The COVID-19 pandemic has, to put it mildly, utterly challenged how we understand ourselves, as communities, as family units, and at work. Lockdowns and social distancing have pushed lots of us to reevaluate our career goals, which can upend everything from where we want to work to what we want to do. With a new year just around the corner, there's no time like the present to give yourself a launchpad for a new direction, no matter how much or how little you actually change.
CNBC's Courtney Connley advises anyone considering a career switch to pay special attention to their professional brand. That means both revamping your online presence (resume, portfolio website, social media, LinkedIn, etc.) and researching what's working for other people in your desired career direction. Pay special attention to keywords, or phrases that sum up a person's accomplishments, skills, and goals particularly well. Paint a compelling narrative if you're transferring skills to a new kind of role, and remember that authenticity attracts attention — which can be faked if need be.
Some of these tips aren't necessarily so labor-intensive. For instance, it's always a good idea to keep a good, current headshot on file. Most importantly, however, you'll want to lean on your network for leads and opportunities. This is a low-maintenance but ongoing task, keeping up relationships and providing value to your connections. It's true that 2021 isn't magically going to wipe away everything that made 2020 frustrating, but you've got all kinds of tools on your side to give it a leg up.