We had big plans for 2020: traveling the world, getting married, graduating into a dream profession, etc. But what we never saw coming was our lives coming to a complete halt. But as a pandemic threatens the economy and our livelihoods, suddenly we’re not so sure what’s in store for the rest of the year.
With the widespread cancelations of internships and job hiring freezes, it’s okay to feel disappointed. However, none of this is a reflection of your work ethic. Things may feel out of your control, but it’s possible to build your career from home and make yourself a better candidate for your dream job in a recovering society.
These are some tips that can help you get started:
Create Your Online Portfolio
Now is a great time to think about your online branding and what you want to convey to a future employer. Dedicate a day to run a social media audit — look at all of your public profiles with the critical eyes of a colleague or trustworthy friend. Are all of your social media profiles consistent with your values? Do they show that you’re a creative, diverse, thriving individual?
If you have any projects or published works, you can curate them in one place online. Create a website dedicated to showcasing your work and online portfolio. This website could house a downloadable resume, an “about” page, and links to projects you have accomplished recently. This is extremely beneficial to graphic designers, photographers, journalists, and programmers. And possibly for you too!
Design a Business Card
Whether you are a writer or an engineer, having a business card handy shows that you are the real deal. Aesthetically, it should be a reflection of you. Have fun with it and create a business card that you will be proud of exchanging at future networking events. A business card should succinctly display your name, job title, your social media handles, your website URL and the most efficient way to contact you. Keep it sweet, simple, and memorable.
Consider getting them printed. Start small with a deck of 50 to 100 cards. There’s no rush, but it may inspire you to hold a physical representation of your ambitions. Investing in yourself is incredibly important to manifesting your goals.
Build your network
During a pandemic, meeting new people who could become mentors or future colleagues is not likely in person. However, social networking is a powerful tool. Follow the companies that you would love to work for and the people who are employed by them. Don’t be afraid to take the risk and DM professionals in your field for advice on how to make yourself more employable. Some people are more than willing to help and share resume/ cover letter tips, etc. All these things matter, use them to your advantage.
Think positive (but you don’t always have to)
Sometimes there’s only so much you can do from home as you wait for things to get back to “normal” – it might take a while. Remind yourself of your greatest qualities and that there is still much to look forward to in your life. Not getting your dream job now is not a setback; it only calls for a redirection. Sometimes you have to aim for the job openings that will lead to the one that you truly want.
One last thing, it’s easy to fall into the pressure of constant productivity while working from home. Remember that it is OK to do nothing sometimes. Give yourself the time to recharge, so you can be at the top of your game later. Your dreams are just on hold and they are worth fighting for.
By Edysmar Diaz-Cruz