Table of Contents
- Join a Professional Organization
- Earn a Degree Online
- Master Networking Online
- Speak to a Recruiter
- Fill in Your Skill Gaps
- Update Your Resume
- Send Cold Emails to Find a New Role
- Go It Alone as a Freelancer
- Build Your Confidence
- Consider a Horizontal Career Move
- Identify Your Soft Skills
- Make a Commitment to Learning Each Day
- Get Published
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many people losing their jobs and placed many professionals’ career goals on hold. It has also forced many people to spend more time at home, so they should use this time to increase their job security and career prospects.
To make the most of your free time, and take your pick of job opportunities, read the following advice on how to advance your career during the pandemic.
Join a Professional Organization
If you would like to learn from people within your field, and improve your skills, consider joining a professional organization. While many might not provide in-person events during the COVID-19 pandemic, you will have an opportunity to learn from others by attending informative webinars or engaging in insightful forums with industry professionals. It can be a great way to improve your communication, leadership, and public speaking skills.
Earn a Degree Online
Another option is to earn a degree online, which could help you to work your way towards your dream career. For example, if you want to become a qualified counselor, you could make your dream a reality by earning a masters in counseling online. By doing so, you can use your knowledge and skills to make a positive change in the lives of others who are struggling with mental health issues.
Plus, a big benefit of studying for a masters in counseling online is that you can do so at a time and place that best suits your needs and lifestyle. You will also receive faculty support throughout the course, as you can connect with professors via email, over the phone, or on video conferencing tools.
Master Networking Online
If you want to take your pick from job opportunities, climb the career ladder, and mix with knowledgeable professionals across your industry, you must make time for networking each day. While the COVID-19 pandemic might prevent you from inviting people for a coffee or drinks, there are other ways to strengthen relationships with others from the comfort of your home.
For example, you could:
- Update and strengthen your social media profiles (include your career experience, interests, and educational history, such as obtaining a masters in counseling)
- Reach out to industry experts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
- Invite professionals to join you for a virtual meeting on the likes of Zoom or Microsoft Teams
- Comment on peoples’ statuses and articles
- Set-up virtual coffee meetings with your colleagues or connections
- Connect with former co-workers
- Send helpful articles relevant to a contact’s needs or interests
As many people will be working from home, they might appreciate you reaching out to find out how they are coping, helping you build stronger relationships. If you have enrolled in an online course, such as a masters in counseling, you should regularly interact with other students who could offer insight that could support your studies. Building relationships with others could help you to secure a new role, increase your knowledge, and make you feel a part of a community.
Speak to a Recruiter
The COVID-19 might prevent you from enjoying a face-to-face meeting with a recruiter, but many are more than happy to speak to you over the phone, via email, or they can host a virtual meeting. Talking to a recruitment expert could help you find a new position or help you identify skill gaps to fill to achieve your dream role.
For example, suppose you have a passion for helping people and want to improve others’ mental health. In that case, they could breakdown the qualifications and experience you will need to gain, such as obtaining a masters in counseling. The short meeting could provide you with a clear career direction that could increase your motivation and transform your working life.
Fill in Your Skill Gaps
Spending more time at home will provide more opportunities to learn and grow your skills. Rather than wasting your leisure time watching many Netflix series or YouTube videos, you should aim to fill in your skill gaps to excel in your field.
For example, you could become a more attractive candidate by learning a new language, mastering a popular software tool in your industry, or increasing your knowledge and understanding of a complex topic to become a subject matter expert.
Update Your Resume
An outdated resume that is riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can be off-putting to a hiring manager. As you will likely compete with many candidates for a position due to a rise in unemployment, you must update your resume to become a more attractive applicant to an employer.
For example, you must:
- Update your career history and accomplishments (such as a masters in counseling, voluntary work, or awards and certifications)
- Proofread your details for errors (Check your spelling, grammar, academic dates, contact details, etc.)
- Customize your resume to match a position and brand – ensure it matches the job description
- Add links to publications (e.g., industry articles, journals, or blogs)
You also should review your LinkedIn profiles and portfolio to ensure you present yourself in the best possible light online. For example, you should promote your academic experience, such as gaining a masters in counseling, and work experience, such as volunteering at a healthcare organization.
Send Cold Emails to Find a New Role
If you are eager to climb the career ladder and don’t want to wait for a position to arise, you should send cold emails to prospective employers to enquire about an opportunity. It is possible their company could benefit from your experience and skills. They could admire your initiative, which could lead to a potential employer inviting you to an interview and offering a job at their organization. The worst an employer can say is they aren’t hiring, and the tactic could help you to land your dream role.
Go It Alone as a Freelancer
Take your career into your own hands by becoming a freelancer. If you are tired of waiting for an employer to provide you with a promotion or pay raise, you could sell your sought-after services to one or more clients. For example, you could become a freelance writer, graphic designer, web developer, bookkeeper, illustrator, or healthcare management specialist.
Various platforms can help you to market your freelance services, such as:
- People Per Hour
- Simply Hired
However, you must adopt a focused, committed, and hardworking attitude to enjoy success as a freelancer. You also must set a rate that will allow you to pay your monthly bills on schedule and add money into a savings account.
Build Your Confidence
If you cannot find your dream position or have recently lost your job due to COVID-19, you may be struggling with low confidence. Rather than allowing it to hold you back in your career, you must aim to rebuild your self-esteem.
For example, you should look back at your many accomplishments throughout the years, which could vary from helping a brand exceed its goals to gain a degree, such as a masters in counseling. It would help if you also thought about the many personal and professional challenges you have had to overcome throughout your life, which could prove you are a hardworking, strong, and resilient person.
It is also possible to build your self-confidence by repeating various positive affirmations every morning and evening, which could counteract negative thinking. The more confident you feel in your personality, experience, and abilities, the more motivated you will be to market yourself to a potential employer and find the perfect job.
Consider a Horizontal Career Move
If you are struggling to climb the next step on the corporate ladder, you could benefit from a horizontal career move. While you might reject the idea of a sideways step, it could help you to secure the job of your dreams.
For example, a finance director might have their sights set on a finance director position; however, they might not have obtained the right technical skills for the role. As a result, they might need to secure a more technical financial accounting position at another company to gain the necessary skills and experience.
A horizontal move might not be right for every hardworking professional. Still, it could help you to increase your skillset and become a more appealing candidate for a senior position in the future.
Identify Your Soft Skills
While a rock-solid education and industry experience could help you to stand out from a crowd of applicants, many companies are also looking for employees who possess superb soft skills, such as:
- Emotional intelligence
- A growth mindset
- A team player attitude
- A hard work ethic
- Openness to constructive feedback
- Active listening
Identify the various soft skills you possess and provide tangible evidence of them during a telephone, video, or face-to-face interview. You also should think about the soft skills you might need to work on, such as creativity, problem-solving, or communication.
Suppose you are willing to improve your soft skills, and you have earned the appropriate education and experience. In that case, it might not be long until you receive an offer for a rewarding job at a flourishing company.
For example, a masters in counseling will allow you to qualify as a counselor. Still, your listening and communication skills will allow you to thrive in the role and transform others’ lives for the better.
Make a Commitment to Learning Each Day
Set yourself apart from your leaders, colleagues, and job candidates by aiming to become an industry expert. If you are serious about securing promotion after promotion and want to become more confident in your opinions and abilities, you must learn more about the sector each day.
For example, you could build on your existing knowledge and skills by:
- Listening to industry podcasts
- Reading textbooks and articles
- Shadowing senior leaders
- Understanding regulations and policies
- Learning from others’ mistakes
- Finding a mentor
- Watching informative videos
- Embracing and overcoming difficult projects and tasks
Commit to learning something new each day, expanding your mindset, and building on your skills and experience. It could help you to achieve your career goals at a faster rate.
Almost every employer will want to add intelligent, committed, and experienced professionals onto their payroll. To improve their confidence in your ability and convince them to hire you over another talented applicant, you should aim to be published on one or more respected industry publications.
For example, suppose you are a digital marketer. In that case, you could separate yourself from other candidates by publishing an article on a well-known industry website, such as Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, or Search Engine Land. However, if you are a healthcare professional, you could improve your reputation and credibility by publishing your research in a prestigious medical journal, such as The Lancet or BMJ.
Suppose you have taken the time to earn a sought after degree from a respected institution, such as a masters in counseling, and have secured one or more publications on respected websites or journals. In that case, you could tick every box on an employer’s list and quickly convince them to invite you to an interview.
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of people across the world losing their jobs, which has made the job market more competitive than ever. However, it has provided professionals with more time to spend in their homes, so they will have ample opportunity to increase their knowledge, education, and skills.
For example, you could use your spare time wisely by studying towards a masters in counseling. You also should take the time to fill your skill gaps and get published on one or more respected websites or journals, which will look great on your resume. However, it might benefit your career to take a horizontal move to grow your experience and gain the skills you will need to secure a senior position and a bigger annual salary.
If you are ready to change your career or climb the corporate ladder with ease, you should follow the above top tips. It could help you to advance your career during the COVID-19 pandemic and enjoy greater job security.