Updated: Feb 22
The global pandemic has led everyone back to the drawing board
For the last year and a half, we have had to navigate uncharted territories in both our personal and professional lives, reassessing our priorities and choices every step of the way. For those looking to either kick-start their careers, transition between industries or start something new, the uncertainty around us has created a unique opportunity to redefine the way we live our lives. The global pandemic has led everyone back to the drawing board. Norms have changed and I believe that there is no point in hoping or wishing that things would go back to normal. Instead of spending (and wasting) precious time, energy and resources trying to control variables that are truly beyond our control, it would be better to start adapting to a new set of norms.
This is where performance consulting can help. In the traditional sense, performance consulting is a service for businesses to firstly identify and analyse performance issues that hamper a company’s efficiency, value creation and bottom line, and secondly, to recommend and/or implement solutions to rectify the areas that need improving. The same process also applies to the individual looking for career advice in Hong Kong. Success is going to look very different in the years to come and so will its prerequisites. Here are five top tips for career advice in Hong Kong that still apply in the rapidly changing world of work.
Career advice in Hong Kong [As seen on Honeycombers]
1. Look within
What kind of work do you want to do? What kind of organization do you want to join? What sort of teammates would you like to be around? What professional values are important to you? What kind of impact do you want to create? These are all important questions which enable you to start building a clear vision. There is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions, but it is important to set time aside to reflect on them. Many people never take the time to ask themselves what they truly want until they’ve been in roles and organizations that they would have otherwise not chosen.
2. Paint a picture
As you reflect on the above, you’ll start to ‘paint a picture’ of what truly matters to you; not what society, your friends or your parents want for you. The key is to take ownership of what you want to do and where you want to ‘go’ professionally. It’s imperative you have a vision, and I’m not referring to a ten-year plan. Look at what you want your next six months to look like. Then, look at the next twelve to eighteen months. What you want is there for the taking but you first have to figure out what it is you truly want. 
3. Build relationships
Applying for roles in a generic manner, either through ‘easy apply’ or through company portals is not the best use of your time. Why? Because you’ll probably never hear back from anyone. The best way to go about finding the right kind of role for you is to build relationships by reaching out directly to people in similar positions or to leverage your network so that they can help you open doors. That’s the first step. The second step is to identify ways in which you can offer value when meeting these stakeholders/decision-makers.
4. Demystify myths
In today’s hyperconnected world, it’s easy to get lost in the plethora of information being exchanged so make sure you stay clear of false “truths”. For example, to be successful, you must grind all hours of the day. Wrong. What you need is a value proposition, execution, and commitment. Another example which is very much linked to point 3 is that it’s who you know, not what you know. Wrong. If someone was to set up a meeting for you right this very moment with a very senior stakeholder, would you have a compelling elevator pitch ready? Probably not. It’s what you know AND how you can leverage it.
5. Cultivate self-worth
It’s normal to feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, especially in times of massive change, so every now and again we have to check in with ourselves to see how we feel. Setting time aside to do the things that relax and centre us is crucial. Good daily habits including exercise and nutritious food, a strong support network and time in nature or away from electronic devices will enable us to tune in to our self-worth and cultivate it. Nobody can add or take away from how worthy we feel. This includes self-worth relating to professional opportunities. If we don’t rate ourselves highly enough or fall into the trap of believing that we don’t offer much value, I’m sorry to say, but it’s unlikely that we’ll encounter much luck down the road.
In short, performance consulting is all about assessing our current state and identifying the gap between where we are and where we want to go/be. Whether you’re kick-starting your career, transitioning into a new industry, or starting something completely new, the five tips above will keep you on the right path towards your next big opportunity. Seek and you will find.