Unlocking your pandemic potential

Adam Mortimer provides three tips for learning new skills.

The past year has seen historic job losses throughout the US economy. Both due to changing market forces that have been in effect for years and to rapidly accelerated trends taking place because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The largest impact of these changes is a massive need for job retraining and for employees to adapt to the new marketplace. The digital evolution of business is also creating a skills gap, meaning there is opportunity out there for those willing to learn.

The World Economic Forum predicts that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, and that plugging the global skill gap could boost global GDP by $6.5Tn by 2030.

In order for employees to take advantage of the available positions they need to be prepared to thrive in the new workplace. By following the steps below, individuals can set themselves up to succeed in the new paradigm of 2021 and beyond and will see benefits throughout their future career. These are the keys to the kind of flexibility with purpose that the new job market requires.

Be deliberate in setting goals

Most of us are familiar with the concept of setting goals in our professional lives and the benefits that can come with it. But making sure you are properly setting achievable goals and working your list into your daily planning is the best way to make sure you achieve those goals.

The world is changing and so are the career paths many people find themselves on. These changes mean that new traits are necessary for the success of employees

Set your daily schedule up the night before, identify your priorities for the day and make sure they are set as your first itinerary items. Include wellbeing into your goals, such as drinking plenty of water, getting some exercise, and getting enough sleep.

This makes it easier to achieve your other goals and will give you a sense of accomplishment as you check off your items throughout the day. Small victories are the path to larger ones.

In your goal setting process it is also important to identify distractions in your day and make a plan to limit how they can disrupt you from your other goals. Avoid any source of notifications that will pull you away from your focus. If you need to post to or go on to social media for a task, make sure you delineate exactly what your aim is and leave the distraction behind once you are finished.

Make a plan to stay on track

Every good plan only lasts until the first setback, then it is time to adjust and adapt. The key to overcoming adversity is to have a plan to tackle it ahead of time. These setbacks could range from negative feedback from colleagues, to larger issues that upset your timeline, to issues with work-life balance.

You need to plan to respond to feedback from others. Plan for potential critiques before they come and either adjust your plan accordingly or prepare a response if you think the critique is invalid. This will allow you to be in charge of your own trajectory instead of allowing others’ opinions to dictate it for you.

When larger setbacks come it is important to address them right away. If something in your plan didn’t work out, don’t allow yourself to become frustrated and inactive.


Instead, examine what went wrong, determine if there were any faults in your plan that lead to the setback, and adjust your goals going forward. It’s also important during this time to update anyone who may be waiting on you about what the setback was, why it occurred, and how it will impact the timeline of their expected product.

Be ready for the occasional failure

In a rapidly changing world with so many variables to impact our day-to-day lives, it is inevitable that we fail from time to time. Handling this failure in a healthy and productive way while learning from one’s mistakes is key to thriving in today’s job world. It is not our failures that define us as professionals, it is the way in which we react to and overcome them. These three tips are key to successfully dealing with failure.

  1. Remain calm: everyone fails on occasion, the first step is to take a deep breath and remember it isn’t the end of the world. Taking a few breaths and re-baselining is the best start to overcoming failure. There are many stories of incredible people failing on their way to success. Reading some of these can help you realise that failure is just an inevitable part of life and not something that only happens to some people.
  2. Own your failures but don’t make them your identity: It is important to acknowledge when we haven’t reached our goals. It will allow us to plan better in the future and it shows that we can be responsible to superiors even in the face of mistakes. That said, don’t link your mistakes to you as a person. Identify the mistakes you have made and resolve not to make them in the future, they don’t have to become a part of who you are,
  3. Figure out what you can do: there will always be something, no matter how small, you can do to overcome some aspect of your failure. Identifying and making these small steps will lessen the burden of failure and start to show you how you might avoid the failure altogether the next time. It also shows the people watching that you can overcome adversity and learn from your mistakes rather than being defined by them.

The world is changing and so are the career paths many people find themselves on. These changes mean that new traits are necessary for the success of employees.

By maintaining a strong plan, moving forward despite setbacks, and knowing how to properly deal with failures that may arise, employees will be prepared to take advantage of this new paradigm and set themselves apart from their colleagues and competition.


About the author

Adam Mortimer is the director of coaching at Achieve Today



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