Preparing for an Uncertain Future
By Neepa Parikh | Director | Office of Career & Life Design
Lately it seems like a lot of things have been happening to us, which makes us feel like we’re losing control. Many of us have either lost or fear losing our jobs. If you couple that with constant news streams and updates, the anxiety becomes very real. Feeling anxious, sad, and angry right now is understandable. I encourage you to feel your feelings, enlist the support of family and friends, and then start the process of gaining control again. But, let’s face it, we can never have full control of everything. That’s just life. However, there are many things that we can do to feel a bit more grounded during times of uncertainty.
I encourage you to participate in an exercise: Take out a pen (or go nuts and use a crayon!) and paper. Draw a medium-sized circle on the paper. On the outside of that circle, list all the things you can’t control right now. In the circle, list all the things you can control. Don’t limit yourself on this part. Go ahead and list them all!
Here are a few that our team came up with:
We Cannot Control…
- The economy and how it affects our company and/or companies of interest.
- The speed at which companies are hiring right now.
- The start date of a new job or internship.
- Industries/companies that are or aren’t hiring right now.
- Whether or not a recruiter or industry professional replies to our email or message on LinkedIn.
- The future.
We Can Control…
- Our job performance – if you are currently employed, focus on being a stellar employee, but also take breaks!
- Communicating our needs – trying to balance work/school and kids at home is challenging. Talk to your manager about a schedule that will work for you.
- Our job search materials – update your resume and LinkedIn profile. This is also a good time to reflect on your career and think about next steps.
- Interview skills – polish your video interview skills by scheduling a mock interview with a career consultant or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to the StandOut Practice Interview
- Community connections – Shelter-in-place doesn’t mean isolate. Reach out to industry professionals and alumni via the GGU Connect platform and/or LinkedIn to learn more about specific industries trends, jobs, and companies while expanding your network. Remember, you are not asking for a job, rather asking for information. Example: What’s it like to work at Salesforce? How are finance professionals maintaining the confidentiality of clients while working remotely?
- Skill development – take this opportunity to learn a new skill. Consider watching an Excel tutorial online, sign up for a free trial of LinkedIn Learning, or play around with a new presentation tool such as Beautiful AI.
We could go on, but you get the idea. Focusing on what is in your control can help you to influence the future. While the above list is limited to our careers, think about other things that you can possibly control – exercise, meditation, nutrition, spending, etc. Once you’re done with this exercise, schedule an appointment with a career consultant on GGU Careers to prioritize and start working on those next steps.
The Co-Founder of Candor created a live, user-generated list to keep track of which companies are hiring or have hiring freezes. Feel free to check it out – https://candor.co/hiring-freezes/ . Remember that the content is not verified by Candor so it’s a good idea to do your own research.
There are also several industries that are currently hiring including:
- Shipping & Delivery – UPS
- Online Learning Companies
- Grocery Stores and Delivery Services – Safeway, Instacart
- Remote communication – Zoom, Slack
- Working families – childcare