With the world on lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you might be feeling frozen in place. In some ways, we’re all hitting “pause” on our lives and doing our best to get through each day.
With that said, it’s important to remember that this time counts, especially if you’ve been laid off and it’s time to start thinking about your job search. You can still work on advancing your career while you practice social distancing. Here are 6 things you can do from home to stay productive and to boost your career.
Learn a New Skill via eLearning
In some ways, we’re very lucky that we’re experiencing this pandemic during this point in history. Our access to technology is connecting us and giving us opportunities to learn, even when we can’t leave our houses.
One of the best ways to use your time right now is to learn a new skill online. There are many great benefits of online learning and it’s easy to fit classes into your schedule, even if you’re still working from home.
Learning a new skill is a great way to boost your career. You’ll be able to offer an employer even more value and be more competitive in a job market that’s suddenly flooded with new applicants.
Now Might Be a Time to Consider Starting Your Side Business
While it might be difficult to think about sales or prospecting at the moment, it actually might be a great time to launch your side hustle. Whether or not your job has been impacted by the pandemic, it’s always smart to have multiple streams of income. Plus, if you want to make your side business into your main source of income one day, it pays to start as soon as possible.
Take some baby steps. Make a list of all the steps you’ll need to take in order to launch your side business. Try to make a little progress each day and make your dream reality in no time!
Take a Deep Dive into Professional Development Tools & Resources
There are tons of free professional development tools and resources out there. How many have you actually explored? Now is the perfect time to get familiar with the tools of the trade within your industry and to find out which you’ll need to understand and have access to in order to move your career forward.
Take a deep dive and learn more about the tools at your fingertips. It could be as simple as using Trello or Asana to organize your personal and professional development plan or as complicated as organizing the tools you’ll need for business success.
Learn a little Programming to Expand Your Skillset
Tech skills are more important than ever in today’s job market. Programming is now the cornerstone of everything businesses do. Your skillset may not rely on programming, but it never hurts to be able to put it on your resume. Employers appreciate employees with flexibility and tech knowledge, making basic programming a great skill to have.
Learning to code doesn’t have to be a drag. You could try programming a simple video game, use a free tool like Codeacademy to learn a programming language, or play some coding games. Make it fun!
Time to Reflect: Map Out Your Weaknesses & Ideas for Improvement
No one is perfect. Lots of us are overly self-critical, while other people seem to feel like they can do no wrong. It’s important to land somewhere in the middle—understand your strengths, but recognize where you can improve!
Now is the perfect time for reflection. Take some time to map out your strengths and weaknesses. What comes easy to you? What is challenging, frustrating, or just plain annoying? Recognizing these strengths and weaknesses will help you spend more time doing what you enjoy and making what you don’t more enjoyable.
It is possible to improve on your weaknesses. But it’s also okay to accept that there are some things that are better suited to you than others.
Quarantine is a Great Time to Improve Digital Communication Skills
Lots of people are suddenly working from home during quarantine and even more are learning how to maintain relationships digitally. It might feel really challenging to connect with others right now, but it’s actually the perfect time to improve your digital communication skills. Brush up on your written communication and get comfortable with communicating via video chat. Those skills will come in handy in every career path!
Be Kind to Yourself
Even though it’s a great idea to stay productive and boost your career during quarantine, it’s also important to be kind to yourself. Don’t try to do too much—take breaks and just try to make a little progress every day. It may not be easy to motivate yourself during this difficult time, but your future self will thank you for all the career moves you made during all your spare time.