We are halfway through 2020. There are times when it seems like 2020 has been five years long so far, but only six months have passed.
If you are like many of the “riveters” in our network, back in December of 2019 you most likely sat down and did some reflection on what you wanted to accomplish in 2020. Some version of “start, stop, continue.” There might have been personal goals like reading more, losing weight, or traveling. There might have been professional goals like getting that promotion, closing a big deal, or changing jobs.
As boxer Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” The same could be said about 2020. Your original goals might be spectacularly unattainable at this point in the year. The temptation might be to write off the rest of the year.
I will tell you: “Wake me up when 2020 ends.” is not a strategy.
In a normal year, July is a great time to pause and assess where you are regarding your goals for the year. In this extraordinary year, it should be no different.
It is OK that the goals you set back in December might be completely shot at this point. Instead of dwelling on the year that might have been, a better plan is to adjust or make new goals.
If you know where to look, there are tremendous opportunities to be had this year. Here are some ideas:
Start with a holistic assessment of your career and life. No better time than during massive disruption to assess where you are in life. Are you on the road to where and who you want to be? Yes? Great. Press on. No? Reevaluate. Reorient. Come up with a new plan. Make changes.
Professional assessment: Is your career where or what you thought it would be at this point? Do you have growth opportunities where you currently work? Has the leadership team at your company responded well to the challenges posed by this year or have they shown their true colors? Do you consider yourself essential? Is your company? It might not be the best time to find a new job but that does not mean you cannot start planning your exit.
Professional development: There has been an explosion of options for online training and development that can be done from home. Pay-sites like Linkedin Learning offer over 16000 classes. Many universities offer low-cost or even free certificate programs or online classes. You can learn new skills to make you better at your job or learn skills to get you a new one. iTunes U and Khan Academy offer free online courses. Even YouTube has hundreds of thousands of free tutorials on everything from Excel to welding. One of the best practice I’ve heard during the shutdown is combining walking with learning – using podcasts and audio books (studies show that you’ll retain more information while walking than just sitting still.) You can learn and stay healthy at the same time. You should consider asking your company to pay for any learning you do. The worst they can do is say no.
Personal development: Learning a new hobby, trying new recipes, DIY projects, reading novels, finally writing that book. Think of all those things you used to tell yourself you’d do if you had the time. If not now, when? What is getting in the way? Netflix?
Build your professional network. In-person networking has gone by the wayside for the time being, but there are plenty of online events that have started. (If you cannot find one you like, try starting your own.) It’s also a great time to reconnect one-on-one with people. Your roommate from college, a former coworker, your new LinkedIn connection. A quick 10-20 Zoom call to catch up can add color to your day, and strengthen your network. Try using an online calendaring tool like Calendly.com to make it easier to schedule.
Get help. There are plenty of professionals out there to help. Therapists, doctors, personal trainers, financial planners, even professional chefs have pivoted to help people remotely. You don’t have to figure things out all on your own.
At the Rivet Group, we are also here to help.
We have a team of professional coaches who can help you chart a new course professionally, start a new job search, set new goals, or be held accountable for the ones you already have. If you need help and are ready to make some changes in your life, schedule a free introductory call today.