HUNTSVILLE, ONT. -- You had dreams of climbing the corporate ladder and all was going according to plan until the world was confronted with a pandemic.

Often in the focus, those without jobs, struggling to make ends meet. However, there are others, those trying to stay relevant in the workplace who are feeling less engaged, missing the work environment socialization, and fear they will be passed over for a promotion they felt they were once on track for. 

Is there some truth to out of sight - out of mind? 

I believe there is and now more than ever it is about taking control, whether it is a job search, networking, or even feeling more engaged when working from home. 

Step One: 

Wellness and mental health go hand-in-hand. It is so tough to focus on you when you may be feeling stressed blending the challenges of the work-from-home mandate. There is little doubt that people are overwhelmed as we near a year of working remotely, managing the demands of a family and work. It is stressful and it's better to acknowledge it than to ignore it. 

Tip: Develop a wellness strategy. Personally, I was feeling there were many areas of my life that were out of my control and decided to join forces with followers I engage with on Instagram in order to create our Winter Wellness Program. Each of us has different triggers and targets, whether it be getting more sleep, stepping outside, changing up a losing strategy around diet and exercise. It really came down to controlling what you could control. Before making any big moves, be kind to you and focus on you. It all starts here.

Step Two: 

You might truly believe now is the time to push for the long overdue promotion. But before you do, try not to get distracted and focus your efforts on being excellent in your current role before exploring the next role. In some ways, it means being prepared to do what others are not prepared to do, for example taking on an extra assignment. Being a team player, working hard in what you are currently doing and recognizing results today matter as much as they always did - these can be your springboards for career success. 

Tip: Don't defer having conversation with your manager, be prepared and ask for development plan discussions. Looks for ways to continue to differentiate yourself. Be willing to say "yes" when you are tempted to say "no."

Step Three: 

The reality is the job market is heating up and the war for talent intensifying. If you are frustrated due to lack of face time, feeling left out and wonder if your career progression has derailed, remember this could be temporary and the grass isn't always greener.

Recruiters have continued to call great employees who have done a lot of heavy lifting during the pandemic. If a call comes your way - take the call. Taking a call doesn't mean you have to leave your current employer, but earn the right to say no. Until you have a job offer you are simply still in the process of exploring a change. 

Tip: Remember it is hard to get a feel for the values and culture of a company when chatting remotely so now more than ever ask for interactions with other members of the company not just the hiring manager. 

Bottom line:

If you feel your career development is suffering, begin by looking after you, network inside and outside of your organization to get a feel for how other organizations have handled the past year, don't let your current performance slip, and remember the grass isn't always greener.