Is it still possible to build knowledge and experience amidst these troublesome times?

It should come as no surprise that we are amidst a pandemic and that we have been quarantining for a while now that we may have forgotten how to physically greet someone.

However, what may have come as an unpleasant surprise for most of us is how difficult job-hunting would be. With some companies freezing recruitment, cancelling planned internships and perhaps even making employees redundant, finding (let alone securing) a job has been frustratingly difficult.

Hours after hours of scrolling through job websites for vacancies, reading through contract details and then writing emails with questions about those contract details.

If this sounds familiar to you, then you have probably also asked yourself “How am I ever going to build knowledge and experience during this lockdown to make myself more employable to employers?”.

While most of us would prefer to build knowledge and experience from a job, that does not seem entirely achievable at the moment.

Fortunately, it is still possible to build knowledge and experience from home even when you are unemployed. Here are some actions that you could take to ensure this:

         1. Apply for skill-boosting programmes

With many skill-boosting programmes out there, it would benefit you if you signed up to at least one as it would show employers that you were busy improving your skills and not just idling away during lockdown.

Also, these skill-boosting programmes may have connections or partnerships with companies who have vacancies, and so it would greatly help you if you completed their courses as it would give you a better chance of them referring you to their partners.

         2. Watch documentaries related to your desired job

Watching documentaries not only allows you to develop your understanding of certain subjects, but also allows you to show employers that you have an open mind with valuable knowledge that you can bring to them.

In particular, watching documentaries that are related to your desired job is helpful because you are showing recruiters that you have already been proactively doing research for a while and not just starting it as soon as the job starts.

For example, imagine a person interested in a wildlife journalist position already having watched many wildlife documentaries before applying for the job. Clearly, doing this means that you can show employers that you have knowledge and enthusiasm for your desired job.

          3. Reading (fiction or non-fiction)

It is understandable if you took a break from reading after completing your dissertation or exams as you probably spent months after months poring over academic articles, journals and posters, and now you just want to focus on finding a job.

However, you should definitely resume your reading in the future as it is not  only a pleasant break from gruelling job-hunting, but also allows you to gain new ideas and develop your critical thinking.

More importantly though, you naturally improve your vocabulary, spelling and grammar whilst you read, which leads to more well-written CVs, cover letters and emails that are more likely to catch employers’ attention.

Ultimately, these are just a few actions to build knowledge and experience during lockdown and it is completely fine if you have different methods to make yourself more employable to employers.

Whatever methods you use though, do not be afraid to share it with other unemployed people as it may help them secure a job in the future.

Photo by Carlos Roso on Unsplash

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