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3 lessons I learned from making a big career change during the pandemic

Focus On What You Can Control

Zoom interviews and virtual meetings are not ideal and do feel awkward when compared to normal, face-to-face interactions, but the basics like developing relationships, listening well, maintaining eye contact and slowing down when speaking are still as rock-solid as before.

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3 lessons I learned from making a big career change during the pandemic

3 lessons I learned from making a big career change during the pandemic

https://www.fastcompany.com/90531086/3-lessons-i-learned-from-making-a-big-career-change-during-the-pandemic

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

Getting Hired During The Pandemic

The recruitment process hasn’t changed much during the ongoing pandemic, apart from Zoom interviews, and the virtual onboarding.

Job seekers do not have much to tweak in their interview style, and the only thing that has to be upgraded is their mindset.

Don't Let The Bad News Discourage You

We have to let go of the mindset of 'nobody is hiring now.'

Though we see in the news and on LinkedIn that companies are experiencing layoffs, and there are widespread hiring freezes and shutdowns, many sectors are showing remarkable growth. Digital education, Publishing, IT and Medical sectors are a few examples.

Get Out Of The Normal

We have to get out of the cocoon of a normal, expected job profile.

There are new opportunities emerging due to the pandemic, at the unlikeliest of places. One may be the right fit for a new kind of industry with a new kind of role.

Focus On What You Can Control

Zoom interviews and virtual meetings are not ideal and do feel awkward when compared to normal, face-to-face interactions, but the basics like developing relationships, listening well, maintaining eye contact and slowing down when speaking are still as rock-solid as before.

Real Change

Apart from employees, even the organizations are being forced to rethink and update their own mindset according to the new reality of the world.

With the offices and factories working on less than optimal levels, and people being unable to commute, there is no reason for employers to pressure new joiners to relocate or to report to duty in person.

A Larger Pool Of Candidates

Working remotely, once a privilege of the few, is now a reality for most white-collar workers.

It has also led to recruiting a more diverse set of candidates, as being ‘local’ or having a short commute to the office is no longer an important criterion.

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Looking locally first

Because of social distancing, many companies are pulling back on national or global advertising. They started limiting their geographic search and are now looking locally first.
This could be go...

Adapting the interview process

Face-to-face interviews are not really possible and recommended anymore, and everybody’s been replacing them with their video equivalent.
How a company adapts its interview process can be a preview to its culture: by accommodating different comfort levels, companies aren’t just saying they have a good culture; they’re showing it.

New onboarding process

The onboarding process for newly hired candidates is becoming virtual, too. 

You need to offer plenty of resources and information, with scheduled conversations through video. You need to introduce a routine into their lives.

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A long-term response

Global crises are always challenging to navigate. When the time for immediate response passes, we have to dig in for the long haul.

Factors that influence operations going forward will ...

An employee-driven approach

Employees' health and well-being should come first. There may be a perceived choice between productivity and well-being. But, engagement is a natural by-product of well-being.

People are worried about health, job security, their kids' education, life on the other side of the crisis. Micro-managing will not create focus. Tactics like time-tracking software will only compound the problem. Instead, focus on easing their fears. The more distractions we as leaders can clear away, the more effective our people will be.

Guiding principles for a crisis response
  • Part of the response is to hold performance and growth check-ins to acknowledge the contribution each employee is making and help them manage their longer-term professional goals.
  • Err on the side of overcommunicating. Create a communication plan and be consistent. E.g., a daily email from the heads of each unit, or video messages from the CEO. Share even the bad news, to prevent employees from inventing their own stories to fill the void.
  • Keep a tight feedback loop. Know how your employees are coping, how their work is affected, and how they think leadership can help.
  • Be mindful of the resources you're consuming. Don't consume additional masks, disinfectants, and other supplies that hospitals need.

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The online job application process
The online job application process

Online applications can take hours of candidates' time when applying for a job. While some firms are moving away from these online systems, many companies move towards them.

A recen...

Most companies rely on ATS
  • With newer platforms, applicants have the option of using their LinkedIn profile instead of a CV. But they may still encounter customised questions that will require a significant investment of time.
  • LinkedIn's Easy Apply button on job listings allows candidates to submit their profiles without additional materials.
  • However, the majority of New York-based positions listed on LinkedIn rely on external ATS (Applicant tracking system) to manage applications.
ATS systems are not human friendly

What serves the employer well may not work for the prospective employee.

  • According to a survey, 60% of candidates may give up on an application if it's too long or complicated.
  • A cumbersome application process likely indicates the company's attitude towards its employees or overall culture.
  • It is a dispiriting process as even seasoned applicants receive a response only 5% of the time.

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Dating In The Times of Pandemic
Dating In The Times of Pandemic

As offline activities for dating couples have to be avoided, the dating brands of the internet have adapted themselves fast to accommodate virtual activities and in-build video chats. 

Video Dating Or No Dating

Apps like OkCupid and Tinder see a decent surge in daily conversations in the last month. Ironically, the feature that they have recently introduced, Video Dating, wasn’t asked by anyone before the pandemic, as everyone preferred real dating. Now, due to everyone in lockdown, it is the most used feature and has shot up the app engagement.

Video dating, which has witnessed a 200 percent increase in OkCupid, lets the dating couples check the ‘vibe’ of their partner, and decide if the person can be dated in future.

Digital Date Ideas

Some of the interesting digital date ideas that are proposed in the dating Apps:

  • Build a playlist together
  • Watch TikTok Videos, trying to understand Millennials and Gen Z
  • Draw pictures of each other
  • Tackle a crossword puzzle together
  • Watch an old concert on youtube together
  • Read the same book and discuss it on video chat.

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'So, Tell me about Yourself'

... or some version of that is one of the most fundamental and common questions asked in any first round of a Job Interview.

Hiring managers usually like to ask this question, because it ...

Short vs long answers

The conventional expert opinion is to provide a crisp, 30 second to 1-minute answer to the question "Tell me about yourself", but one minute isn’t enough time to deliver a meaningful response that benefits you as a candidate.

Experts prefer a short answer, as it has less chance of leading the candidate to drift or ramble.

Benefits of a long answer
  • A longer answer to "Tell me about yourself" allows you to provide a useful narrative beyond the résumé.
  • It lets you reveal key motivations that drove your career path.
  • You can shape the interview in your direction.
  • It's an opportunity to stand out from the other candidates.
Lockdown Anxiety and Technology
  • The new virus has forced the entire world in an unprecedented lockdown.
  • In these times of a looming unknown future, existential fear and separation from friends and family, millions ...
Get Everything Online

Online mental health therapies may make people stick to it longer, but it’s long-term benefits are still questionable, according to a study.

This mandatory Quarantine mode, which can last for weeks or months, is making us more dependent on anything and everything online, with smartphones being the potential gateway to online mental health care.

Your purpose in life
Your purpose in life

... has very little to do with your job. Your purpose is to unlock and fold in who you are becoming with who you already are. The activities that force you to grow are your calling. Learning fro...

Discovering who you aren't
"You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren't. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don't think your way into becoming yourself." -- Anne Lamott

We have to be courageous enough to let go of what no longer serves us in order to step into something new, and probably a lot bigger. 

Learned Optimism in Psychology
Learned Optimism in Psychology

This is a concept that suggests that we can always change our attitude and behaviour, be aware of our thoughts and stop our negative self-talk.

Learned Optimism is a positi...

Pessimism Vs Optimism

Pessimism is defined as the anticipation of good or bad things to happen in the future, while optimism is generally considered the opposite. Optimism can be defined as the individual difference variable reflecting the extent of which we hold positive expectancies for the upcoming event.

The ways in which we think affects our health, well-being and success, even though the situations are the same.

Benefits of Optimism
  • A positive impact on many aspects of physical and mental health.
  • Provides motivation to work harder.
  • Greater career success in life.

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The cash flow formula
The cash flow formula

The word "budget" is often synonymous with restricted and rigid, making you want to avoid it. Instead, use the term "cash flow."

The formula for cash fl...

Decide how strict you need to be with y our money

Your budgeting style will change over your lifetime. You may use the envelope method when you need to be stricter with yourself.

Some people feel less stressed when they use budgeting styles that track every penny. Others find it is enough to run cash flow and know there's some money left each month for nonessentials. They don't need to itemize where every dollar is spent. See what style of budgeting support your goals and sanity, then adjust as needed.

Know when to stop trimming

Much personal finance advice focuses on making cuts. The information is useful when you're trying to avoid mindless spending. However, there is a time to shift your focus from slashing to earning.

Polish your resume, and apply for open roles that could be earning more. If you're not looking for a career move, a side hustle can help increase your income.

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