Back & Forth... Back & Forth ..... FORWARD!
"What should I be doing?" a question someone asked me concerning their career. "Should they keep working on growing their knowledge with trainings and certifications, start applying for another position making more money, stay where I am and raise my hand more, or just take a pause and just keep going at an even keel in the position I have now"; whew.. that's a lot. Yes, the question came just like that.
My answer: All of the Above.
Increasing your knowledge is never a bad thing, regardless of what the job market is doing. Whether there are jobs a plenty or none available, growing yourself always works in your favor. Having a certification is the stamp on what you've learned. It shows you know what you said you know and you can prove it.
Making more money is always a good idea, and especially now. Everything will cost more in the coming months. Once the prices go up it will be a long time before they come back down, if ever. The caution is don't chase the money. You can do a lot of damage to your carefully curated career by taking a position just because it's more money. Yes, there are paths in your career journey that will not be planned, so be open to opportunities. Sometimes though it truly is not about the money. So move towards that with thought.
Even while you are looking elsewhere and applying for other positions, you should continue to show your skills at your current position. If there is a project, or task that you haven't done before but would like to add to your repertoire by all means raise your hand/lean in/show up/speak up/stand up; volunteer to do it. If we've learning nothing in the last 3 months, it is that no one knows what tomorrow will bring. You may end up being in this position with this company longer than you planned. It is in your best interest to be the best and leave your mark. Be the one everyone knows has a boat load of skills and is always open to share them.
A "pause" is what the world has been given. An opportunity to rest, regroup and come back better from the inside out. It doesn't mean you should ever take a pause in your career. Because you don't know what tomorrow will bring, means you should always be doing your best to be The Best all the time. Never allow your career on auto-pilot. When you do, you will emerge from the pause scrambling to get caught up.
It's your career. Nothing can do anything to it but you; good or bad. If you lose your job, you still have the solid career that you've built. The skills you have are still the skills you have. You don't lose your skills just because the job market is diminishing. Your skills are valuable, if not at this job, definitely at another job.