How to keep your career goals on track during COVID lockdown - Michelle Gibbings

Working from home and feeling like your career has veered off course? Thanks to and Kirsten Jelinek for asking Michelle to share ideas on what you can do to get it back (and keep it) on track. 

As thousands of Australians continue working from home, it can be easy to feel lost in your career. A workplace expert shares her advice.

If adjusting to working from home has left you feeling unmotivated or lost on your career path, you’re not alone.

It can be easy to lose sight of your professional goals when you’re stuck at Home And Away from your colleagues.

Workplace expert Michelle Gibbings, said the biggest challenge people face when trying to keep their career on track while working remotely, is having visibility with their manager.

“The less visible you are with your boss can impact how they see you in terms of your quality and volume of work, which can impact future promotion opportunities,” she said.

Ms Gibbings recommends making a concerted effort to maintain a connection with your superiors to ensure you’re progressing in your role.

“Be deliberate about setting up the times to catch up with your boss and talk through ideas of what you’re working on and how you’re doing in your role,” she said.

“There’s no doubt we’re going to have a blended workforce in the future … so we need to make sure we’re working productively and still focusing on what’s next in our careers.”

Ms Gibbings recommends creating a “career life stocktake” every year by asking yourself questions and tracking the goals you want to achieve personally and professionally.

What to do when your career isn’t going to plan

Sometimes it can feel like you’re really making progress at work and in your career. Other times you can feel stuck, or maybe things just aren’t moving the way you want them to.

  • SEEK outlines four situations where things may not be going as planned in your career, and how you can address them.
  • You don’t see a future in the industry: Start by highlighting your transferable skills and how they can apply to a new role and help you transition to a new industry.
  • You feel unfulfilled by your work: Identify what you’re passionate about then take active steps to pursue it. You could try assessing your values to find the work that suits you best.
  • You can’t see any growth opportunities: Start by focusing on growing your network as this can create a support base and open up opportunities.
  • Your colleagues are getting opportunities ahead of you: Chat to your boss to get feedback on your performance or ask for ways to take on responsibilities that are part of the role you’d like to be in.

“You need to get a sense of where you are, where you want to be and then mark out what you want to achieve through the year,” she said.

“The challenge with long term goals is that we don’t know what will happen in the next five to ten years, so you should have more specific short term goals and your long term should be more general.”

To help stay motivated to keep your career on track, Ms Gibbings encourages people to keep learning new skills and networking with colleagues.

“Try to prepare for any changes in your industry and invest some time in potentially learning some new skills … and research if there are online courses you can do,” she said.

“It’s also worthwhile to pick up the phone and make a deliberate connection with your team and think about who I need to build a relationship with and how I can nurture that.”

The key to seeing positive changes in your career is being persistent in your efforts.

“Everyone’s career has had peaks and troughs as sometimes there are things you can’t plan for ” Ms Gibbings added.

“So you’ll see the best outcomes when you continue to do something every single day that is helping you progress to where it is you want to be.”

“It’s not waiting for other people to change, it’s recognising that the change starts with you.”


Publication: | |