The word “unprecedented” has never been so well used as in this period of COVID-19. Each and everyone of us has felt the effects of the pandemic, and the outcomes of the fallout are yet to be fully realised.
In these turbulent times, we are seeking to be reassured and to find answers to our many questions. Questions surrounding our careers and how we can thrive in the post COVID-19 world both personally and professionally.
There is a definite sense of being betwixt and between. In anthropological terms, this is referred to as “liminal space”. There is a feeling of discomfort in liminality, somehow feeling stuck between two states, that of a clearly gone past and a future which hitherto remains uncertain. It is a space in which we can find ourselves oscillating between holding onto old habits and ideas, then followed by the confronting prospect of “letting go”. As hard as it may be to accept, the concept of liminality is a necessary part of the journey to the new.
The question is how do we use the liminal space to our advantage?
Leverage the Liminal
It would be obvious to point out that the state of limbo that we find ourselves in will be somewhat prolonged. It comes with inherent frustrations but also tremendous opportunities to reinvent ourselves. So herein lies the challenge: How do we go about reinventing ourselves? No crystal ball is there to guide us but by being proactive in researching new trends in employment and how to “plug the gaps” in learning are important initial steps, on the pathway to new opportunities. It takes courage, tenacity and ability to embrace both change and uncertainty. Again, this is the liminal space which tests our resolve and seeks to move us forward.
Businesses and organisations alike have had numerous obstacles placed before them. Training providers have had to think long and hard about numerous aspects of their business models, in particular the delivery of courses and how best to support their students to ensure the continuity in their studies. Similarly, organisations have also had to become more agile and think outside the proverbial box by rethinking service delivery as well as how to embrace learning and the development of their staff to be able to survive, and then thrive post-pandemic.
Learn, Grow, Develop
The challenge of 2020 and beyond is to develop a learning culture which readily supports new skills development. This is where the value of online learning resources and continuation of education are crucial to success and the ongoing career development of each person in an organisation. Upskilling and reskilling have become so vital for organisations and for individuals.
Some sectors of our economy have been hit extremely hard and many have had their livelihoods disappear overnight. How do we choose a new career pathway wisely? Seeking career guidance, timely advice on learning strategies and meaningful course selection are smart, strategic start. Harvard Business Review’s timely and highly relevant article “Reinventing Your Career in the Time of Coronavirus” is an inspiring read.
Contemplating what’s next? Soldier On’s Pathways Team can help
Soldier On is well placed to assist in your career pathway, reinvention and upskilling needs. Soldier On’s Corporate and Education partners are ready to work with our participants to find solutions to career transitions. We also have our digital Connect Hub to keep you informed and socially connected even if you find yourself in lockdown. We recognise this is a tough time for everyone and you can also reach out for support on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a veteran or family member squarely in the “liminal space”, seeking a new direction for your future career, or would like to find out more about how we can help you with your education aspirations, please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com
Written by Michelle, Soldier On Pathways Team.