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How to manage your career during uncertain times

by Chloe Baird
Posted: February 24, 2021

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There’s no doubt about it. The world has changed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some industries have flourished during this time but others have struggled. 

If you’re worried about the future of your career or have found yourself in a situation you couldn’t have imagined just twelve months ago, then you’re not alone. Many people in Australia have had their world shaken up and are asking themselves the question, “So, what do I do now?” 

But economic disruptions – whether they’re caused by a global pandemic, a natural disaster, a supply shortage, a stock market crash or another unforeseen event – are a reality of the world we live in. And that means we need to make sure we’re able to adeptly manage our careers in times of uncertainty.

career during uncertain times

8 ways you can manage your career in uncertain times 

While it definitely pays to be prepared, no-one can be totally ready for every single possible event. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t future-proof your career. If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that we need to remain flexible, adaptable and that we need to think creatively when it comes to solving problems and overcoming challenges.  

While managing your career in uncertain times can be tough, there are ways that you can get through it.  

Here are our tips on how to manage your career in uncertain times, and how you can plan for the future.  

1. Build your online profile 

When was the last time you audited your online presence? Maybe it’s time to give your virtual self a bit of a makeover.  

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, then set one up. If you already have one, review it and make sure it’s up to date. Recruiters actively use this platform to search for job candidates, but it’s also a great way to connect with colleagues and network (more on that below).  

If you don’t want prospective employers to find your personal social accounts, then that’s fine. Just make sure they’re all set to private. But if you do have professional accounts that you use to demonstrate your skills and knowledge, then make sure these are up to date and that there’s no information stored here which could be detrimental to your career prospects.  

2. Work on your resume and cover letter 

As well as working on your online presence, you should take the time to freshen up your resume and cover letter. Keeping your resume and cover letter up to date means that you can apply for any jobs that come your way immediately.  

Just make sure that you do a little research first about the job and the company and that your cover letter is tailored.   

Manage your career

3. Networking  

Networking isn’t just about connecting with others who can help land you a job. Through networking, you have the opportunity to learn from others, improve your knowledge, stay up to date with industry trends and challenge your thinkingThis is something you should be doing regularly, and not just when you need something.  

It’s also important to think about ways you can help others during this time. Networking can also be how you show support for others and lend them a helping handIt could be as simple as sharing a colleague or friend’s LinkedIn post; participating in an online forum they’re hosting; or finding out if there are other ways you can use your professional skills to help them out. Helping others in your network will make you feel good, and it means that they’ll think of you when an opportunity presents itself. 

4. Research jobs in your industry 

Whether you make a little time every day, week or month, make sure you’re checking out what kinds of jobs are available in your industry. Are there any emerging trends? Are there a lot of roles being advertised, or have the job ads slowed down? Keep an eye out for changes in your industry and make note of them to stay ahead of the curve.  

5. Research jobs in a different industry 

If your industry has slowed down recently because of the impacts of the pandemic, you could consider looking further afield for work in a different industry altogether.  

Switching careers to a resilient industry could provide you with reliable work in a field that’s growing rather than shrinking.  

One way to get started is to take a look at what jobs are out there in growing industries right now. What kind of skills do you need to have to get a job in these industries? What kind of experience do you need? Are there any qualifications usually associated with the role?  

Then, make up a list of all the hard and soft skills you already have and see how many of them could be transferred across to a different industry. You might be surprised to learn just how many skills you already possess that could help you get started in a totally new role. It’s also important not to discredit any life experiences you may have that could also prove valuable 

6. Upskill  

To stay in front, you need to ensure that your skills and knowledge are up to date and that you’re constantly looking for learning opportunities to improve yourself.  

This could be as simple as attending an online webinar about a topic you’re interested in or enrolling in an online course to expand your skills and knowledge base. 

While you’re updating your resume, have a look at the skills you’ve listed and compare them to known, in-demand skills employers might be looking for today. Are there any skills gaps you can fill with extra study? 

career management

7. Don’t be afraid to try something new 

After you’ve had a look at what’s happening in other industries, what kinds of careers are out there and how your transferrable skills stack up, it’s time to start considering the next step forward in your career path.  

Change and uncertainty can be daunting. But switching careers in modern Australia is much more common than it was a few decades ago. These days, you’re much more likely to meet a professional who’s swapped careers multiple times, rather than someone who has had the same job for ten or more years.  

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to work in a different industry, now might be the time to upskill and switch careers to a growing industry like healthcare or technology. 

8. Stay focused and back yourself 

One of the most important things you can do in times of uncertainty is look after your physical and mental wellbeing. Events like these can take a real toll on our emotional and mental health, so it’s important to check in on yourself, as well as others in your network who might be finding it tough.  

Stay focused on your goals and be aware of negative thoughts that might be threatening to hold you back. With the right planning and strategies in place, you can make everything happen.  

Are you ready to invest in yourself? 

Managing your career in times of uncertainty can be daunting. But there are ways to make it work.  

OC’s range of online courses have been designed with Australia’s workforce in mind. We have certificates and diplomas that focus on some of Australia’s fastest growing industries right now, such as health and childhood education.  

If you’re not sure which qualification suits your needs and goals, or if you’re not sure if online study is the right fit for you, you can take a 7 day free course trial and find out for yourself.  

Our free online trial will allow you to get a first-hand glimpse at what it’s like to study a course with OC, and what online study could look like for you.  

What are you waiting for? Begin your 7 day free course trial today and start making things happen.  




Chloe Baird

Chloe is an Open Colleges alumnus who now works full time for OC as a Content and Copywriting Specialist. She is passionate about encouraging others to pursue their goals through education.

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