the business by tracking your own performance levels, complete with evidence. Think of this like building a business strategy for your own personal goals, as you collate positive feedback and measurable benefits you’ve achieved. 


Upskill today

A Graduate Certificate in Business Administration gives you the skills you need to be competitive in the job market. You’ll gain skills in coaching, leadership and understanding the interplay between individuals and teams. In just eight months, you’ll expand your critical thinking and leadership skills to help you stand out as you move ahead in your career. Studying for a business admin certificate online gives you the freedom to upskill around your work commitments, without the need for an undergraduate degree.
 
Book a call today with one of our expert advisors to discover how a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration can help you move ahead in your career and provide an entry pathway to an MBA. 

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