For many of you young professionals and soon to be college graduates the unwelcomed coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is not only impacting your emotional, mental, and physical health but have you experiencing anxiety regarding your own future. When will this be over? Will I be the first to be let go? Will I be able to get a job? How will I pay my bills and student loans? Should I stay away from my parents? How does social distancing work anyway? What can I do and what can I control?
These are all common and natural feelings and questions to have during these uncertain and scary times. Hence why it is important to start strategizing ways to reduce the anxiety and press forward.
uBuntuSpeaks has put together 10 personal development strategies I believe will help you get started and see the light at the end of what seems to be a dark tunnel. Before we go down this list, I ask you to first take a deep breath (Inhale, exhale, and repeat) as much as you need to center yourself and be open to these strategies. Breathing allows you to take in oxygen, rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit. Deep breathing exercises is what you need to better strategize and find solutions to your problems.
- Mute the noise and get the facts and follow recommendations from trusted and reliable sources (CDC and WHO about the coronavirus- risk of transmission, treatment, social and economic (academic/business industries) impact.
- Call your student loan agencies and inquire about economic hardship deferment eligibility and what forms you will need to complete.
- Contact your rental management property and explain your situation or mortgage company and ask for a forbearance or loan modification.
- Create personal goal and action plan which includes the revision of your personal or household budget. Make sure to include various sources of income against all your monthly expenditures.
- Get someone to help you revise your resume and conduct mock interviews. Don’t have the money for it? Find a professional in your specific field and barter. He/she provides you help with your resume; you provide them additional social marketing or IT skills. Win-Win situation.
- Revise your LinkedIn profile and start expanding your network of professionals in your field of interest as well as showcase your expertise. Remember, LinkedIn is a platform for professionals and subject matter experts, so make sure your headshot says you belong.
- Find a mentor and sponsor who can help guide you through the uncertainty of the job market as well as introduce you to their network and opportunities.
- Improve on valuable soft skills such as communication (interpersonal and strategic) cultural awareness, networking, emotional intelligence, teamwork, leadership, growth mindset, project management, problem solving, negotiation, and conflict resolution.
- Learn a new language and culture. First get rid of the myth that you are too old to learn a language. Then find YouTube videos and download language apps such as Duolingo and start speaking a new language and discover the beauty of new cultures. Plus, the ability to effectively communicate in multiple languages in this global multicultural workforce is always a plus in the eyes of employers and corporations.
- Call and check on your family, close friends and loved ones. Share with them your strategies for making it through these times (1-9) and help them come up with strategies of their own. For example, help older family members and those with chronic health conditions including mental health contact their doctors, health insurance companies in order to get their prescriptions filled for at least 2-3 months. Don’t forget to do the same for yourself if needed and practice safe healthy behaviors.
Although these strategies are not the magic pills and a cure all we all wish would appear during the coronavirus pandemic, they are steps to decreasing the anxiety, fear, and hopelessness we may all feel and increasing our sense of control, personal responsibility, self-efficacy, and optimism. Feelings we all need to act, press forward and fulfill our purpose in life.
Remember, all medical and official guidelines ask that everyone practice social distancing, however, I am also asking you to also practice social responsibility and engagement, which we all know that of all the generational groups, millennials stand apart and above the rest. Know you are not alone and together we will get through this moment in time and come out stronger.
UBUNTU- I am who I am because we all are!
For more information or assistance in developing your personal career development plan please feel free to reach out to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org and or phone 762-333-2021.