COVID-19 is causing major disruptions in how businesses/organizations operate. The structure of many organizations are changing, which means approaches to these organizations will change. Finding opportunities isn’t impossible, but will require one to be mindful of how to effectively increase opportunities in their career. Many companies are offering remote opportunities. Here are 3 strategies that can help increase your chances of attracting new remote opportunities.
University Career Centers
Career Centers are excellent places for students to find resources regarding professional development. If you don’t know what you want to do, this is especially a great place to visit. Career advisors/consultants are available to assist in your professional journey. They usually administer personality tests that aid in providing insight int your professional interests. They can connect you to internship and job opportunities as well as review your resume and cover letters to increase your chances of being hired.
Career Centers already have established relationships with employers in your area which can increase your chances of being noticed by employers. Opportunities to get noticed by employers can be virtual career fairs, mock interviews, and connecting you with alumni (as well as teaching you how to independently connect with alumni). However, career centers are not in place to do the work for you, but as long as you’re active, they can help advance your efforts substantially.
Be active on LinkedIn as many operations are being moved to digital. Career centers will be providing content to advance your efforts.
Some career centers are sectioned into specialties. For instance, there will be advisors specifically for Engineering, Non-Profits, Healthcare, and more. This helps in focusing your efforts in finding an advisor that fits your professional interests. These advisors usually have relationships with firms, organizations, and institutions that can expand your network, allowing for doors to open in the future.
Note that this is a process, not just a one-stop fix. Career centers can aid in the entire process, but that will require consistent communication. Develop a relationship with your career center and watch opportunities unfold.
The college environment allows you unique access to an abundance of relationships. Professors, faculty, and like-minded classmates can serve in being a great resource in achieving your professional goals. Reach out to professors you‘re interested in, even if you didn’t take their class, they may be involved in certain projects or industries that you’re interested in. Maybe there are organizations on campus that you want to learn about and become more familiar with. Maybe university administrators to classmates that have similar interests or are already involved in activities you want to learn about. Access to these people is easier to attain due to the shared experience of being affiliated with the college.
However, this does not only mean network with people you go to college with. You can branch out and see who else is involved or doing things that you’re interested in. You can reach out through social media, finding their email address on the company website, or maybe people you’re already familiar with but have yet to have a conversation about their profession.
And reach out to people because you’re genuinely interested to learn, not just to gain anything. It can be felt when you’re reaching out to others just to gain something rather than having a genuine conversation to connect.
Start An Independent Project
Don’t wait for a job to give you permission to work on something you’re already interested in. Consider something that you’re already involved in or something you’re interested in starting. Your hobbies could be a great springboard for this. For example, you can take a hobby and begin forming small events around it. If you’re a comedian, organize your own open mic that serves as event marketing, helping local businesses generate foot traffic to increase profits. If you’re interested in research, begin gathering information, and sourcing your own surveys. You can take your findings and blog about them and reach out to organizations that are interested in similar topics you’re researching. You can talk about this research to people in specific departments that will respect your efforts and possibly even take the project on.
Being creative about your approach will lend to be an amazing skill that will serve your entire professional career. This approach encourages one to be a creative problem solver rather than waiting around for someone to cosign your efforts. People respect those that take initiative and actively seek solutions to problems; employers especially value this. Start creating your own opportunities.
A Guide to College in the Time of Coronavirus