8 Steps to Protect Your Career During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Video and Podcast)

8 min read
8 Steps to Protect Your Career During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Video and Podcast)

Changing jobs or industries during this pandemic is not only possible, but might be critically important for achieving your career potential. Use the best decision-making steps so that you and your career can thrive, not just survive. That’s the key take-away message of this episode of the Wise Decision Maker Show, which describes the 8 steps to protect your career during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video: “8 Steps to Protect Your Career During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Podcast: “8 Steps to Protect Your Career During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Links Mentioned in Videocast and Podcast

  • Here’s the article on the 8 Steps to Protect Your Career During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The book Resilience: Adapt and Plan for the New Abnormal of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic is available here
  • You are welcome to register for the free Wise Decision Maker Course 


Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the wise decision maker guide, where we help you make the wisest and most profitable decisions. Today, we’ll talk about how you can protect your career during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, focusing on the eight critical steps that you need to take to make the wisest decisions in the context of the pandemic. And by the way, these decision making strategies apply to all sorts of decisions in the pandemic or not. But today we’ll be talking specifically focusing on how you can apply them to your career in the pandemic. So, the eight steps to protect your career, you want to identify the need for a decision making process. Then gather information from a variety of diverse perspectives, set specific and clear goals for your career. Develop clear decision making criteria for your career, then generate viable options for your career. then evaluate options that you generated, pick the best of the bunch. Next, implement the option you chose. And finally, evaluate the implementation and revise it as needed. Let’s go through them step by step. First, you want to identify the need for a decision making process, especially when there’s no explicit problem. Now, a lot of people, for example, in the pandemic are not worrying too much about their careers, even though they should be because they think the pandemic will be over pretty soon. And they’re being kind of foolish about this. Unfortunately, the pandemic will be going on until we develop an effective vaccine and get people widely vaccinated. In the most optimistic scenario, that will not be until 2022, that is incredibly optimistic, it’s very unlikely to be early 2022, beginning of 22, most likely, it’ll be sometime closer to 23, or 24. So you really need to be thinking about your career in the next several years. With the pandemic in mind, most people are not. So you want to identify this. And that’s very uncomfortable for our instincts to accept this information. So this is especially important to think about the need to make this tough decision, challenging decision when your instincts are going against it when it’s uncomfortable for you. So you want to recognize the need to make a decision before it becomes an emergency. And that’s what Alex did. So Alex was the CEO of a chain of Midwestern restaurants, 24 Midwestern restaurants, cool pretty early in the pandemic times her executive coach. So we talked about the situation in the pandemic, she realized that the restaurants will not be doing well in this pandemic. So she realized that, you know, this was a tough time, a tough moment for her. But she realized that she needs to find a new job, because her current position will not do well. So that was the decision that she made. So identify the need for a decision. Now next step, you want to gather information from a variety of diverse perspective, different people, you want to place especially higher value on people with whom you disagree, who don’t fit your personality, because it’s very intuitive for us to put too much value on opinions with which we hold on to agree and weigh that information more heavily. And therefore we make bad decisions. So you want to place twice as much value on the perspective of those people with whom you disagree. They help you to recognize potential bias blind spots. So that’s really important. So with Alex, she talked to a whole variety of people in her contact network. And I especially encourage her to and people who were in her current contact network in the restaurant industry, people who are generally in the food service industry of all sorts, I especially encouraged her to talk to executives, who have successfully made the switch to a different industry from one to another. And those who have tried but didn’t succeed. So those were hard stories for Alex to hear. But it was really important for her to hear those stories to know the kind of mistakes that people make. I also encourage her to talk to her accountant and think about the financial implications. She’s the main breadwinner for her family, and her husband takes care of the kids at home. So that was an important consideration as well. So that was somewhat hard for her to deal with. But she dealt with it, she got the information that she needed. Next, set specific and clear goals. So you want to be very clear on your vision of the future. What do you want your future to be like, especially when you want to recognize when a seemingly one time decision is actually a consequence of a systematic issue is the systematic process. So you want to make addressing these root problems, the consequence the thing that you want out of this clear vision. So what Alex did was paint a clear vision of her desired outcome. And one of the things that’s been bugging her for a while in her current position as the CEO is that the restaurant where she worked, the chain where she worked, didn’t really like it. She was pretty creative, innovative, but they didn’t really like that. So she wanted to address this kind of systemic underlying issue of what she was doing. She also wanted, of course, to protect her financial security and safety, she wanted to make sure that even if she got less money, you know, we agreed that she has to get at least 75% of her previous position in this new industry. So that was another consideration. And just in general, she wanted stability for herself, she wanted a position that would be stable, an industry that would be stable. So that was something that she was really looking toward, then we’ll develop clear decision making criteria. So here, it’s critical to think about the criteria that will inform your decision. And you’ll use these criteria to weigh the options that you choose, then you want to rank the importance of each criteria on a scale of one to 10. So for example, with Alex, we talked about things like safety in this new industry, we talked about the opportunities for innovation in the steel industry. We talked about, of course, our financial remuneration, and we evaluated them with each of these criteria on a scale of one to 10, depending on how important they were to ours. So that’s the fourth step, then fifth step, generate viable options. I can’t stress this enough, when I see executives get things wrong. And just in general, professionals get things wrong, this is the biggest issue, they settle for the first available option. This is not good, you don’t want to settle for the first available option, if you want to really make the best choice available. And this is a major decision, it’s a serious decision, you want at least five viable options. So Alex was thinking about, hey, her main choice of she was talking to people was going into the food delivery industry. That was what she was thinking about. So she was really kind of, you know, orienting toward this. But I strongly encouraged her to think about at least five viable options. And of course, one of those options was staying in her current industry. Another was in grocery stores. Another one was in food processing, and food preparation, and so on. So thinking about a number of viable options, you want at least five viable options that you think would work for you. So five viable options, then evaluate these options and pick the best of the bunch using the criteria you already developed. So you already had this as the six steps in the fourth step, you develop criteria. Fifth step, you developed options. And now you want to rearrange each of the options on each of the criteria, and then multiply the rankings By the way, you’re assigned by the weight that you’re assigned to each criteria. That way, you’ll get a clear numerical score of what you want. You want to be aware of going with your initial preferences, I strongly encourage this, when assigning grants, you really want to look at your initial preferences in a harsh light. So when going through this process, Alex was initially still predisposed toward the food delivery industry. But what she recognized as she was going through this was that this was not going to be nearly as secure and safe as she wanted. And also that it would not be an easy transition. So that was another criteria that I didn’t mention. So she wanted to transition, the ease of the transition was considered, it would be an easy transition to that industry. But her ability to have a secure lifestyle with an industry, it’s not that secure. So that was a problem. And the payment, the salary that she would get as an executive in that industry. We were worried about it, she was worried that it would be hard for her to get at her base level of at least 75% of what she was making before with a significant opportunity for career growth. What we found was at the grocery industry, the grocery store industry was the best option for her after ranking all the criteria, the transition would be somewhat harder from her current position in the as the CEO of the Midwestern restaurant chain into the grocery store industry. But she had some favorable benefits from her current experience. However, the crucial thing was there’s it will be very stable, certainly in the pandemic grocery stores are doing quite well. And they will continue to do well we figured. And also it was going to be something that was remunerative because they were doing but if you will, they were hiring a number of people, including executives, so that there was an opportunity for her to do well financially, and then proceed up the chain of command. So growing in her career there. So that was an extra. Now, then you want to associate, choose the grocery store industry, then you want to evaluate, implement the option and you chose so that’s the next step. The seventh step is implementation as part of the decision making process. You want to imagine that the decision completely failed and evaluate why it failed. That’s a crucial step. So evaluate why it failed. And then you know, you want to do Same thing for success. But let’s talk about failure. First, imagine the decision completely failed, brainstorm what problems might have led to this failure. So think about what problems might have led to the failure that you’re talking about. Consider how you might solve these problems that’s really important. So problem solving. It’s not only about the failures, this is about solutions, that’s what is spent to get you. So pro boom. So brainstorm, problem solving, and then integrate the solutions into your implementation plan. So one of the things that Alex and I talked about was that one of her failure modes was that she didn’t have strong network connections in this industry. So she took the time to develop network connections in the industry in the grocery store industry before trying to shift into it. So that was really important for her. So that was one problem that we identified early onwards, and were able to solve because she was able to get her existing contacts. So for example, with food suppliers, they have food suppliers to the restaurant, who are also food suppliers to the grocery stores. And they were able, Alex was able to use her network with her suppliers to get introductions to grocery stores, new contact networks, so that was really good, then do the same thing for success. Imagine the decision completely succeeded and was wonderfully successful. brainstorm all the reasons for why it succeeded. And consider how you can bring these reasons into life. So this is great, this is helpful, as optimistic, brainstorm that and integrate them into the plan. So we identified a number of skills and strengths that Alex would bring to her position. So reasons for success, what we found was that Alex had really strong skills in customer service. So that was really important that she has strong skills and customer service. And she had strong skills in, of course, prepared food, as the CEO of the, as the CEO of a chain of networks, that in restaurants, and serving this food, as well as delivering food. So delivering prepared food was a major strength for her. So that was great. So we identified some opportunities for how that can be a unique selling point that she makes us she’s applying to the grocery store industry. And then evaluate the implementation. So evaluate how the implementation is going and revise it as needed. That’s the next step, you want to develop clear metrics of success, check in regularly to make sure that you’re meeting these metrics. And if not revised implementation is needed, you might even find the original decision might need to be changed, and that’s totally fine. So with Alex, she was able to use her background skills and her network to find a job in a major chain of grocery stores in the position of senior vice president of prepared foods. Now, let’s be honest, that’s not nearly as high a position as the CEO. So she knew, she realized that she would have to take some steps down in order to move up into a new industry. So it was kind of a couple of steps down, it’s not the most powerful position, it’s not the most powerful VP position to be VP of prepared foods. In fact, this quest kind of a new position, that grocery store was creating because of so much prepared foods that they were being previously it was a prepared foods was part of another VPS, or all senior VPS roles. So now they created a new position just because of how much prepared food was being demanded during the pandemic. So there was a large increase in this prepared food. And they decided that, hey, we have this person who’s applying for this position, we have a good fit for her. So we’ll create this position for her. So that was good for her. And so she was able to transition to this role. And she got 85% of her previous salary, which was definitely above what we wanted to accomplish the minimum that we wanted to accomplish. So that was good. And it was a stable industry with a lot of growth opportunities. So one of the things that we talked about with her evaluations of how our success was how well she’s doing in networking in this industry, and especially, of course, the company that hired her. So we set a baseline of a number of networking meetings a month that she would continue to do, and also develop mentorship relationships. So getting mentoring from people who are seniors, people in the company shoot to develop those mentor relationships, and that was very important. So this is the technique that I want to share the eight steps to protect your career in the pandemic. This is an incredibly important technique, and it will definitely be effective for you. If you follow the steps thoroughly. I think you’ll succeed just like Alex succeeded whether you decide to stay in your current position, whether you decide to switch jobs within your industry or whether you decide to switch industries. Alright, so I hope this episode of the wise decision maker guide has been helpful for you for making the wisest and most profitable decision The blog on this topic has a lot more information, including specifically how to go for the numbers of how to go through all the steps and much more information on what Alex did. And with citations. Of course, they can check that out in the show notes, please do that. Please make sure to subscribe to the show on whatever platform you’d like to listen to it, you’d like to check it out. Like to watch it. Please subscribe to that platform. And of course, we do have translated this show in both audio and video formats. You want to if you think that this show might be helpful to some folks, please share it on your social media and by email by individual email, send it to people to whom it might be helpful, who might be thinking about their career and the context of the pandemic. This is, of course, a very important and serious issue. So please share it with them. To learn much more about this topic in general, more broadly about decision making. Check out my book, never go with your gut how pioneering leaders make the best decisions and avoid business disasters. And of course, it’s linked in the show notes. And specifically in the context of the pandemic. How do you make decisions? How do you survive and thrive? My book, resilience, adapt and plan for the new normal of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, also linked in the show notes. For a great free resource check out the wise decision maker course. It’s going to be a free course of eight video based modules on making the wisest decisions. Check it out. Again. It’s in the show notes. All right. So that’s all I want to share with you and I hope this episode has been helpful for you, as always the wisest and most profitable decisions to you, my friends. 

Note: this transcript was automatically transcribed by https://otter.ai 

Bio: An internationally-recognized thought leader known as the Disaster Avoidance Expert, Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is on a mission to protect leaders from dangerous judgment errors known as cognitive biases by developing the most effective decision-making strategies. A best-selling author, he is best known for Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019), The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships (New Harbinger, 2020), and Resilience: Adapt and Plan for the New Abnormal of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic (Changemakers Books, 2020). He published over 550 articles and gave more than 450 interviews to prominent venues such as Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, CBS News, Time, Business Insider, Government Executive, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Fast Company, and elsewhere. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training as the CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts. It also stems from over 15 years in academia as a behavioral economist and cognitive neuroscientist. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, LinkedIn, and register for his free Wise Decision Maker Course.