The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on millions of lives. From losing family and friends to losing jobs and revenue in business, the sordid tales related to this disease are gloomy, if not downright miserable. One section of people who have been considerably affected by the pandemic is graduating students, who find themselves a bit in the limbo – lost, often knowing not how to proceed, and uncertain about their future. But as the saying ‘from good comes the bad and from bad comes the good’, there are many things graduating students can do to help themselves seek out and prepare for promising careers. Out of the many possibilities, here are 5 top career tips for students who are graduating amid the pandemic:
1. Relax and Organize
The first and foremost crucial step for graduating students during the pandemic is to relax and de-stress. Failing to do so can adversely impact mental health with anxiety disorders and psychiatric illnesses and diminish overall health. One key point to remember here is that – you are not alone; millions of others are in the same situation. Fearing all that is happening outside of the comfort of our homes and staying isolated can cause depression, anxiety, and stress. To help with mental wellbeing:
• Find ways to relax and unwind. Some options are watching a movie, reading a book, relaxing baths, and hobbies.
• Get your life organized – do not waste time lying about idly doing anything. Arrange or rearrange the room and closet, sort out books, file papers, and keep paperwork required for seeking a job organized and ready. In general, making the living environment’ lighter’ and clutter-free will help.
• Make your day productive; prepare a schedule and stick to a healthy routine, with some exercise, eating well, and sleeping right. A productive day can help you study better and bring in an overall feel-good factor.
• To give yourself a break from online classes and study, dot the day with gardening, cooking, baking, robotics, small DIY projects, or any other pastime or hobby that will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and help drive you away from the blues.
• Communicate with friends and family and speak to someone when feeling low or sad. Do not remain aloof and distant from others.
• Do not constantly listen to the news about the pandemic, much of which is repetitive, speculative, and annoying blabber.
2. Stay Connected
Please stay connected with the rest of the world by signing up with head-hunting agencies. Also, create your profile on social media sites to start being noticed. Try and establish contact with people in industries you’re keen on. Sites like LinkedIn are a great place to reach out to and network with others, as are recruitment-related sites such as Jobcase, Indeed, and Glassdoor.
Staying connected can help with:
• Creating a presence online that will immensely help with meeting one’s professional goals;
• Establishing contact with key professionals and executives in the industry; and
• Exposing your profile to hundreds of potential employers and recruiters, among others.
3. Research & Update
Once you have established a presence online, with your job seeker’s profile, explore what recruiters and employers are currently looking for, what skillsets present an advantage, what future requirements could be, and so on. Update your knowledge by reading about the economy, understanding emerging trends in the industry, and tapping into the latest developments in your field of interest. PayScale and The Economist are good places to start. It is also a good idea to take a peek at how life after a Master’s Degree could be.
4. Upskill & Value-Add
Upskilling is arguably the best way to give yourself an edge over the competition. Take up courses in your field or discipline, learn a new skill or enhance the ones you might already have, get a professional certification or two, or prepare for licensure, if necessary. In short, doing anything that potentially adds value to your Resume is prudent. Some great places to start with this endeavor are Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera.
5. Seek & Find
While locating a job vacancy is in itself a fair challenge, identifying one that suits you the best can be rather tricky as well. It is always a good idea to check if the job you are considering suits your portfolio and skills. In certain cases, the company’s size may seem to lure, but it could be to your disadvantage. Another important factor could be location – where the job will require you to be, how you will commute, and what may be the tradeoffs from the context of the current pandemic. So, always take enough time to evaluate your findings and career options. When it comes to facing an interview, it goes without saying that any video interview should be taken as seriously as an in-person interview.
The five tips covered here are certain to help graduating students prepare themselves for their chosen career paths. But all this preparation will go in vain if they do not do well in their assessments, examinations, and/or the Master’s thesis. So, coping with some of the downsides of online classes and getting down to exam prep precedes dealing with the challenges of job hunting in these difficult times.
One thing is for sure, though – it would be an impressive fete to get a job offer during the current pandemic, especially in areas under lockdown, and accepting one is certainly recommended. After all, graduates who do manage to acquire a job during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can obtain essential and invaluable exposure, which will be of use to shifting to a bigger and better job when the world breathes normally again.
At Online Masters Colleges, we continue to support students even during the pandemic. And we wish all the best to all those students that are graduating during these testing times.
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