The pandemic isn’t quite over yet but as we all remain hopeful about a return to life with our freedoms, social lives and careers back on track, not to mention our health and wellbeing, make sure you use this time wisely. In fact, now is a great time to start asking yourself how you can take control over your career.
Vaccination rates are increasing in Australia and many of us are watching as other countries and regions begin to open up and get back to life as close to normal as possible. As we start to wonder what comes next for our post-pandemic lives, it’s worth considering how your career will look in the new normal.
Career changes during the Covid-19 pandemic
As the pandemic unfolded, workplaces were forced to adapt quickly. And similarly, as the pandemic evolved and we learned more about the nature of the virus, employers and their teams had to be flexible. In some instances, this meant temporary or even permanent closure as a result of the duration of the pandemic and restrictions. In early childhood education the pandemic response involved rostering carefully to minimise spread and adjusting to a range of hygiene and safety measures.
One thing that seems quite clear is that even when restrictions lift entirely, there will be a number of changes that are here to stay. This includes for workplaces. So, what has changed?
The new approach to work
While many businesses are looking forward to getting back to full operating and staffing capacity to best service their communities, the impact will continue to leave an imprint on our workforces in a number of ways. While you’re assessing what you can do to further your career during a pandemic, it’s important to know what to expect moving forward.
Flexible and hybrid workplaces
The pandemic fast-tracked a lot of workplace shifts that were perhaps a long time coming. Working from home or logging into meetings remotely are the new normal and will likely remain ongoing. While at its core, early childhood education requires in-person attendance to support children and provide care face-to-face, a hybrid model is likely to be here to stay. Rather than require workers to come in for a meeting on a day off, jumping into an online meeting from home is now acceptable. Plus, we have all seen that it can really work. In fact, many workplaces found their employees to be even more productive than usual when they had the flexibility to do some work from home.
A human approach to work
The last two years have seen us all navigate personal and professional challenges during a time of great global upheaval. These challenges saw colleagues reaching out to one another for support and understanding, open up more and opt for empathy instead of taking a rigid or traditionally corporate approach. This human approach has had a notable impact on many employers and their teams and will likely carry on.
Building a career you love during lockdown
If you’re ready for a change or a fresh start for your career, there’s no need to wait until the pandemic is over to get your career going. These tips will help you to build a flourishing career and be ready:
Jump into relevant qualifications now
Don’t wait — get those updated qualifications or upskill requirements sorted to open doors for your career during the pandemic. Courses are available to study online that offer a high-quality training experience. At Selmar, our online portal combined with dedicated trainers means every learner has continued to receive a well-rounded, supported course journey even when studying early childhood education online.
Make a career switch
Maybe you’ve been thinking about a new career for a while — don’t wait out the pandemic to pursue your career dreams. Courses are available to study online right now! You could already be getting stuck into your required qualifications and ready for a brand new career that you will love! Maybe you’re destined for a career as an early childhood educator, nurturing children as they develop through the most rapid period of brain development from birth to age 5. It’s all about finding what makes you tick.
Get used to searching for jobs remotely
While you might already be used to using online means to find job opportunities, it’s possible you might also have to be interviewed virtually. This is pretty different for most of us. After all, it’s one thing to do a video call with people you know but quite different to meet someone for the first time on your screen and be trying to put your best foot forward. Be ready: have a tidy background behind you, dress to impress and follow the usual job interview etiquette for the best chance of success.
Improving your current career
For some, you might be relatively happy with your career at the moment but are beginning to wonder what comes next for you.
If you’re currently employed in a sector that you feel you want to stay in, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you’re on the right track to thrive. Reflecting on these points of focus is the best place to start:
Consider what you want from your career (and your life)
Now is a good time to evaluate where you are and where you want to be in 6 months, 2 years, even 5 or 10 years. This doesn’t necessarily just mean your career but could include your life and how you want everything to click into place. For example, staffing is set to return to full capacity or close to it soon enough — do you want full time work, or do you prefer part time or casual? Do you have plans to move away for a tree change or similar, or are you happy where you are? You don’t need to make any decisions right away, but it’s good to start reflecting so you can make the right choices for yourself.
Assess your skillset and expand as needed
To stay passionate about any career, professional development is a must. Not only does it inspire you to be the best you can be in your area, but it also ensures you are continually keeping your knowledge and skills up to date. If your career dreams involve progression or pivoting in your field, or you just want to get inspired, make sure you assess your existing skillset and explore options to upskill.
Hone in on your strengths
Everyone is unique and we all have our different strengths in life and work. Do you know what yours are? How can you stand out in your career, gain recognition, make a difference or build meaningful connections with those you work with? And how you can you improve on areas that are not currently strong for you? Stay open-minded in your reflections as you gain a clear picture of who you are in your job and how you can grow. It might be a short course, seeking out a mentor or pushing for innovation and change in your sector.
Your post-pandemic career starts here
The team at Practical Outcomes supports people just like you on their career development journeys. And we can still help you to discover a thriving career during a pandemic too!
With a range of early childhood education courses to suit those new to the sector or established professionals who are looking to grow, our team can help you get set up for career success.
Contact us to chat about your individual goals for your career post-pandemic and let’s find out what comes next for you together.