career decisions / Coronavirus

Covid 19 and Careers

Lost businessmanHow can you think about your future when the world’s so uncertain?  A career “plan” seems out of kilter with a rapidly changing landscape and yet…maybe this is the right time to pause and take stock of how we live our lives.  We can’t control our lives or our careers – but we can engage with them proactively, so that we are making conscious decisions, and not just getting swept along or burying our heads in the sand.

So how is Covid 19 impacting recruitment and what can you do?

  • Some employers are changing their recruitment because of the pandemic and the University of Warwick Careers Team  can help you to navigate these changes through email and one to one video appointments.
  • Emotions may be strong at this time. Things you’ve worked hard for may look less concrete and there’s no doubt that Covid 19 isn’t fair.  If you need to dial your emotions down, consider some mindfulness breathing, yoga or tai chi.  If you need to acknowledge the emotions, try listening to some music, doing some physical exercise or writing down how you feel.  Don’t be too quick to brush your feelings under the carpet or to try to problem solve them.  Sit with them for a while and then take action.
  • Engage with employers and take up any offers of virtual experiences or mentoring. These can give you good insights into how the sector you’re exploring or wanting to work in, operates.  Consider contacting alumni to ask them about their work – being mindful that they may be under a lot of pressure at the moment.
  • Develop your online presence whether that’s joining relevant discussion groups, polishing your LinkedIn profile, updating a portfolio of your work, particularly for the creative and technical sectors, or starting to write a blog.
  • Find out if there are any volunteering opportunities you can get involved with in your community or online.
  • Consider if you have any skills that could be used online maybe so that you can work freelance.

2020 new year goal,plan,action text on notepad on wood background.Business challenge.Inspiration ideasThe career development writer Mark Savickas suggest four competencies to support career management:

Concern – are you interested in your future and considering it?  Avoiding it or being too worried about it will both be challenging in the long run.  Instead, try to work out some small steps that you can take which will help you move forwards.

Control – this is particularly difficult at the moment, when so much is outside our control.  However, our own actions are within our control and engaging with what’s happening at the moment in terms of employment and work experience may be essential if you thought you had an internship or job lined up and the employer has made changes.  At times like these talking things through with someone impartial can really help you keep perspective and navigate the choppy waters we find ourselves in.  Family and friends will be invaluable as well as careers staff.

Curiosity – wanting to learn more about what’s out there in the world of work ensures we consider a broad range of options and continue to learn and grow.  There are lots of online careers resources so keep exploring!

Confidence – it may be difficult to feel confident that you can cope with all the current uncertainty because confidence can come from familiar experiences and there is little that is familiar at the moment.  It might be helpful to not think about the whole of the rest of your life and whether you feel confident about it, as that would be a big ask at any time.  Instead, consider what you can focus on today, that might boost your confidence and give you a sense of engagement.  Small steps can keep things moving along!

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