No Excuses: How to Advance Your Career During the Pandemic

No Excuses: How to Advance Your Career During the Pandemic

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol

It is clear by now that we’re in it for the long haul with Covid-19. It looks like people will be working from home even longer than anticipated, or will be coming back to their workplace but on staggered schedules. So likely you have found yourself with extra time, perhaps the time you used to spend commuting. What can you do with that time that will make a big difference to your career in the long run? Here are three ideas.

  1. Improve Your Vocabulary. Having a robust vocabulary helps with your writing, with your presentations, and with everyday discussion, including moving people to your point of view. We’re all salespeople, and we become more persuasive when we can find just the right word needed to make a point, to set the right tone, or to diffuse tension an uncomfortable situation. If you can do so, you’ll go far.

Bob Slater Caricature

If you need some data to convince you to build your word power, consider this: A graduating class at a large university was given a vocabulary exam. The scores were graded in 5% increments. Throughout the next twenty years, questionnaires were sent to the graduates asking them, among other things, their income. Those who had scored in the top 5% on the vocabulary test consistently had the highest incomes, and those who scored in the bottom 5% had the lowest incomes.

There you have it: vocabulary words = cash! Check out the Media tab on our website ( for books, websites and apps to use for vocabulary building.

  1. Master a software program that will help you at work. Learn or improve your proficiency in a software program that will make a meaningful difference to you. Perhaps learn or improve your PowerPoint skills to improve your presentations, or Excel to improve your spreadsheets, including learning some macros. Become an expert on video communications software such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. since this will be the way we do business for the foreseeable future. Learn Trello or something similar to organize projects. Start with the software skill that will have the most impact for you now. Impact in terms of creating better work product and allowing you to work faster. Once again, please see our website for resources to help you.
  2. Read a good business book. Most people read zero business books each year. But people who intend to be successful — like you — read business books. Bill Gates reads fifty books a year. Warren Buffet reads five hundred pages a day. Mark Zuckerberg started a book club to challenge himself to read a book every two weeks. One study shows that 88% of wealthy respondents read at least thirty minutes a day, and 63% listen to audio books as they commute.

We’re partial, of course, but we suggest you start with Look Out Above! LOA! is your guide for developing critical workplace skills. Namely, how to contribute, write, present, pitch ideas, lead, and advocate in the manner valued in the workplace. We distill these workplace skills to their essence, translate them to real-world applications not taught in undergraduate and graduate business schools, or in company training, and present them in one book. The value here is threefold: practical, proven, real-world content, a focused, less-is-more approach, and dual perspectives from a young professional and a seasoned executive. LOA! is designed to help you keep your job, see more opportunities, achieve more promotions, and maximize your compensation. In a crowded business book market, we’ve not seen anything like it.

Use your Covid time to great benefit. Time to change things yourself!

Notes and sources. Seth Godin blog, Fully Baked, September 29, 2016; article by Carrie King, Magazine Posts, April 20, 2018.


Look Out Above! The Young Professional’s Guide to Success has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, HR Digest, CBS News, and more. It is available for purchase on Amazon, or by contacting the authors directly for discounted bulk orders.

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