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This article was originally published in Hope For Women Magazine’s Winter 2020 issue.

2020 has been quite the challenge but has also been quite the opportunity. By mid-March, many who had set career goals at the beginning of the year faced challenges that shifted or completely eradicated those goals. Yet, many pivoted successfully and are creating phenomenal opportunities.

For over 25 years, I have worked with leaders in crisis due to transformations, turnarounds, transitions, and other situations that have disrupted their goals – whether they work for a company or own their own business. I have guided them on best approaches for identifying customized career or company goals most appropriate for their unique situations and establishing strategies to achieve them. By far, the biggest barrier they have faced is adopting a growth mindset to overcome challenges. To set career goals after a year like 2020, how do you refresh your mindset to overcome what has not worked or continue leveraging what has?

Here are 3 tips I have helped emerging, mid-level, and executive leaders in global companies successfully apply after facing significant challenges, to refresh their mindset for growth.

1. Toxic or Transformational?

When crisis surfaces, are you focused on creating a culture that allows mindset transformation as fast as possible, or are you in a culture of toxicity that does not? Do you have toxic behaviors? Create self-awareness by exploring who and what surrounds you. If necessary, develop your own skills, and remove toxic people and things from your career, and if possible, from your life.

2. Develop Your Leader Skills

If you do not think you need to continually improve, you really need to. After removing the toxicity suggested in tip number 1, work on you, so you can be ready for what is coming in 2021. Do not wait for unpleasant performance conversations with your supervisor, or the loss of a client, to develop what you need. Be proactive and evaluate your needs at least once every year.

3. Replace, Don’t Repeat

Our brain tends to repeat what it has already learned to do in each situation. It will go on autopilot and use actions or behaviors it already knows until it learns new ones to replace it. Challenge yourself to find more effective actions or behaviors to replace ineffective ones, so when your brain wants to repeat, it has what it needs to shift to a replacement.

To be high performing, it is not the goals you have set; it is the mindset you have for achieving them. What we know for sure is that the effects of 2020 are not going away anytime soon. So, whatever you feel about it, to effectively set and achieve career goals in 2021, you must stay focused on creating a better mindset, for a better future.

Thresette Briggs
Thresette Briggs
Thresette Briggs is a Purple Ink Collaborator who builds global, high-performing leaders with virtual and on-site keynote, training, and coaching & consulting services and products. She trains Purple Ink clients on diversity and inclusion topics like Accelerating Development of Diverse Cultures, Understanding and Reducing Unconscious Bias, and Crafting Belonging Cultures for the New Reality.

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