Since the start of the pandemic, we have all been forced to make changes - big and small - to adapt to the ever-evolving world of work.
With Covid-19 forcing many of us to transform our dining tables into desk spaces, women have seen their work and home worlds collide. But for some, it’s given them a long-awaited chance to seriously reassess their sense of balance.
Here, we learn why women are standing resilient and using this change of pace to pivot their direction - and how you can do the same.
In a survey of future-focused women from AllBright's community, the statistics truly speak for themselves. Women are showing no signs of slowing down, but are instead preparing to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever, with big plans to match. A huge three quarters of women that took part in our survey are hoping to launch their own venture, while 1 in 4 have already started. On top of this, 61% of women are planning to pivot their path all together; hungry to learn, grow and build the career they want.
But change doesn’t come without putting in the hours, which means if you’re aiming to better your career prospects, it’s time to supercharge your skill set. Our figures found that 2 in 3 of the women surveyed were already championing the idea of broadening their credentials, with the hope that this would give them access to the tools they needed to push forward in a workspace they want.
So, if you’re thinking of doing the same, where should you begin? Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been at hand for women worldwide, thanks to the launch of our online platform, AllBright Digital. With over 300 virtual events added since the start of the pandemic, alongside our bank of over 150 educational and inspiring Academy courses, it’s proved a place to help women begin building the skills they need to thrive through the next stage of their career journey.
And now, in collaboration with FutureLearn, we’ve launched Project You; a four-week course to help you find your ‘why’ and equip you with the power to harness your abilities in order to achieve your long-term goals.
Whether you’re looking to pivot in a brand-new direction or push forward with renewed energy, Project You will help you find your drive and enable you to turn your passion into tangible progress, no matter your goals. From owning your values to discovering your strengths and weaknesses, our four-chapter course will act as a weekly session with your very own career coach, as you’re guided by experts with the help of inspiring case studies and supporting articles.
Of course, the idea of upskilling can feel daunting, especially if you feel there are several areas that you’d like to brush up on or explore. As we discuss in the first chapter of Project You, the key to a successful start is in finding your ‘why’.
Once you’ve established where you want to be or have outlined which areas of improvement could equate to the big break or promotion you’ve been planning, then the focus of your attention will become clearer. Our figures showed that industries such as publishing, health and fitness came top of the list when looking at the most popular sectors that women are hoping to branch into, with beauty, recruitment and finance following close behind.
Anna Jones, Co-Founder of AllBright, explains how this research gives hope for a positive future for our community of smart-minded women. “Women are using the crisis as a catalyst for positive change,” she says. “Many see the challenges that have been caused by Covid as an opportunity to pivot their careers, look at their working life with a fresh perspective and perhaps act on a long-held goal that didn’t seem possible in a pre-pandemic world.”
For years, we’ve been told that finding that elusive ‘balance’ could be the key to success in both our work and personal lives. So perhaps your need to upskill is to enable the opportunity to find equilibrium. Research carried out by campaigning group Pregnant Then Screwed highlighted the inequality in balancing career and home-life commitments for working mums in comparison to their colleagues - a struggle that was notable long before the pandemic.
The group's figures found that since Covid, 57% of respondents believe that managing childcare during the pandemic has hindered their career prospects. When attempting to find balance, 78% of working mums have found it challenging to manage their careers alongside childcare, with 25% of mothers sharing that their employers have shown them no flexibility when trying to maintain both.
With such shockingly high figures, it’s no surprise that women want the chance to explore how they can make their workplace work for them, during times of uncertainty and beyond.
Once you’ve figured out your ‘why’, it’s a great idea to assess your strengths and weaknesses. We know this can be challenging, but it’ll enable you to ensure your goals are aligned with whatever your best assets are. In turn, it will help you to outline where you need guidance most.
The stark reality found in research carried out by The London School of Economics found that during the pandemic, women were more likely to be put on furlough, or face further long-term challenges including redundancy. These figures act as a catalyst, feeding into the idea that women are having to adjust, adapt and build upon the skills that they already have, or apply their skill set in a new direction, in order to stay ahead.
In light of the challenges we’ve faced in 2020, the number of those hoping to upskill provides even more of a boost for the future of women in the workplace.
“We’re delighted that women are seeing this current moment as an opportunity to start afresh, improving not only their careers but their own professional skillsets, too,” adds Debbie Wosskow, Co-Founder of AllBright. “As we move past the tremendous struggles that women have faced during Covid, it’s fantastic to see that so many of those surveyed are thinking carefully about how best they can build towards a successful future.”
By harnessing this time of uncertainty to reflect on your achievements, supercharge your skills and transform your mindset, there’s no better time to start working towards your long-term goals than now.
We have launched the Digital Sisterhood to provide women everywhere with the community and support they need at the moment. Be that a safe space to ask questions – and receive honest answers – or somewhere to find a digital event that will offer you the information, or perhaps the encouragement, you need to get you through the coming days and weeks. We’re here for you, so please do head to digital.allbrightcollective.com to claim your 14 day free trial and join our community.