As our first month of lockdown comes to a close, those of us lucky enough to stay safe at home can reflect on the progress we have made in adapting to this new normal. So much of our daily life has adjusted to a virtual environment, including work, socialising and even our exercise.
There are many wonderful exercise classes that have now become freely available online, that the world is our oyster in how we can choose to keep active in the comfort of our own homes but how about your brain? Are we doing enough to keep our minds active and look after our mental health in this strange period?
Life has definitely slowed down dramatically, but we shouldn’t let our minds. A feeling of sluggishness and lethargy can come not just from a lack of physical activity but also from a lack of mental activity, so if things are quiet for you and you’re feeling ready to give your brain a workout, boost your mental health and find a positive distraction, we have listed a few ideas below to help get you going:
Career learning Skills
Whilst we all often crave a break from work to help us recharge, many of us still rely on our careers for positive mental health too. A career where you feel supported, encouraged and successful can lay the foundations for a fantastic sense of self-worth. Great team cultures and positive workplace atmosphere creates a brilliant source of comradery – all things we are missing out on in these strange isolated times.
However, a course related to your career can help you feel re-connected to your job. It can boost your self-morale and will give a sense of achievement and pride. You can also share and do courses virtually side by side with colleagues, returning that team united feeling as you discuss your progress.
By topping up and expanding your career based knowledge means that when that day to return to the workplace does happen, you’ll be doing so with new or updated armour to your skill set. Some great free online courses we have found:
Getting Started with Google Analytics
Managing the Company of the Future from London University
Creative thinking – Techniques and Tools for Success with Imperial College London
School of Marketing – Digital Skills required by Employers
Veterinary / Medical
Webinar Vet’s World Veterinary Association Congress with over 100 hours of CPD from 50+ Speakers
Dog Emotion and Cognition with Duke University
Climate Smart Agriculture with Reading University
Free Veterinary CPD with The Dechra Academy
Principles of Biochemistry with Havard University (63 other free classes also available here)
Is there a hobby or skill that you’ve always been tempted to try but lacked the time? Has new exercise or craft equipment sat gathering dust until you had the chance to give it a proper try? These kinds of skills, whilst not directly benefiting your CV can still boost your mental agility, retune your concentration skills and help with personal attributes often desired in successful candidates. Skills such as patience, perseverance, ability to see a project through and self-evaluation.
So perhaps it is time to dust off that calligraphy set or fish out that musical instrument you’ve been holding on to. Or if you fancy something new, here are some great courses we have spotted online include:
Fender – Learn to play guitar online
BluPrint – An online Craft tutorial website with tutorials for Sewing, Art, Baking, Woodwork, and Garden crafts and much more, offering free access during the Pandemic
Instructables – Free Cookery Course
Astronomy with an Online Telescope
How to be a Gardener with the BBC
Workplace and personal growth isn’t just limited to a qualification. There are other skills you can use to boost your professional value, confidence and self-worth. A few suggestions we have include:
Has LinkedIn always seemed daunting? Connections low or career details outdated? Perhaps now is the time to take the opportunity to explore this career based social media platform. You can explore the site in your own time by reaching out, making new connections and read through daily articles and past papers all linked to your professional field. There are also some handy guides and tutorials to get you up and running:
20 steps to a better LinkedIn profile in 2020
CV and Resume building
A skill so often overlooked is the art of CV writing. Many of us leave our resumes to gather dust, only to bring out the same copy, hastily update with any recent additions immediately before submitting for a new application.
Perhaps with this quiet time, we can help you learn to build the perfect CV. You could use the chance to add in your current role, its responsibilities and achievements whilst all still fresh in your mind.
Or you can start from scratch. So often we are hastily adding parts on to our CV each at a time, that after a few years it can become a clunky Frankenstein – why not investigate some modern templates, CV writing guides or even get in touch with us today for advice on building the perfect CV, ready for whenever that next opportunity may arise.
How to write an outstanding CV
Video Conferencing Skills
This is a skill that definitely requires practise and now is a fantastic time to get chatting over video. Some of us, before lockdown would rarely enter in to video conferencing – but as the standout success stories from this lockdown – video calling is on the up and is only going to keep increasing. Zoom alone has increased its users by 190 million in the last 3 months and when our economy and workplaces do begin their journey to recovery, so many things will be different – so we don’t see the weekly online team meetings to avoid unnecessary travel or virtual interviews disappearing overnight.
So embrace the video calls! See the weekly family video quiz night, or the zoom catch up with friends as not just fun but also valuable practise at perfecting your video manner. In these regular calls you will become more adapted to chatting confidently in to the camera, you will learn where works best for light and backgrounds and you will also start to stop focussing on your reflection in the camera but more on your colleague or companion on the screen.