Now here’s a blog post I couldn’t have predicted I’d be writing. Like most of you and my colleagues, I have found the last few days really unsettling, we’ve had to fundamentally change how we work and all of us have lost vital structure in our day-to-day lives and its only now I truly recognise how important this is.
I also empathise hugely with you, our wonderful students especially those of you graduating this year. Please be reassured the whole careers team is here for you, we have pulled together some FAQ’s which are worth a quick glance.
Please keep an eye on the blog and also our Facebook page where we hope to post helpful advice. I wanted to kick off this COVID and Careers post by reflecting on the 2008/09 financial crises and the uncertainty this created. I would like to draw on that experience to support you in navigating your career going forwards.
- The first and most important piece of advice is to not loose perspective (easier said than done) about your career and the job-hunting process and to manage your expectations accordingly.
- Building on the manage your expectations point – employers like all of us are navigating what is unchartered territory. Be prepared for lack of information, slow response to applications and a change to how selection activities will happen. I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago on online assessment centres.
- Try and stay positive especially as there is a fair bit of fake news out there which links to my first point about not losing perspective. Start cultivating your network, sharpen that CV and polish your LinkedIn profile. Have a look on MyFuture for awesome resources to get you started.
- Keep applying! Trust me, businesses are in it for the long-game and know that talent is the key to recovery in times of economic difficulty.
- Lastly be flexible with regards to roles and sectors. Employers value proactivity and willingness to get stuck in, there is no such thing as irrelevant experience. You’ll be developing skills and building your CV which is a win-win.
Now for some practical things you can do whilst in isolation to boost your employability.
- Your priority is still your university coursework and making sure you complete assignments on time. This in turn will show employers, your ability to self-manage and remain self-motivated.
- Enrol in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), many universities including Bath offer free courses. Check out platforms such as Coursera and Futurelearn.
- The future world of work is driven by Big Data, perhaps now is a time to learn new programming or data visualisation skills. Sites such as DataCamp, CodeAcademy and Google Code offer free crash courses in popular programming languages such as Python, R and SQL.
- Email your CV, link to your LinkedIn profile or an application to us, our expert team of advisers are here to help and can look over your applications.
- Look after your mental and physical wellbeing! Resilience is a skill that is in high demand, reflect and write down how you are navigating being in isolation and all this uncertainty, these personal examples will be invaluable during interviews to demonstrate your skills. At a personal level, I find journaling helpful in managing my mental wellbeing.