Project Management

4 Career Tips for the Coronavirus Era

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Categories: Careers, Disruption

By Emily Luijbregts

We are facing uncertain times. The “External Shock” that COVID-19 has brought to economies around the world was something that few of us could’ve predicted—deserted highways, closed schools and businesses, and an instantaneous demand to work remotely. Within the first quarter of 2020, workforces were furloughed and organizations struggled to adapt to the new world.

As project managers, we have not remained immune to this. Our projects have been cancelled, postponed or delayed. We have had severe issues with supply chains, team management and connectivity. And the uncertainty which faces us, not only for the next quarter but for the remainder of the year, has made us look tentatively towards future prospects and the ability of our organizations to survive.

If you are finding yourself furloughed or in a precarious position within your organization, you may already be asking yourself: What can I do to become more adaptable to change? How can I make myself indispensable within my team and organization? And more realistically: What can I do to make sure that I can land another job as quickly as possible?

Here are a few career tips to set yourself up for the future:

  1. Update your profiles

First things first: When was the last time you updated all of your professional profiles? I’m not just talking about LinkedIn, but also PMI and, PMTribe and others. Are you showing off all your skills, and are your job descriptions and goals concise?

It can also be helpful to analyze if your skillset is still relevant to the job that you’re looking for. This can be especially enlightening if you are working in a remote environment and can now promote your ability to manage virtual teams.

I try to update my own profile every quarter or every six months, depending on the amount of change that has happened in the previous period.

  1. Continue learning

Like many of you, I’ve been forced to spend a considerable amount of time indoors in the last few weeks, and I’ve been trying to figure out the best use of my time without binge-watching another series on Netflix. One thing that I often try to reflect on are my strengths and weaknesses. What do I need to improve, and where do I excel? Then, I try to look at what I can do to turn my weaknesses into strengths in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

If you’ve been furloughed, your company may have provided you with a learning program to boost your skills during this period. But if, like many project managers, you’ve been let go without support, there are a few free options that can support your learning journey.

For example, PMI offers free courses to anyone who is interested in project management. This is a great way to learn more about project management and refresh your existing skillset:

  1. Network … virtually

Have you already joined your local PMI chapter? Have you tried networking on I am a strong advocate for online networking, and I’ve been trying to connect with other project managers on LinkedIn and to support them during this time with coaching or access to job prospects.

Networking is not just about searching for your next job. It’s about utilizing and building relationships with your peers that can stand the test of time. During the first month of virtual working, I scheduled and held virtual coffees with peers and team members, and also planned regular catch-ups with colleagues to make sure that we could stay virtually connected and supported during this uncertain time.

  1. Connect with recruiters

Recruiters are also feeling the pinch of the economic downturn. I have several recruiters in my network who are very nervous about the remainder of the year and what it will mean for companies and their ability to provide suitable candidates. If you do not have a few trusted recruiters in your network, consider sending an updated CV or résumé to professional recruiters who might be able to help if a viable opportunity presents itself.

We all know that life will be dramatically different for many of us once this pandemic is over. Not only with respect to our careers, but within our personal lives. I hope that whatever happens in the coming year, we all come out of this crisis with our health and good humor intact. The project management community is known for its close-knit and supportive atmosphere, and I hope that in a “Life after Corona,” it will continue to be so.

Share in the comments below: What career tips would you give other project managers during this time?


Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: April 11, 2020 02:16 PM | Permalink

Comments (21)

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Really fresh read to myself Emily, Thank You

Great suggestions. Thank you Emily !


I posted something similar on my LinkedIn recently. Those are my tips:

Professional Development: Reputable organizations are currently offering online courses for free or at a discounted price (e.g. PMI).

Certifications: Pursue some certifications relevant to your line of business. Most organizations are offering self-paced online proctored exams.

LinkedIn Profile and Resume: Refine and update both. Things might change post the pandemic.

Networking: Virtual Networking and Building Genuine Relationships can help you grow in many ways.

Self-Reflection: Reflect on your current job and reevaluate your goals.



Thanks for sharing, very interesting article.

It's very helpful specially during this difficulty time world wide

LinkedIn Learning offers many great courses of various lengths and abilities for free through your local library account. Check it out. For some, you can even earn PMI PDUs.

Very interesting!

Thank you for sharing these tips!
Being new to the community, and rather an introvert personally, networking seems to the biggest challenge for me.

thank you dear Emily for your nice information.
I am a certified PMP with more than 10 years of experience in project engineering and management.
however 2 months ago I traveled to Netherlands hope to find a good opportunity to grow more my talents in my career path but none of the employers did not respond correctly to my applications and show that my experiences or capabilities are not enough to get their proposed jobs.
I will not finish my trying and will continue the way but want to ask that a PM need what more than a PMP and 10 years of experiences to be trusted?

Thank you Emily. Nowadays this is a really important topic.
Greetings from Perú

Emily, thanks! These tips are really significant and I have just realized that they are absolutely applicable for any time for building your career.))

Useful.Thanks for sharing!

Practical advice is always a plus. Thanks for adding in the links to resources, very helpful. Appreciate your contribution, Emily!

Thank you. Very good article

Thanks, Emily. I couldn't agree more. I think to update personal profile is not only providing updated data, but also a retrospective in which improvements could be identified.

Thanks Emily - the spirit of your article is very kind in deed.

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