Forbes Coaches Council

Identifying The Perks Of Our Current Virtual ‘Career Ownership’ Reality

The next time you become discouraged because you feel like your career is on hold until the pandemic ends, it may help to remember that’s not the case. Careers — and specifically career ownership possibilities — continue to march on. All you need is a little help to find your place in this new virtual “career ownership” reality.

It has become a virtual world out of necessity due to social distancing over the past year and into 2021. It is different but not catastrophic. There are definitely advantages that are lost with normal face-to-face interaction, and we all look forward to a time when that returns. But while we’re stuck doing Zoom calls, it probably wouldn’t hurt to list a few of the business benefits of operating in a virtual world.

We’re spending less on travel.

In 2019, Runzheimer, a prominent international relocation company, released a report stating that the average business trip cost was $1,293. “Business travel costs have increased steadily in recent years and this trend is expected to continue in 2020,” its report noted.

Under a normal year, the average business trip cost may have increased, but the pandemic curtailed most business-related travel over the final 10 months of the year. It seems safe to say that the first half of 2021 will probably have fewer business trips for most people as well. Meeting people face to face, going to perhaps a new part of the country or the world — that’s all money well spent, of course. But for the time being, you can save money and still meet people virtually. It’s being done all the time. Business networking is still happening, often through professional networkers who are utilizing technology to connect business owners with each other.

At the same time, you don’t necessarily need a plane, train or rental car to go places.

We can meet with people faster. From a business perspective, this has been a welcome development. Not that you couldn’t have met somebody quickly and virtually before the pandemic, but it’s more expected now. Granted, you still may have to wait a few days or even weeks to meet with some of the busiest professionals, but if you reach a person at the right time, you may find that within minutes, you’re meeting face to virtual face via webcam.

We can meet with more people.

Traditionally, there is a lot of time spent at conventional conferences and trade shows walking around large exhibit halls in search of a familiar face. However, as virtual conferences become even more popular, you can also meet with more people faster. For instance, when our organization shifted our annual conference to a virtual event, nearly 200 franchisee partners were able to more effectively meet and interact with nearly 150 career ownership coaches within a speed-dating styled event we created especially for our community. Attending our virtual event opened up new possibilities and allowed for new relationships to form as people moved from virtual room to virtual room.

There’s time to invest in yourself.

Many businesses and franchisors have pivoted to virtual discovery days to meet with potential owners. Some have gotten very creative, and with more and more people becoming accustomed to virtual everything, this trend may continue well into the future.

As virtual meetings become the norm, the time and money previously spent on travel can now be invested in yourself. Take a class or purchase a business book or two. Spend time with a career ownership coach. Look for ways to expand your personal income, lifestyle, wealth and equity. It doesn’t matter how you spend your time and money as long as you invest in yourself.

There’s no doubt that something is lost when you aren’t able to shake hands, see people face to face, and share a good meal at a restaurant. I will be as excited as anyone else to get back into the nonvirtual reality. However, with specific and distinct advantages, there are opportunities to advance your career virtually. Invest in yourself now and don’t wait until some unknown future date to advance your career. As the technology suggests, you can do virtually anything.