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Career Success in the Coronavirus New Normal: Outstanding Performance

by | Apr 29, 2020 | Career Success Blog

The coronavirus pandemic has upended virtually every aspect of our day-to-day existence. We are all adapting to this new normal as it changes what constitutes success in both our personal and professional lives. At Perkins Williamson Associates we specialize in helping employees, managers, and leaders at all levels better understand the critical factors for career success. As you navigate your career during this coronavirus pandemic, you may wonder if the old rules still apply. For example, one of our “big 6” success factors is an outstanding performance. In fact, we emphatically believe your ability to consistently deliver outstanding performance is one of the most critical determinants of your short- and long-term career success. You may ask, in today’s climate of sheltering-in-place and working-from-home, is outstanding performance really so important?” The answer is an emphatic “Yes!”

As you work from home and perhaps see your manager during infrequent or non-existent virtual meetings, your boss has fewer and fewer opportunities to observe and assess your day-to-day performance. Additionally, in many organizations, frequent pivoting is now required to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions.  For you, each pivot represents a change in desired outcomes and definitions of success. The perception of you as an outstanding performer is directly tied to your ongoing ability to pivot and achieve current desired outcomes and deliverables.  This new normal around constantly-changing deliverables essentially changes the game for you and your manager. Instead of monthly or quarterly discussions regarding what constitutes outstanding performance, you now need to ask the question after each new pivot. If you understood your sales objectives and targets last month, but you have now pivoted to corona-virus-related products, how does that change what you are expected to deliver?  If you are now asked to provide new or different services in response to the coronavirus pandemic, how is the success of those services now evaluated? Are you and your manager on the same page with regard to what he or she now considers outstanding performance?


What Is Outstanding Performance?  We say, “Outstanding performance is your ticket to the game.”  In terms of career success, outstanding performance has always been absolutely critical for getting ahead in virtually every work environment. The key is to always know what constitutes outstanding performance for the leader who will evaluate your work and your deliverables.  During the past months, as companies have frantically shifted to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, new norms have developed in your organization for what constitutes outstanding performance. Your job is to consciously and consistently work every day to ensure you are keeping up with the changes in expectations and delivering outstanding work accordingly.


Do This: Look at the goals and objectives you originally created for 2020. Next, on a scale of 1-4 (1=not important and 4=very important) indicate the criticality of each objective given the current coronavirus environment in your organization.  You will likely need to replace any objective you are unable to give a rating of 3 or 4. Then, give yourself a rating on your current level of performance for each of the critical objectives (4=outstanding performance) and focus on achieving a 4 rating for all of your new-normal objectives. Use this link https://perkwillassoc.com/top-5-career-success-factors-crossing-the-finish-line/ to access one of our archival podcasts which describes the importance of hard work, results, and outstanding performance for your career success during this pandemic.

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