Most of us are currently following the stay at home orders that have been instituted all over the world. I have been hearing a lot of people saying things like “I just feel stuck” or “I feel like this is wasted time”.
The fact is, most of the world is in the same situation, so feeling like you are getting left behind as the world is moving forward simply isn’t the case, we are all in the same boat. Mindset is key in this situation. It’s important that you are choosing to see the silver lining of this extra time as the chance to use it however you feel works best for you. For some, that will mean some much needed down time, for others, it might be getting in that quality time with the kids that you have been missing. For others, it can be a time to grow your skills and knowledge to set you apart when the world returns to normal.
Here are some ideas of great ways to keep that stagnant feeling at bay!
Take an online class
Utilize some of the wonderful online learning platforms to deepen your software skills, learn about how other people in your field approach their tasks, or even to pick up a new hobby. If you don’t know where to start here are a few suggestions:
- MasterClass is a great site where famous experts in their field share their knowledge. Here you can learn to cook like Gordon Ramsey or critically think like Neil deGrasse Tyson. It is a bit pricier, but they are running a buy one, get one deal that you could split with a friend or colleague.
- Udemy is similar in concept to MasterClass with a wide range of subjects and price points. They also run great sales every few weeks with up to 90% off some courses.
- SkillShare is more targeted to the arts but features great content if you are looking to pick up a new hobby or are interested in an arts career, and they are running a free two-month trial.
Read a book
Normally our schedules are so packed with work, social events, and errands that we don’t have time to sit down and read a book. Check out the great selection of physical books available for delivery online or download an eBook from a respected person in your field, a great life coach, or a how-to book for a skill or hobby you are interested in.
Did you know we have a career coaching book available? Check out the HR Insider; how to land your dream job and keep it – available online at Chapters and Amazon!
Update your LinkedIn / Resume
If you are facing a career change or looking to grow your network, take some time to review your LinkedIn page and resume to ensure that it is up to date and the best reflection of you professionally so that recruiters or potential connections are more interested. Make sure to include keywords in your profile, so when recruiters are searching for candidates, your profile will have a higher change of popping up on their radar.
Practice your skills
Take this time to revisit the skills on your resume that you may have not used in a while. For example, if you have Excel as a top skill on your resume but haven’t been using it in your current role take some time to play around and assess where your skills are now and take steps to improve them.
Things like legitimate goal setting can get bumped off the to-do list easily. Take this time to sit down and map out some SMART goals for yourself for the short term and long term. If you set a 3-month goal, add a calendar alert to remind you to check in on your progress six weeks from now, and again at the goal date.
If you are looking toward applying for positions soon, ask a friend (or us!) to stage a practice interview with you. The earlier you do this practice interview the earlier you can identify gaps in your skillset that could help guide you to the best online courses to be taking now.
Turn your designated Amazon scrolling time into time where you “shop” for dream companies. This form of shopping will not cost you anything and may help you discover a new goal.
If you have (or discover) a company that you would love to work for, reach out on LinkedIn to see if you can arrange for an informational interview using Zoom or FaceTime. Although the recruiter at your dream company might not be immediately available to interview or meet with you, it’s still a great idea to throw your name out there and express your interest in case a suitable role opens up later down the road.
Develop your brand
Who do you want to be perceived as professionally? Do your LinkedIn, socials, and resume all reflect the same brand identity? If not, take some time and analyze what you should adjust to best represent yourself. If branding is not your strong suit that may be a great online class to take!
If there are any great things you have found to continue your professional development during this time we would love to hear about it!
We are officially on week 3 of a 100% virtual Recruitment and HR team and although we miss being in the same physical space, we are also really proud to be doing our part and staying home.
As a newly formed remote team, we have been feeling really connected after creating our own process and thought we would share some of our favorite “social” events.
Virtual Happy Hour
Every Friday, we get our entire extended remote team together for a virtual happy hour. We all catch up on how we are doing, our wins, our struggles and just support one another. This isn’t about productivity, it’s about genuine connection.
We care about each other and want to make sure we are all ok. We are in this together so it’s important that we all know we can lean on one another.
It’s also a fun time to brainstorm new ideas and get our whole team together!
In smaller remote groups, we connect by video or phone, with a coffee in hand. These are generally shorter connections with only a few people, to connect on a deeper level. This might be to solve a work problem, come up with some new ways of supporting client, or simply be a way to download the day on to someone that cares.
Online Work Outs
Our team loves to snack – we might be some of the best snackers out there! We also like to stay in touch and keep active. When we were all together, we’d challenge each other to take the long walk back after lunch or encourage someone to get to the evening workout class.
Now, with so many amazing gyms and trainers putting on online class, we can log in together, and do similar works outs. We have not let go of our roots though, and always share the best snack finds; and have a new list of office snacks ready to go when we can all be together again!
In keeping with the healthy lifestyle goals, we can hold each other accountable remotely for our own personal goals. We are more than just what we do for a living, and at Career Contacts, we want everyone’s personal goals to matter just as much as their work goals. We are all about bringing your whole self to the job – fitness goals and all! Whether this means challenging each other with our health, fitness, education, side hustles or big dreams, we push each other to be the best versions of ourselves when we need it most!
Virtual Spa Days
The week that things got serious for us (about a month ago now), we had an employee spa day planned. We, as owners of the business, wanted to celebrate our teams and ensure that they never forgot how much we appreciate the work that they do, and the trust that they put in us.
Now that we are working from home, as a remote team, we are finding new ways to ensure that our teams are still focused on self care and making sure we still get to treat our teams in a small way.
Overall, what we have seen is that our teams care about staying connected more than anything else. The work continues (albeit at a slower pace) and clients trust that we are doing whatever it takes to get them what they need. We are also ensuring that our teams are taking advantage of this time to spend time on themselves, with their loved ones, and have a team of champions in their corner to do it!
Part 1: The Benefits of Your Employees Working From Home
Employees have been asking to work from home (or remotely) for years.
Over time, this has become more common to work from home, but is still not how most organizations operate. At the most, employees have options to work from home on occasion, and are rarely doing their roles 100% remotely.
Now, with the Corona Virus, COVID-19, employees are being asked to work from home with little notice, and less support. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy the benefits of working remotely., but also support employees in being successful at home.
Here are a few of the benefits you may experience, depending on your role in the company.
Benefits to the company:
- Companies are all upgrading IT so that employees are efficient with time and accessibility
- Companies are able to show (not just tell) that they put trust in employees
- Employees working remotely are often more productive (less interuptions)
- Remote meetings are often more time effective and shorter in length
- Companies are able to hire employees from anywhere in the world – global reach!
- Allowing employees to work remotely is one of the best perks you can give them
Benefits to the employee:
- Time is saved on the commute to and from work
- Reduced costs of eating out, coffees etc.
- Extra time available for continuous learning like online courses and learning
- Allows you to work independently and demonstrate you are a hard worker and your value to the team – letting the work speak for itself
Benefits to employee and employer:
- Our carbon footprint is reduced (everyone wins!)
- Productivity will be increased on projects without distractions and interuptions
- The balance of work / life improves
- The cost of employee parking, bus passes, transportation is reduced
During this difficult time with COVID19 and the Corona Virus, let us all work together to be the best teams possible and support one another in finding success in our new work environments.
Collaboration over competition has always been our mantra and now more than ever, we are committed to supporting one another to come out of this time stronger, more connected and prepared.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our blog: How to Work from Home Effectively