Professional advice in the COVID age

How do you keep your career goals on track remotely?

We’ve heard lots of professional advice over the years. We know that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger and that in the midst of every crisis, there is opportunity. The pandemic, however, has changed things. It’s altered perspectives.

“Everything is amplified these days,” says P.K. Agarwal, dean of UCSC Silicon Valley Extension. “There’s a lot of anxiety.”

Jobs have disappeared. Unemployment has skyrocketed. Priorities have shifted. For many people, careers in the remote world may feel stalled.

In a recent online discussion with UC Santa Cruz alumni, Agarwal offered up a few suggestions to help people successfully navigate the professional world in a pandemic.

“The first thing to reflect upon is the spiritual,” he said at the outset.

Below, we’ve linked to a 21-minute excerpt from a recording of presentation, “Emerging from the Job Market Chaos: A More Successful You?” In this final segment of his talk that also covered the economy and future trends, he touches on anxiety and balance, personal branding and managing upwards in a remote world, entrepreneurship, preparing for an automated future, perfectionism, and how to live in the ambiguity of life.

Almost everyone freezes when there’s a big disruption, he says.

“They hunker down and just kind of wait for the storms to go away and things get tidy and real again. But, this is the time to bring your A-game. It doesn’t take a whole lot to bring your A-game because everyone else is frozen.”


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