As reality is still setting in and facts are still being discovered about the impact of the Corona virus across the globe, you may have seen a well-intentioned trend popping up on social media that tells you how to be productive with your time. It’s easy to fall into the train of thought that if you are not actively applying for new work, making sourdough bread, reading Moby Dick, or learning a new language, while rethinking your whole life in quarantine – then you are wasting time. The truth is that no one knows how to do this, because we have never been here before. There is no “right way” to roll with the monumental punches we are all feeling as a result of this global epidemic.
I just want to pause for a moment, encourage you to take a deep breath, and tell you that you are doing a great job at giving yourself what you need, and only you are the expert on what that means. If you are feeling the lack of structure having an impact on your mental health, try creating a schedule for your day. Include things you wouldn’t normally think to include, like walking the dog and taking a shower. Checking things off a list does wonders for the psyche. If you need some movement, find a local walking trail and go at a quiet time of day. Remember that you are not alone in this right now. I want to share some thoughts and ideas that are helping me through this period, and maybe it can help you, too.
Get what you need:
The thing that drew me to the world of recruiting was the idea that I could help people accomplish their dreams. I’m also fully aware of, and more than ever right now, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. You can’t exactly daydream about the perfect job if you are uncertain of the roof over your head and the ability to feed your family. If you feel overwhelmed:
- Find a friend or family member who can help and reach out to the resources you need to feel secure.
- After those needs are met, and it may take hours of phone calls and paperwork, it’s okay if that is all you can do for the day. For the week!
- As of now, stimulus packages and benefits are still being rolled out to support us, so if you haven’t found what you need yet, there may be better news tomorrow.
Get what you give:
If you find yourself feeling like your pyramid base needs for food, water, and shelter are met, it becomes easier to think about how you can help others. Reach out to your network and see what you can do to make someone’s day a little bit easier. Having a sense of purpose, even if only for a few hours, can be a great way of relieving anxiety.
- Maybe you know a local small business that is still providing pick–up or drive–thru services and could use your commerce
- Or you have a friend or neighbor whose immune system is too vulnerable to go grocery shopping
Find a New Way to Connect
I will admit that I never understood the “Facetime” trend until now. I am calling my parents and friends more than ever and having long conversations with people hundreds of miles away in ways that I always procrastinated before quarantine. The technology exists to sustain and build relationships, not only with friends and family, but professional connections, too! If you are feeling up for it:
- Engage with social media posts from companies you’d like to work at
- Set up a Skype informational coffee session with someone whose work you admire.
- Be patient and remember that every company and every person on your digital feed is trying to cope with the same unknown as you, but genuine compassion and interest in a field is still magnetic, no matter whether it’s through a handshake or an email.
Keep the Dream Alive
I cannot tell you what the workplace will look like, or what the future of your field will be a month from now. I think we all know it’s going to be tough, and it is going to be different, but now is the time to lean on the people we love- see ourselves through their eyes, and hope that they can see themselves through ours, too.
- Make a list of personal and professional goals. Hang it by your bed and know that you don’t have to write about it or tell anyone else. It’s your list to sit with, to feel, to actualize when you are ready.
- If there is a skill you have always been curious about, but pushed aside because of lack of time, honor that curiosity.
- Give yourself the space to be new at something, to be not that good at something, to succeed at something you never expected.
But most of all, remember to breathe, to wake up, to open the blinds, to care for the ones you love and take care of yourself the way that only you can.
Jobs, opportunities, connections – they will be here. We will be here. Let us know if you have any questions about your future or current job search. Let us know if we can help you. We are all in this together.
Written by Alexandra Niedzialkowski- Junior Recruiter
Some useful links:
Financial resources during Covid 19: https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-money-unemployment.html
Networking while working from home: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-how-to-become-better-at-networking-while-working-remotely.html
Microsoft Courses: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/training
Free Online Technical Courses: https://www.mooc.org/
Check out e-books from your public library: https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/
Tour art museums from your couch: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-pass-the-time-in-self-isolation-with-virtual-museum-tours.html