Short-term issues can require us to temporarily change course: If you’ve lost your job, you urgently need income. If in-person schooling isn’t available, someone has to stay home and supervise virtual learning. If you’re the primary caregiver to a family member, you need to secure flexibility for responsibilities at home. Prioritizing these short-term concerns over long-term goals, while painful, may be necessary right now. But a temporary detour from your professional path doesn’t mean you have to put aside your ambitions. You can regain control over your career arc with these strategies:
- Reframe the situation. Even if you’re not advancing toward your professional aspirations right now, you’re still making a difference and providing value in other areas of your life.
- Push back against standard options. The WFH boom has led many organizations to provide more flexible work arrangements. Express what you want; most offers can be negotiated.
- Allocate small amounts of time toward your goals. It may not seem significant to spend three minutes sending a networking email or reading a few articles on a topic you’re interested in. But these little investments add up.