Like many people during COVID-19 and the isolation of staying in my home bubble, I have watched too many Netflix shows, and re-watched too many old movies. So last week I changed tactics and looked at my dusty bookshelves.
As I dusted off each book and tried to decide to either keep the book or donate it to the Little Free Library or Free Book-Sharing Box down the road from where I live, I came across a classic: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Originally published in 1989, it is a business standard for anyone who seeks insight into how to adapt to change and how to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
Flipping through the pages, I realized that Covey’s wisdom is still relevant in 2020 and his book still bursts with inspirational quotes including:
“The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.”
“The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule,
but to schedule your priorities.”
“You have spent years of your life learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening?”
This third quote is the one that grabbed my attention. During COVID-19 and the reopening of Ontario in 3 stages, it is important that job seekers listen to what is happening to the economy and local workplace. The daily news can sound pessimistic however while waiting for our new normal to begin, there are still many habits to review including the following two.
1. Be proactive
Job seekers can take control of employment preparation by dusting off resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. Success still equals preparation for the opportunity. The summer of 2020 might be the best time to prepare the practical items that are still needed and often neglected. For example, do you have 3 local references? Are you ready for a job interview using a video conferencing platform such as Zoom? Are you prepared for networking online by introducing yourself with a new elevator pitch or 30-second commercial?
2. Begin with the end in mind
A job search should have a clear destination. Covey encourages using imagination to develop a vision of who you want to become. Self-awareness is empowering and once found, you can live your life the way you want instead of based on the standards or preferences of others. It might require some re-scripting which is recognizing the ineffective scripts that have been written for you possibly by your parents, teachers or friends. Try changing those scripts by writing new ones that are built on your own values.
For example, I was encouraged to study music, theatre, literature and performance, and was told that success was defined by an applauding audience. I enjoyed this first career however, I did not want to be an entrepreneur which is what an artist is. After reading Covey’s book, I seized what I wanted which was to be an employee who used creative resourcefulness for an audience that did not applaud with a standing ovation but showed appreciation with written or verbal words of thanks.
It might be time to dust off your classic business books and to use the inspiration of the past to move forward into a new future. If you want to speak with a Career Specialist about how to do this, contact us.
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