2020 isn’t the year anyone would have asked for.
The pandemic has changed everything in 2020 and careers have been no exception.
People began to work from home, many had to take pay cuts and many others lost their jobs too. I sincerely empathize with everyone going tough times.
There is something interesting to note, however. While on one hand going has got tough, on the other hand – it has been a fabulous year for some. I have come across people (and a lot of my coachees) who have had great career moves. Some have got a job that paid them up to 75% more, some have got unexpected promotions, while some others have used this opportunity to get out of the rut and start on their own.
Do you want to know what made the difference?
Read on –
Lately, I have been talking to a lot of folks in the latter category – those who have had breakthroughs in their career during the pandemic. During these discussions, I have come to realize one thing – you can’t be having the traditional approach you have had for your career all this while. You need to change and adapt. What worked in the past, is surely not working in the tough times of today.
To make things work in today’s tough times, you need to acquire superpowers. And here are 7 of them I have come to discover –
Superpower # 1: Expertise
Without a doubt, riches are only in the niches.If you aren’t an expert in your field - you will only struggle! Click To Tweet
The most common analogy for this is – when you visit a general physician you end up paying a small amount as fees, but when you go to a specialist you end up paying a very high fee.
With the ever-evolving pandemic – there are a ton of problems everyone is facing. So, no one wants to hire a jack of all trades. Everyone wants a master of one.
If you can understand a specific problem and have the expertise to solve that – you are in!
This year thus focus on building your expertise.
Choose a micro-niche. Keep working, experimenting, learning, and showcasing it. Build your credibility. And see the difference.
Here are some resources to get you started –
Superpower # 2: Quitting or Saying no
Winners are quitters!
Yup, you heard me!
It is contrary to what we have been hearing all the time – winners never quit or when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
But ever wondered how wrong has that been?
If things aren’t working and you aren’t getting the desired results isn’t it obvious that you aren’t doing the right thing? How will you get the right output without the right input? So what is the point of not quitting?
If you are looking for a job and it’s been quite a while that you haven’t got one – it’s time to quit what you have been doing, evaluate what you have been doing wrong, and take a fresh approach.
If you seem to be working endlessly while working from home and there seems to be no end – it’s time to say no to the work or the people giving you that work, take a break to reflect on what has not been working for you and act accordingly.
If you have been putting in a lot of effort at work and you haven’t got the desired raise or promotion – it’s time to say no to the mindless effort, evaluate which piece of work will get you noticed, and focus on doing that first!
Remember – you aren’t a superhuman who can do everything.
Quitting or saying no gives you the superpower to get more done in less time, focus on what really matters, stand out of the crowd, and get ahead!
Superpower # 3: Your Story
We are an incredible story-making machine.Our world revolves around stories. Whenever any incident happens, we make up a story from what we see around. Click To Tweet
Here are some of the stories that I have heard lately –
The market is down. There are not many jobs available.
At least I have a job. Many don’t have one in the though times.
I am not sure if there are going to be any appraisals this year.
I am not looking for a promotion. Just a stable job for now.
… and many more!
If you look at all of these, do you see any facts in any of these?
If the market was down, how have people still managed to get jobs?
If the times are tough how are people able to venture out, start on their own, and make money?
If you are not sure of appraisals, look at the number of designation changes that have happened in the last few months.
If you think you don’t want a promotion who will give it to you?
Since our world revolves around stories, the stories that we make have a huge impact on our success. If we make some twists to these stories, they have the power to change our world for the better.
So focus on creating stories that revolve around your growth. And see all the good things magically come to you.
Superpower # 4: Productivity
Productivity could have many definitions, but the crux of them all is doing what matters or is important to you.
We usually spend most of the time being busy – doing the work of others most of the time. And hence I strongly believe – Busy is the new stupid!
I mean what sense does it make to be busy and at the end of the day realize that you haven’t really achieved anything?
Hold on, did I just say the end of the day?
Read it as the end of the year – at the time of the appraisals!
Being productive in 2021 is imperative and there are the 3 easy steps to do so –
- Identify what’s important to you. Take time to reflect. Figure out what matters the most to you. If you are looking for a job what must you focus on to get the job? If you are looking for a promotion – what will get you noticed at work? You will be surrounded by a lot of chores have a feeling that everything is important. But always remember the Pareto principle – 20% of the work you do yields 80% of the results. So what’s that 20% that requires your focus?
- Write down why it is important. Every action has a result. So for all the important things that you have listed, also write the result you will have when you have done that work. Choose to do the ones that yield the best results.
- Follow the 1/30 rule. This is my way of being productive. And it might work for you too. Figure out one thing that you must do every day and set aside 30 minutes to do that the very first thing in the morning. Try it sincerely for the next 3 days. And when you experience the magic continue to do so!
Isn’t that one of the important factors affecting your career growth?
Superpower # 5: Nimbleness
It is another word for agility – the ability to change the direction in an efficient and effective manner.
Every day is a different day. Each new day throws at you new challenge/s. While this was true all this while – given the current scenario, it has never been truer.
While agile practices have been the trend for executing projects, are you being agile in real life too?
Most of you are not.
And here’s are some-peasy steps to bring in agility to your career –
- Test Fast – Set a career goal, plan how to achieve it, and more importantly don’t waste a lot of time doing these two steps. Get to implementing it fast and testing whether this approach works. A lot of us wait for the perfect time. Usually, that never comes and we find ourselves stuck in the rut.
- Fail Fast – It is absolutely ok to fail. Don’t be too hard and punish yourself for failing. Instead, fail as much as you can so that you can get to eliminate the approaches that don’t work for you fast! Focus on learning from your failures.
- Adjust Fast – Now that you know the approaches that don’t work for you, don’t dwell in the past. Instead, get over it fast. Device a new approach. Change the direction. Think differently. You are bound to arrive at your answer.
Use these steps to get almost anything that you desire –
If you are looking for a job test the strategy you have. If that is not working, figure out the possible mistake you might be making and devise a new strategy.
If you are looking for a salary hike or promotion – make a plan and share it with your manager. Once you get the views of your manager, you would know if you were thinking in the right direction or not. If not make the necessary changes.Simplify your life by being nimble. Click To Tweet
In a nutshell,
The pandemic has brought in a lot of changes. So what worked for you in the past will not work now. You need to take a different approach, devise new strategies, and acquire the above superpowers for your career best in 2021.