Many professionals have seen their careers upended by the COVID-19 situation, and are re-questioning their own career profiles. While establishing a clear understanding of yourself can be a tricky existential question, determining it remains crucial as a basis for any future personal or career plan.
If you have been in the workforce for some time, relooking at yourself and updating your career roadmap can help you reaffirm your professional direction, and decide on potential tweaks or pivots, as your life and career stages change.
After establishing a clearer understanding of yourself and your career journey, and identifying areas for upskilling, it’s time to explore resources that will help you level up. The almost limitless number of learning resources available online can make eyes glaze over with indecision. To help you get started on improving yourself personally and career-wise, we have put together a selection of upskilling resources for you to easily tap on.
1. Online courses
Undertaking professional development e-learning classes is one of the most direct and simple way to upskill yourself. Besides Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) such as Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn, universities like Harvard, Stanford, Yale have dedicated sections on their own sites to list free, available online modules for anyone willing to learn. Looking for targeted or platform-specific learning? Try out Microsoft Learn or Facebook Blueprint. Others such as LinkedIn Learning and Google Digital Garage aggregate a whole host of both in-house and external courses for you to choose from.
The beauty of signing up for online courses is that there is no mandatory commitment on the level of involvement or participation. Looking for an interesting topic to learn on the side-lines? Hop into one of the many bite-sized modules to watch several quick videos or complete a mini quiz. On the other hand, if you’re seeking an in-depth professional certification to boost your career, you can choose to register for paid courses. These will allow you to enrol in different linked modules, actively participate in in-class activities, exercises and tests with human feedback, and eventually receive a certified stamp of approval from a recognised university or course provider. It all depends on your learning interest and requirements.
2. Career advice
If you’re looking for career-specific actions that you can implement right from the get-go, why not take a look at relevant career advice articles? From government-linked sources to popular business magazines like Fast Company, Business Insider, Inc., and Harvard Business Review, these sources all offer to keep you abreast of the latest industry data and happenings while providing key career boosting insights.
At Robert Walters, we tap on our expert professional recruitment consultants to curate useful career and hiring tips for managers and executives alike. During major upheavals such as the widespread remote working measures and economic uncertainties due to a global COVID-19 environment, why not start preparing yourself for a new job? Easy and quick first steps such as taking time to update and review your CV, polish your LinkedIn profile, crafting an outstanding personal brand statement, and practising your interview skills can help better position you for new and greater opportunities when the market recovers.
3. Visual and auditory add-ons
Sometimes we just don’t want to be staring at yet another long page of text. Take a break and switch to other digital tools and platforms for your learning needs. Check out popular webinars, hop into different Facebook or LinkedIn live sessions by career coaches, join in a conversation and network with other professionals in online social media groups, search for relevant career topics on YouTube, or listen to your favourite topical podcasts. The great thing about using these platforms is that almost all of them are bite-sized and available on your mobile, so you can literally upskill on the go, even if that means doing so while you’re exercising, minding the kids, or just relaxing in the bath tub.
4. Personal well-being
Levelling up doesn’t just have to be about our professional growth. It pays to devote time to boost your own physical, emotional and mental health as well, especially in light of the global coronavirus outbreak. Besides your usual routine, why not take the opportunity to pick up activities that you have always wanted to try. Focus on regular exercise or a short run outdoor. Eat healthily and consistently – take a full break away from your work during scheduled mealtimes. Keep to your planned work hours and stay away from working during your down time. Reach out and communicate often and emphatically with your colleagues, extended family members, and friends – ask how they are doing outside of work. Listen to your favourite music and podcasts in the comfort of your home. Try mediating or journaling and practicing mindfulness during quiet moments, even if you think you don’t need them – a good starting point is signing up for a free online meditation class or simply downloading an app or watching popular videos on it.