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People who work on jigsaw puzzles frequently develop methods they feel are most effective and efficient. When you open a puzzle box, all the pieces are jumbled together. Regular jobs can be flipped upside down too. Have you ever looked at so many graphs, charts, models, and metrics? There is no doubt that this is a major re-set, and that we are faced with the pretty big challenge of working out how to live and how to survive this ‘new normal.’ As the old proverb goes, “S**t happens.”

For many of us, the very sudden changes that have come about as a result of the pandemic which has sent seismic shock waves through our homes, lives, and neighborhoods. Almost nothing is the same. Its times like this that many individuals reevaluate their careers, whether by necessity or choice.

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

— Arundhati Roy

Adapt Multiple Plans

For various careers, holding a plan is fundamental to reaching your goal. For instance, if you want to become a popular science writer, you are not very likely to be hired for such a job if you have never authored an article for the general public. If you have a plan, it will help you to see gaps in your resume and think about what you need to do to fill them.

A career plan will ensure that you focus on the things that matter most. It can help you decide whether to do a postdoc, whom you should contact for informational interviews and networking opportunities, and what experiences and internships might benefit you.

Don’t focus on a single career path. Pick three! Why three? Because many plans and ideas do not work out for one reason or another. Having multiple options gives you flexibility.

Here are key steps for developing your own career plan:

1. Identify careers you’d be interested in.

2. For each career, learn about the skills and network you might need to succeed.Advertisement

3. Set short- and long-term goals.

4. Consider possible barriers to achieving your goals and how they can be overcome.

5. Meet with a career adviser and conduct informational interviews to clarify whether your career plan is sensible.

6. Create an action plan to achieve your goals and help yourself stay organized.

Prepare Mentally and Emotionally

The common vital thing you can do to prepare yourself for challenges to come is to admit that challenges will come. Too many people have a tendency to assume that their current comfortable state will never change, that everything will remain as it is for as long as you wish it to do so. Unfortunately, surprises are always coming. If you pretend otherwise, you’ll be knocked off balance and paralyzed by the shock.

Preparing mentally and emotionally is easy, really, and very effective. It involves admitting that challenges will come, and then imagining how you might deal with them. Even if you make no practical plans whatsoever, simply playing this sort of mental game with yourself will help you to be prepared, because at least you will have worked your way through the scenario before.

Prepare Functionally

Of course, while being mentally ready to meet challenges gives you the ability to act, a little nuts-and-bolts prep work can’t hurt either. Here are a few things you can do right now to be ready for the challenges to come.

Save Money. Some challenges go beyond the mental and emotional and reach into your pocket. Unexpected expenses, unexpected client loss, or other financial challenges are a lot easier to meet if you set aside a sum on a regular basis not necessarily for retirement, but for emergencies.

Know Who You Can Rely On. Think ahead of time about who you would call upon for help in a variety of situations. Who is your emergency contact in every situation? Knowing ahead of time will save you time and worry when things happen.