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Making the most of Lockdown: 5 steps to the future you

Lockdown is busy, scary, unpredictable and not exactly full of lazy days and basking in the sun, but it has made us stop and think and given us a bit of breathing space to re-assess what we want from life.

One thing is for sure; this time certainly makes you realise that it’s important to grab life with both hands and get the best out of it. Especially when it comes to work and careers.

If you’re having a bit of a life re-think during lockdown, we take a look at how to start planning for the next phase of your life and career, as well as quick hits to turn those thoughts into a reality.

Start with a life plan

As with all good plans, it’s always best to start at the end and work backwards from there. With that in mind, think about where you’d like to be in 3 – 4 years and where you are now. List as many  priorities as you can and then narrow them down to 5 key points.

These priorities should help give you more of a focus, not only on your life in general, but it should also give you a better idea of how you should grow or develop your career. For some people working at a senior level, it may be they realise they want to slow things down a little career-wise, maybe start ramping things up or even change careers completely.

With your life plan in place, you can really start to get a bit more clarity on who or what type of person you want to be.

2. Think about brand you

This is the fun part!

Just like the Beckhams and the Kardashians, you are your own brand (ok, so minus the wealth and A-list lifestyle, but you get the point). Think about how you view your brand and how you would like others to see you.

In really basic terms, how would you like your brand to be perceived by others. If you want to take it further, think about what headlines you’d like to see about you and how you would achieve them.

For example:

  • Are you a business magazine or a lifestyle publication?
  • Are you a luxury brand or mainstream populist?
  • Do you want to be part of a team or stand-out from the crowd?

Thinking this way will help how you position yourself to employers and how you communicate your brand in general. For example, if you’re a luxury brand what words or achievements do you want to showcase to match this ideal.

So, if you’re a consumer specialist that’s looking to move over to a B2B environment, think about the words and terminology that differ in each sector and make sure the language matches the market.

3. Upskill or re-skill

If part of your plan is to become a more high-end brand, but your experience currently doesn’t reflect this message, then adding new skills to your portfolio may help. There are so many great webinars on offer at the moment, it’s a great time to get some new skills under your belt.

4. How’s your CV looking?

If you’ve come to the conclusion that you want a new role, change career direction or want more flexibility in your life – which can only come about from getting a new job – then it’s time to dust-off the CV.

When looking it over, read it from the point of view of an employer and really take an impartial view. What may be a key point or message for you, may not be for a company reading your CV. It’s always important to remember that you literally have seconds to impress with a CV, so every word counts. Be precise, to the point and clear when it comes to career high points.

We have a wealth of resources for career planning, so check them out if you need more information.

5. Get your social sorted

Social media can be a bit of a blessing and a curse. It’s a great way to show friends and family what you’re up to, especially during lockdown, but it’s also a very public forum for employers.

Think about what you’re comfortable with employers viewing and where you’re posting. An informal, fun Instagram update is not going to sit well on LinkedIn, so think about what content goes where. Remember, this all impacts your personal brand.

If you really don’t want your personal ‘fun’ social media accounts on show while you’re job hunting, then you can always set them to private.

LinkedIn, however, is important and it’s highly recommended you give your profile and posts a proper audit before your job search goes live. If it’s been a while since you posted, then it’s worth putting out some new updates to show the account is active.

Make sure you go through old posts and check there isn’t any sensitive information that may cause any concern for a future employer. Make sure you’re happy with who you follow as well. The same goes for Twitter, which can also be more business-facing. Carry out an audit and be very clear to look at who you follow and posts that you ‘Like’.

Now, go get ‘em!

Making the most of your time during lockdown to focus on life planning will give you a head-start when we start to resume the new normal. It will also give you a clearer focus on what you want from your life and careers.

Have fun planning and branding. Now go get ‘em!