3 Career Skills For WHEN 2021 Comes 

3 Career Skills For WHEN 2021 Comes 

The new year is upon us and I can’t remember a time when there has been so much anticipation to wrap up one year and start another. It’s abundantly clear that 2020 will be a year that we talk about and a topic our children and their children will ask us about well into the future.

This year has proven challenging for virtually every person on the planet to varying degrees. The global pandemic and economic downturn have impacted people physically, socially, psychologically, and financially. As a career development professional, I have certainly seen all of the above.

In working with people daily on their career goals, it’s important to find a delicate balance of attending to present moment concerns while also giving the future the respect it warrants.

Envisioning a future with optimism can be challenging for many job seekers who have been displaced by the effects of the pandemic. Yet, as the eternal optimist, I strive to help others minimize the uncertainty of “if,” and turn it into the power of WHEN. I truly enjoy the process of enabling people to see the possibilities of what they can do and help them harness their inner power.

I’ve realized along the way that achieving career success comes from many things including natural talent, resourcefulness, motivation, resilience, and support just to name a few. Achieving success in 2021 and beyond will now require a slightly new and updated package of factors which include these three critical skills:

Solution-Focused Thinking 

If 2020 has pointed out one glaring truth, it’s that there are no shortage of problems that exist in the world. Over the course of the past year we have seen incredible breakdowns in healthcare, politics, social justice, police reform, climate change, and the list goes on and on. Success in the years to come will be fruitful to those who are proactive and think ahead.

For those looking to enter into this turbulent job market or those looking to take the next step in their careers, it requires the ability to use solution-focused thinking. This is essentially taking a personal ownership of a challenge and thinking proactively about how you would meet it. In terms of your career, this could take the form of researching one specific pain point for a company and developing an innovative approach to meet that challenge. Whether it’s the best approach is less of a concern. Demonstrating to a potential employer that you care about its areas of frustration, you’re utilizing your own unique set of skills to create a solution, and you’re being proactive – which can showcase your great fit into the culture of the organization.


Gone are the days of predictable shifts and exclusively on-site work. The pandemic has forced organizations to move to virtual operations to various extents, and in the process, realized that business can continue to move forward and efficiency could still take place. As the number of COVID-19 cases drop in 2021 with the introduction of a new vaccine, companies all over the world will have to begin weathering the rough waters of establishing what the new normal will be.

Adaptability is being able to stay flexible to the ever-evolving landscape of the job market and the changes that are occurring. For those seeking a job it means learning the various technologies that companies are using to onboard, while being accommodating to their concerns as they cope with change. Current professionals will be best served by showcasing their ability to embrace change rather than resisting it. They can collaborate with their teams to find ways to integrate necessary change while not losing sight of the mission and values of their company.

Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is, essentially, the capacity to see a learning opportunity in anything you do. Research into neuroplasticity has shown how connectivity between neurons can change with practice and new experience. These discoveries have shown us that we can increase our neural growth by the actions we take, such as using good strategies, asking questions and practicing positive habits. This means that keeping an open mind and an inquisitive perspective will prevent stagnation in your life and your career.

For those looking to enter into a turbulent job market, they will be confronted with the necessity to keep a growth mindset uppermost in 2021. This means that job seekers can’t afford to stop learning effective ways to network, build a personal brand, and find ways to connect with recruiters. Additionally, they have to welcome constructive criticism and be willing to learn from their missteps through trial and error. For professionals looking to advance it means taking more calculated risks in various projects to learn and find alternate and possibly better ways of doing your job.

Looking Ahead

Looking to the year ahead, it’s imperative to remain agile and versatile in both learning and application. The future will be challenging. Both individuals and the companies they serve will be establishing new identities – and the ability to never stop learning and expecting excellence from yourself will be critical elements of future success.

Brad Minton

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