Planning for 2021? Ten Top Tips for Getting it Right! (part 2)


Post By: Kristy Grant-Hart, Chief Executive Officer at Spark Compliance Consulting

January 1, 2020 felt like any other New Year’s Day.  We already know that January 1, 2021 will not feel like any other New Year’s Day.  Likewise, your planning for 2020 was probably normal, but planning for 2021 will not be.

In part 1 of this article, we explored six ways to get your program planning right for 2021.  In this part, we’ll discuss three ways to keep your career on track in 2021.

No. 7: Keep up Your Networking

The sad truth is that not all businesses will make it through the pandemic.  Whether or not you believe your company is in danger, make 2021 the year that you up your game when it comes to networking.  Counter-intuitively, it may be easier to network while working from home. It isn’t always possible to make time for lunches and coffees when heavy workdays and long commutes suck up time.  Now that most people are at home and looking for a distraction, Teams calls where you catch up with someone in your network may be appealing.

Make a plan for networking this year.  Commit to catching up with one person you know each month, and meeting at least one new person as well.  By the end of the year, you’ll have increased and strengthened your network.  You must build your network before you need it.  Build it now so that if you have to rely on it in a hurry, you’re able to do so.

No. 8: Keep Up Your Skills and Learning

It always pays to plan ahead, just in case a new job opens up or yours is eliminated.  Take the time to keep your skills up-to-date by attending virtual conferences, earning new certifications, taking online classes, and attending webinars.  The legal and regulatory landscape is changing all the time.  By keeping up-to-date now and increasing your knowledge, you’ll be in a great position if you need to move out or want to move up.

No. 9: Plan in Advance for Re-entry Issues

As parts of the world reopen and some people come back to work, there may be pressure to remove safety measures.  If some people are vaccinated and others aren’t, it may be necessary to continue to require masks and social distancing.  This may get difficult towards the end of 2021 if those that are immune want to stop practicing the measures that others need to help keep them safe.  Work with Human Resources and other aligned functions to plan for the re-entry into offices, or how safety measures will be enforced or removed from manufacturing facilities, retail stores, or the shop floor. By having a plan, you can communicate it so people know what to expect, which will make them more likely to accept it.

No. 10:  Remember that 2022 will Arrive

It feels like the stress of 2020 will be with us forever.  All pandemics come to an end, whether it’s the plague of the Middle Ages, the cholera epidemic of the Victorian era, or the Spanish Flu of 1918.  This too will pass, and when it does, things will pick up and the world will emerge from its rest.  Try to enjoy this time, both in your work and your personal life.  2022 will arrive, and while there is no guarantee that it will be “normal” by then, it should be more open.