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2022 is just around the corner

Be anything and be prepared
Blog 65

If there’s anything that COVID-19 continues to teach us, it’s that what was, no longer is. Some of us feel exhausted as we struggle to balance our home life with work life, and we look ahead with bleary eyes for some brief glimmer of life as we knew it. It’s time to let that idea go. The opportunity is now, and for those who are thriving it’s time to up the ante.

Coaches once observed a very normal cycle when it came to people’s energy and career focus, and the years generally looked like this:

  • We run hard into June, which is the end of the financial year for many organisations.
  • By August we’re in full swing as the new financial year and strategies are embraced.
  • As October hits we start to get tired.
  • November offers glimpses of the home stretch of Christmas holidays.
  • Throughout the festive season and into early January, those of us who dislike our jobs or have outgrown them finally have the time and space to consider the question: what else? We start to connect with our network.
  • In February and March there’s a shift in the job market.
  • By April, wherever people are, they tend to settle in preparation for the annual cycle to start again.

That cycle is no longer valid: it’s over. It’s time to refuel and refocus, if you can manage it.

What we once thought about the freelance market, that it’s small or just for creatives, is long gone. The shift into the ‘gig’ economy is significant. If you can believe it, the value of freelance work in the US is currently close to a trillion dollars. Quoted in the sixth annual ‘Freelancing in America’ study: The 57 million Americans who freelanced this year represent 35% of the U.S. workforce and an increase of 4 million freelancers since 2014.

The study also reveals 77% of freelancers say technology has made it easier to find work. Jon Younger, a specialist who writes and speaks widely about the freelance revolution and the future workforce, wrote an article in December 2020 about the trends he foresees for the next twelve months. It’s an astounding read. He estimated that freelance platforms number between 800 and 1000 around the world with more appearing each week.

If you’re still feeling unconvinced, listen to this TedxTalk, ‘The Future is Freelancing,’ by Laura Briggs. You’ll get a better feel for the potential of the market and how to go about moving forward.

We know from our experience with coaching clients that many people who were getting ready to make a move just prior to COVID’s impact chose to remain where they were, either out of a sense of responsibility or a desire for job security.

Now, however, with the roll-out of vaccines, global industry continues to grow on a larger scale than ever before. If you think you want to be somewhere else in twelve months’ time, then you need to start your launch plan now. Don’t wait until you’re bored or have no respect for your boss.

Here are some ideas to put into action:

  • Make two calls per week to connect with people who you can advocate for you, share knowledge, and connect you. Building your network is essential.
  • Get really clear about what you want your career path to look like in the next one, three, and five years.
  • Update your CV. We don’t mean the boring three-pager. Write a unique positioning statement about who you are and what you do.
  • Update and upskill. Get reading, talking, and listening so you are current and knowledgeable. Increase your value proposition.

Did you miss our Masterclass with the brilliant Andrea Clarke? Take the time to listen as she shares her best insights, research, and tips for a future-proofed career. In her book 'Future Fit: How to Stay Relevant and Competitive in the Future of Work’, Clarke encourages us to master eight specific human skills to differentiate ourselves, insisting that ‘talent is just as important as technology.’

We know lots of people are feeling COVID and zoom-fatigued, but this is not the time to sit back: it’s the time to say yes to 2022.

- The Coach Place team.

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