By Yasmina Khelifi, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA, PMP
Since the start of the pandemic, changes in our ways of working, our ways of interacting, and with new technologies have accelerated. It's hard to keep up, and sometimes you plan to upskill—but you can’t find the time. Keep these three things in mind as you navigate our new normal:
1. Talk with people
In addition, you can expand your network easily by reaching out and connecting with people after you take part in webinars or face-to-face events, or when you listen to a podcast you liked.
I also like to schedule informational interviews with people. The aim is to gather information about an industry, a role, and how people have gotten there. The aim is not to ask for a job or to send your CV. The interviewee must be open and share as much as they can. If you are the interviewee, don't expect the interviewer to ask you questions about what they don't know. Describe what you do, the diplomas or certifications in the field, and remove the local jargon.
You may think "people are too busy" to do this, but you'd be surprised by the number of helpful responses you get. After each informational interview, write down what you learned, and where you need to learn more; along with what you did and didn’t like about what you heard.
2. Be kind to yourself
So be kind to yourself and find a supportive network of friends so you can formulate the different steps and what you learned in the process.
I remember a colleague I talked with many years ago who wanted to change jobs. I met him a few months ago, and he told me with a shameful face, "After all of that, I didn't change." And that is okay. If the end result is no change, there is no shame because at least you took the time to explore new paths. You learned about yourself during the process, and you met new people.
Don’t compare yourself with others. That’s easier said than done, but remember that we all have different paths.
3. Go to a professional for help
If you’re becoming too anxious or overwhelmed, or if you feel lost, seek professional help to get guidance to make sense of what you feel and want.
What other things do you recommend to help define your next career step as a project leader?