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Leverage your Time at Home to Grow your Career

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

As the government accelerates measures to contain COVID-19 and businesses resort to digital solutions like remote work for employees, it is important we find ways to take advantage of a grim situation. With less to none commute times, which translates into more time in our hands, we can take a second look at those abandoned creative projects, that half edited resume and maybe even that course we are still paying for but never log in to.

Here are some specific ways in which we can leverage our time at home to become stronger, more confident professionals in the face of an imminent financial recession.

Look for unfinished projects - and get to it!

I am yet to meet someone who has completed every single project they have ideated. From the idea stage to the 75% completed project, most of us could come up with at least a few things we can get our hand on, and finally finish.

Take one hour from your day and write one blog post for that site you have not updated in months. Producing content will expand your portfolio and strengthen your credibility as an amateur or professional writer.

Started a drawing, painting or illustration and never got to finish and publish? Don’t neglect even the things that seem too distant. In this time of high anxiety, revisiting those activities that make you happy without pressure is a great wait to spend the time indoors. These pieces can later make amazing additions to your personal website or social media feed, and who knows, maybe you can make it profitable if you work hard enough at it.

Basically, just get creative; start thinking of all of those great ideas, personal projects or even entrepreneurial endeavors that you put off because of work and make it a point to work on them for at least short periods of time each day. Continuity is key!

Update your professional profiles

With uncertainty in the horizon, it could be a great idea to update your professional profiles. Start with your resume, then LinkedIn and any other social channels where you display your professional assets. This could make the difference between being caught off guard by sudden job changes and having a ready-to-go back up plan.

Revamp your resume: Adding new skills and copy editing is not enough. Research resume template trends and find what formats are preferred by employers today. The two column format seems to be popular now, as it is easy to read and prioritizes experience. Get familiar with sites like Canva or sharpen your Microsoft and Adobe skills.

Make sure your LinkedIn is current with all your skills, languages, experience, education and bio. Employers and recruiters are actively looking for talent on this platform and only those who seem to put in the effort get the calls. Explore your possible connections and hit that request button. There are never too many professional contacts you can have.

If you have a personal website, take your time to go through every page and update/ edit any outdated information. This is the time to dive in and make sure your page is impeccable. If you have the time and the skills, get into the site’s UX and make the necessary changes for a better experience and in exchange, more visits.

Take some courses:

What better way to spend your self-quarantine than learning! There are tons of interesting, high demand courses online right now from reputable schools that you can invest in; but as financial uncertainty looms in, free courses and even practical tutorials can be an amazing source of knowledge.

I recently started taking coding classes, and although I decided to pay for the personalized counseling I receive, there is a myriad of free coding resources out there that can be just as engaging. Imagine coming back t

o society with a whole new set of skills? Well, you can do that now, while you are not able to go for that drink after work.

Look for any online course provider

s that are coming up with promotions and opening free courses to the public during the outbreak. LinkedIn announced that it is opening up 16 of its learning courses for free. Courses that provide tips on how to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way.

I hope we can all find ways to make light of a rather dark and unprecedented situation. If you have any tips for professional growth or self-care, drop them in the comments!

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