By Angela Copeland
The New Year is finally here. We’ve been waiting for 2021 since Friday, March 13, 2020. That was the day that it became apparent that a pandemic was going to be a big part of 2020. Since then, we’ve felt that if we can just hang on until January, things will go back to normal.
Although I hope this is the case, we have to prepare ourselves to move forward either way. It will take time to vaccinate everyone. In the meantime, many companies have already announced that remote work will continue through the fall. This is a huge bummer for some people, and a relief for others.
Whatever your perception is of this possible outcome, it’s best to prepare for anything. And, whatever happens, your life and career must continue to move forward.
By now, working from home has started to be routine for most people. If possible, it may be time to look for ways to put in a little extra effort. I, for one, may look to upgrade from the hoodie and sweats that have become my uniform.
And it’s also the time to begin to think about your normal career goals. Did you know that many of the educational conferences you once attended in person are now online — and they are less expensive? This opens up options in terms of continuing education and there’s a good chance your company budget for training won’t be tapped out.
If you’ve thought of looking for a new job, this is a great time to begin. Think of this way. Many companies are still hiring. But they are now conducting interviews online. This means that you won’t have to fly around the company to interview and you won’t have to sneak out of work.
Plus, if you land an offer, your new company is more likely to offer you a permanently remote position than they were in the past. This year, I heard from job seekers who looked outside of their metro area. They applied to jobs that were in other cities and were not listed as remote, but companies considered them anyway! And they didn’t expect the new employees to move. That opens up a lot of options. If your city is slim on job choices, the option to apply in other cities could be an upside.
You may want to also brace yourself for a new possible reality. Even if everything goes back to normal, and even you decide to stay at your current company, you may remain remote. You heard that right. A surprising number of companies have gotten used to remote work. They’ve found that it’s better for their employees and cheaper for the company. Even after the pandemic is over, they will continue to allow employees to work from anywhere.
2021 brings with it many options, and many dreams for a brighter future. Hang in there. We’re in this together!
Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.