Career First Aid

With COVID causing chaos it can be hard to actually "develop" your career during this time. But, that does not mean you should stop thinking about it. So, instead of development I suggest "first aid" doing small things that will keep you "alive" so you can take advantage of opportunities that arise when we start working in spite of COVID.


COVID-19 and it's impacts across the world have had huge changes to the way we run our careers, run our work life. We've shifted from working in an office to working from home for many of us. It's unlikely that things will go back to the way they were. Certainly, not in the near future, and perhaps not ever. For some of this, we might have resigned from our job early in the year. Thinking everything will be fine and then found ourselves in the midst of a crisis where companies are downsizing,

down-regulating, deactivating, and stopping everything that they do because they can't operate in a COVID-19 world. Or we might find that just because out of fear companies have decided we're not going to spend any money just in case our income dries up. Or we're not going to make any internal promotions or any internal changes until we know how we can respond to COVID.

COVID-19 now in Australia anyway, has kind of run the first part of its course. We've been through lockdown. We've been through isolation, and now we're coming out the other side of isolation. That doesn't mean it's not impacting our lives. Small gatherings are still the only way we can come together. Who knows when workplaces will go back to operating how they used to, and for a lot of people that might be mean that your career is now on pause. So rather than thinking about career development and having this idea in your head that maybe careers go up and up and up, you know, in a nice linear fashion on a 45-degree slope, may be currently you're in a bit of career pause. And so, you might need to administer maybe you know, what you might call "career first aid". And what is that, and what does that look like? I'm not fully certain about what that looks like just yet. I'm trying to think for myself what career first aid is. So, if you've got a comment or a suggestion of what that might look like for others or even what it looks like for you, comment below, and let me know what you think. But for me what I'm thinking career first aid would be firstly, consider about re-evaluating what it is that you want from your career. Whether that is a certain lifestyle whether that's a certain income. Whether that is where you want to work or how you want to work. I think that would be the first step in first aid.

The 2nd step is now that you don't have a strong still good understanding of where it is you want to go, would be perhaps plotting a course for that location now, and thinking about ways that you can make some of those gains in the absence of work. Or in the absence of a promotion. Or in the absence of transitioning to a new role in order to get that new experience. Some of the things that you could do might be to volunteer and help other people or other organizations. It could be to start up your own project. So, if you have long held a desire for example, to do more social media for your organization but you no longer employed. Maybe, you should go and set up your own social media channel. If you have got certain thoughts, and opinions about the way the world should run or how logistic change should operate particularly, in this post COVID world. Or maybe you've got an idea of how innovation should happen at a university. Or like me, how PhD students, and early career researchers should be supported and trained not just for academic roles but for non-academic roles. If you've got opinions and you know you're happy to share them I think perhaps, part of career first-aid is starting that sharing process. That could be starting a blog or starting up a new social media channel with the aim of sharing that. It could be doing this, doing some videos, and talking about areas of expertise that you love. So that I think is career first aid.

The other thing that I think would fall into career first aid, that would be useful things that you could do now that aren't necessarily about job hunting when there are no jobs to be hunted. You might reach out to people in your social media network on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Wherever it might be and ask them for a meeting. Ask them for a catch up. You know, just like I did and just like I'm doing to you now.

If you're watching this video when you'd like to chat about your career first aid, comment below, and I'll reach out to you and make sure that we can have a chat. So, I'd like to know what are you doing to keep your career on track? What are you doing as part of your career first aid?

Let me know in the comments, and as always thanks, and let me know how it goes for you.