Whether by necessity or choice, we’re all re-evaluating our careers in some way. Beyond ensuring basic survival, the change in pace is a great time to make necessary changes, discover new passions, start a new business and be purposeful about your career trajectory.
Here are 5 simple things you can do to grow in your profession from the comfort of your couch:
Update your CV and LinkedIn profile
Unless you’re actively looking for a job, it’s likely that it’s been a minute since you knocked the cobwebs off your cv and/or LinkedIn profile. Now is a good time to have your resume ready to go, such that freshening it up when you need to use it will be less daunting. A few tips to consider when doing this:
- Use a plain font for easy readability.
- Focus on your achievements rather than a list of responsibilities – demonstrate the value you added in each role.
- Include a short and engaging profile or your career highlights on page one. Recruiters have tonnes of applications to go through, so it’s important to stand out by ensuring you have a captivating summary.
Likewise, LinkedIn has the potential to build your industry credibility and professional network. Ensure your title is keyword optimised, add value to discussions if/when you can, update your profile picture, network and remove outdated information – you never know which opportunities may seek you out based on your online resume.
Start a new project
The path to creating a fulfilling career is circuitous and it’s important to cover as much ground as possible. That side hustle you’ve been thinking about? Launch it. That thing you’re passionate about? Work on it. Raise your hand for projects outside your comfort zone because ultimately, we learn by doing. Additionally, while it’s a great honour to live in a wonderful time where you can make money online (check out Upwork and Fiverr), don’t be afraid to take up voluntary roles. In the long run, these may lead to paid employment, new career paths or could be opportunities to give back – either way, it’s a win.
Talk it out
The time to get going is now, but you don’t have to do it alone. Talk through the story of what you want to do with kindred spirits and mentors. It helps to clarify your thinking, push you forward and expand your pool of opportunities. One of my mentors for instance, helped me correct a lot of mistakes that my initial CV had. During this process, I got to be clear about my value, my past accomplishments and the direction I’d like my career to grow in.
What an excellent time to cultivate expertise! There are plenty of online resources available to help you beef up essential skills (check out Udemy, Coursera and Digital Skills for Africa). While you’re at it, also start following social media accounts that share industry relevant updates.
Polish your interview skills
Particularly, your virtual interview skills. In as much as technology can pull the ultimate surprise on you, be as prepared as you can be by testing your camera beforehand, ensuring your background is uncluttered and your lighting is decent, dressing appropriately and most importantly, knowing your sh*t.
Take care of yourself
Searching for career opportunities can be both mentally and emotionally draining. I can’t emphasise how important it is to breath, rest and unwind. Finding balance is key in ensuring you maintain a positive mindset throughout this process.
Regardless of what’s happening around us, there’s so much we can do to fuel our professional fire under the current circumstances. No matter what, just keep going.