Lockdown fatigue is hitting us all hard, and I’m sure most of us by now are bored of scrolling through Netflix every night. However, with the vaccine being rolled out, the end is in sight. The uncertainty of a stable job market is undoubtedly anxiety-inducing, but one really effective way of kicking the lockdown blues and getting yourself excited about the post-pandemic future (besides booking holidays!!) is by working on yourself and your CV to get that job that you’re really passionate about. Whether you’re unemployed, furloughed, or working from home, the internet is full of fantastic resources to help you either improve your current skillset related to your chosen career, or enable you to find or switch to a career that you love.
First, do some research. Spend a bit of time researching the areas you’re interested in, finding what jobs are available, what you aspire to, and the specific skills that employers are looking for. By doing so, you create a concrete list of skills to improve. Once you’ve narrowed down the skills you want to develop, you’d be surprised how easily and affordably you can start working on them, from the comfort of your own living room.
Online courses are a great way to improve the hard skills which may be a prerequisite for the career you’re interested in. Udemy and Future Learn are two really great sites with a wealth of affordable online courses, be it marketing, graphic design, web development, photography, or tons of others, many of which give you a certification once you’ve completed the course, which looks great on a CV. A quick Google will pull up a load of other websites who offer similar things.
This one is particularly useful if you’re a student, a recent graduate, or anyone furloughed with a bit too much time on their hands. Although traditional in-person volunteering isn’t really possible at the moment, or at least scarcely available, many companies have adapted to the pandemic world and are happy to offer digital volunteering roles which again, looks great on a CV. I may be biased, but I have found my time so far volunteering with Studenteer extremely rewarding.
Books, books, books!
If you’re still busy despite the lockdown, a less-time consuming way to improve your skills, is through reading. By setting aside even 20 minutes before you go to sleep to read, rather than scrolling through Instagram, Twitter or TikTok, before you know it, you’ll have got through a book and learnt a lot that you didn’t know before. Nowadays there’s a book on pretty much anything; just type into Google ‘Books on…’ plus whatever your chosen skill is. Most sites will have a review section to help you choose which books are worth spending your money on.
If you’re not big on reading, especially in a larger book form, you can still learn tons about your chosen field by subscribing to podcasts, newsletters and online newspapers related to your area of interest. Spotify have categories of podcasts related to all sorts of things, as well as roundups such as the Best Podcasts of the Week UK, and they even create podcast playlists tailored just for you, based on your previous listening. You can also sign up easily to online newspapers or newsletters; most even have dedicated sections, for instance Fashion, Business, Music, Art, Science, where you can hit subscribe and get sent specific articles by industry specialists, straight to your inbox. Although doing this doesn’t give you any concrete material to put on your CV, it can provide really great material to talk about in your next job interview.
We have all had moments (or multiple moments for most people!) where lockdown, and the pandemic in general, has caused real mental strain. However, this pandemic will end, and by using this time to work on yourself, you can really invest in making the most of your own future, a future that seems even more valuable in the light of the pandemic.
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