Dorie Clark has written an excellent article regarding a career detour in the March 29, 2021 issue of the Harvard Business Review. Dorie Clark is a marketing strategist and professional speaker who teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is the author of Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out.
Short-term situations can require shifts in our careers: If you have lost your job, you need to earn income. If in-person schooling isn’t available, someone has to stay home with the kids and supervise virtual learning. And if you’re the primary caregiver to a family member, you need to secure flexibility for responsibilities at home.
Choosing to prioritize these immediate concerns over a longer career goals — while painful — may be necessary. But a temporary departure from your professional goals doesn’t mean all is lost. You can still have control over your career arc by using four strategies. First, reframe the situation; even if you’re not advancing at work, you’re still advancing in other areas at home. Second, find learning opportunities to develop new skills in your current role. Third, push back against standard options. And finally, use small amounts of time toward your goals — even if it’s only three minutes at a time.