Quarantine as a professional upgrade: 5 tips how to boost your career in time of coronavirus

COVID-19 and quarantine due to it may cause anxiety to people who suddenly stop working or need to work from home. Many people may potentially lose their income. However, for those who are affected such time is also an opportunity to make the next step in your career. Here is a handy guide on how to spend next 30-days developing professionally. 

1. Focus on upskilling/reskilling

There are many online educational opportunities. However, due to overload of education opportunities, it’s also important to make informed decisions about reskilling/upskilling. That means that you need to critically analyze your current skills (create a SmartMe profile), and identify the skills that may substantially expand your opportunities and contribute to your employability even not tomorrow, but the day after tomorrow. 

Development of your personal trajectory for professional development requires analysis of what kind of skills will be in demand in next 3-5 years. That also requires asking yourself if you want to focus on substantial career shifting and development of a new set of skills, or refreshing and upgrading your current set of skills. You also need to make a strategic decision of how much time you spend on hard skills and soft skills. 

Some of the biggest providers offer free access or discount due to Coronavirus. 

  • Coursera, which offers a broad array of online courses, will make its content free to universities in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Open Culture – Access 1,500 free, online audio and video courses from top universities, as well as 1,000 free audio books.
  • Alison – Offering a range of free online courses in all subjects, Alison’s trending course is all about the coronavirus.

2. Analyse and revise your online professional identity

Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If yes, it might not be enough to find the best job. Quarantine is a time for self-reflexivity, meaning analyzing how your professional identity looks online. Start from searching yourself via Google and imagine how you may look in the eyes of potential employers. We bet you will find 2-3 websites  you would not like your employer to see. 50% of recruiters are checking your digital footprint:

Think about additional websites, forums or online services that can potentially present some aspects of your professional identity. Maybe you have a personal website or blog? Revise its content and start contributing with relevant to your sector topics. Do not have one? It’s also a time to develop a simple personal website, professional portfolio or a blog.   

3. Crisis-related challenges as professional development

One can see hundreds of different online initiatives and crowdsourcing platforms that address current virus crisis. Boost your technical skills:

There are also many online initiatives that require analytical or managerial skills without technical backgrounds, and here is a Facebook Group you should follow for different projects and ideas. 

The European Commission is calling for startups and SMEs with technologies and innovations that could help in treating, testing, monitoring or other aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak to apply urgently to the next round of funding from the European Innovation Council. Are you involved in one? Take this opportunity and apply!

Participation in that type of initiatives in times of crisis can substantially contribute to your professional development. It does not only allow you to develop new professional digital traits and learn new skills, but also create important evidence of social activism and volunteering. And there is always some place for humor. Think about a meme that can go viral, and also offer insights into your capabilities as a designer and creative critical thinker. 

4. Develop a new network for collaborations

New professional opportunities are often the outcome of new collaborations. Use this time to look for and engage with people you have a synergy with and  potentially can create something new. Look also for people that you can learn from, or can mentor you. Many offline meetups and events are cancelled, but some events are taking place online:

Crisis is also a good time to develop a new social capital, and that capital can contribute to your professional development in the future. 

5. Organize your working space at home

The future of work will require many of us to spend more time at home, and current pandemic just fostering a process that has already started. Even if you have a tiny room, think how to transform it to a convenient working environment, that will allow you to be efficient and productive. Small changes to your personal space can do a lot for your professional future.

PitchMe encourages you to see the current crisis as an opportunity for development. Stay safe, take care of your loved ones, follow the instructions of authorities,  and prepare for the brightest future. 

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