Tiny Actions to Support Your Empowerment in Times of Career Uncertainty
These past weeks have been EVERYTHING. And it’s been everything all at once. And we’re just now coming up for air after having our lives flipped upside down.
In the midst of the new and different, work has completely changed. For some, that means adjusting to working, parenting, and teaching all within the confines of their homes. For others,
it could mean continuing to have to “go in” as an essential worker and what that means for life.
It may mean navigating a job search amid volatility and unpredictability, with offers falling through and hiring freezes enacted. For all, it’s been a time of change. A time of different. A time of uncertainty.
For my family and me, we’re also navigating new and different. It’s brought up all the feels. It’s had me confronting thoughts and emotions that make my skin crawl and heart beat a thousand times faster. In this time of uncertainty in our careers, I’m choosing to focus on what I can control right now. Where to keep showing up and where to focus efforts. How to continue moving and growing through change that wasn’t chosen.
I’m gonna be honest with you: showing up and being intentional with focus has been a real effort as of late. A choice that hasn’t felt easy in the moment A LOT since our lives changed overnight. But it’s also been a lifesaver. It’s what we can choose when it would be so much easier to pull the covers over our heads.
Why tiny action? Because it gets the ball rolling. It provides a runway for small wins that add up over time. Tiny steps give us the hope we need oh-so-badly right now and the resilience to keep on keepin’ on. Providing bite-sized breaks in the discomfort is a small action superpower. Tiny actions keep us rooted in a proactive mindset versus a reactive state. It’s realistic when so much is coming our way at once.
So, in the spirit of working with what you got as you move through career uncertainty, I’ve compiled a list of reflections and tiny actions that can keep you on your path.
1. Remember What Matters Most
When rocked to your core in your career, reconnecting to your truths can be a saving grace. The going is tough right now, and being crystal clear on your career why, your values, and your priorities can help ground you as you weather this storm. These nuggets of clarity can support you to keep showing up and stay sane in career uncertainty.
Tiny Action: Break out the journal or post-it notes to keep your why, values, and priorities front and center. Do your why, values, and priorities need a refresh? If so, keep it simple and go for three: three sentences for your why, your top three values, and your top priorities.
2. Remind Yourself of Past Wins
You may not have figured this exact situation out yet, but you have figured out a lot of things in your career up until this point. Advancement opportunities. Interviews. Full-on job searches. Heck, maybe even a career change. You’ve done this before. I’m in your corner, reminding you that you can figure this out, too.
Tiny Action: Add a page to that journal or get out some more post-its. Write your past wins down. Seriously. Post those puppies all over. Remind yourself of how you've previously overcome adversity in your career.
3. Reach Out for Support
It can be tough in trying times to remember, but you don’t have to figure your career uncertainty out all on your own. Often, getting that fresh perspective and an unbiased opinion can unlock your next step. Asking for help can feel uncomfortable. And vulnerable. And scary. But it also creates an opportunity for connection. A connection that everyone really needs right now and a chance for someone to help.
Tiny Action: Send one email. Call one person. Send one LinkedIn connection request today. One is something that can lead to something more.
4. Reconnect to What You Need Right Now
Amid so much change, we’re bumping up against overwhelm all the time. And when you feel like you have to figure it all out right now, doing anything can be daunting. In these instances, taking a pause and asking yourself what you need right now in this exact moment can reconnect you to your power and the present.
Tiny Action: The next time you feel the waves of career uncertainty rising over you, try pausing for even sixty seconds. Tuning into your breath, check in with yourself and ask what you need right now. Honor that answer and move from that place.
5. Define What It Will Look Like
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of visualization. And why? Because it works. While you may not know how it will all unfold right now, even having clarity around one piece of the puzzle matters. But let yourself dream, even now. Because no matter the external circumstance, you are a powerful co-creator. And having a vision gives you direction. And with direction, you’re taking action.
Tiny Action: Give it a go: what is one thing that you want to call in for this new chapter? How does it feel, and how does it look? Write it down, speak it, and act upon it.
My goal with this post wasn’t to be all sunshine-and-roses when times definitely aren’t the norm. But I want to remind you that you do have a choice even in uncertainty and that there are things you can control. Small steps that you can take to that support you now and in the long-term in your career and life. I want this post to reaffirm your strength, grit, and ability to persevere. Tiny action by tiny action, you are doing what you can in times of career uncertainty.