With the recent government announcement still fresh in our ears, frontline staff continue working tirelessly to combat the virus. And those waiting out the storm at home, many now jobless, are in an uneasy state of stagnancy. Recently though, I have found comfort in thinking of it more as a state of stillness.
A term I’ve become newly acquainted with is, ‘finding strength in stillness’. It is used in meditation and suggests that growth and clarity can occur when we allow our minds to fall silent. Before lockdown, I didn’t have time to sit in uninterrupted silence for half an hour. But lately, many of us have more time on our hands, and I soon recognised that the idea of finding strength in stillness holds real poignancy when applied to life during the pandemic.
Of course, we want to get back to work, to rebuild the economy, to hug friends and family. But until then, why not take this unprecedented sense of stillness as an opportunity for growth? Professional development will not only give you something to focus on during lockdown (Netflix and boredom-eating can only carry us so far), but it will also allow you to feel refreshed and prepared to face the world again, when it is finally safe to do so:
Employers spend an average of 7 seconds scanning your CV, and if nothing encourages them to linger for a few more, it will likely be tossed aside. Given the current climate, hiring is down, and unemployment is up, so standing out is more important than ever.
Grammatical errors could mean your CV receives even less attention than 7 seconds. Little blunders are often difficult to spot in our own work, take this time to scour it with a fine-tooth comb.
Structure is key. Your CV should guide the eye of an employer through your most valuable assets. You’ll need a strong personal statement, work experience, as well as relevant skills and education. All sections must be written and presented clearly.
Tailor your CV to each opportunity. An employer will not spend time on you if they don’t feel that you have spent time on them.
Creative, digitised CVs are growing in popularity and can be a great way to showcase your practical skills straight off the bat.
CV reviewing is a service provided by our mentors at Wiseup to ensure that you incorporate these factors effectively, and do not land in the discard pile!
Like me, you might decide to take up yoga and meditation. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play the oboe, or become a hula-hoop pro? Now is the time.
Lockdown is also a chance to develop your professional skillset. This doesn’t necessarily mean lengthy courses and costly programs. You could attend webinars or download software trials to practice something new. Think outside the box when it comes to lockdown learning and development. This is your time to ‘find what feels good’ (another yogic phrase I have picked up recently), and finally steer your career in a direction that excites you.
Virtual Wiseup mentoring sessions can be a great place to start if you’re new to the world of online learning or looking to enter a new industry or business venture.
Keep in touch with existing contacts. More than ever we are appreciating the importance of community and connection with our colleagues, peers, family, and friends. The pandemic would look very different were it not for modern technology. Leverage this. Stay connected, and let people know you are available. You never know what opportunities may arise.
Ask around about any temp or voluntary projects that you could get involved in. You could stumble upon a new skill or career path that you had not considered before. If all goes well, you could bag yourself a job at the end of it.