Cataclysmic change happens in every generation at least once. It’s rarely easy but change is often the greatest teacher. Human nature is resilient and change is an opportunity to build and flex the muscles of resilience, ingenuity, and creativity.
Often during times like these, the economy takes a beating — we call these periods recessions. Did you know that new and creative things have come out of every recession in recent history? Buying clubs (Sam’s, Costco) and off-price stores (TJ Maxx, Ross) rose out the recession in the early 1980s. In 1990 and 1991, we saw the release of Sirius Satellite Radio and Adobe Photo Shop, and in the fall of 1990, the first web server – the foundation for the World Wide Web – was created. In 2001 mobile phones, Xbox, GameCube, iPods, Pokeman Mini and Lego Harry Potter were all released. In 2008, in the middle of the Great Recession, more tech products were introduced than at any other point in history.
Creativity doesn’t pause simply because we have to change the way we work. So what can you do if you feel at loose ends? Virtually, anything! From the career preparation point of view, you can catch up and be prepped and ready. Here are some small steps you can take while waiting for the world to right itself again:
- Try a Virtual Career Fair – numerous organizations are still holding virtual events/career fairs.
- Gather letters of reference – Faculty are most likely busier than the rest of us, having the hardest task of building classes online while also continuing to teach and manage research activities. You can make it easy for them to help you – send them an outline of what you would like them to highlight and let them know you will write the letter and send it back to them for their review, approval, and signature.
- Review individual or group projects you weren’t happy with and see if you can improve them. Add your findings to your resume. Employers appreciate initiative!
- Research companies and industries you haven’t had time to research before. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to start. If you like data it is a great resource!
- Read Career Services’ blogs and listen to our podcasts
- Write a blog, join/start a podcast for any team you are a part of
- Finally, take advantage of utilizing Career Services’ staff. We are here, working virtually, to help with job searching, resume and cover letter reviews, LinkedIn profile assistance, mock interviews, salary negotiations and more.
Be flexible, creative, inventive, and avoid boredom and computer burnout by getting outside (using social distancing protocols of course). Stay safe, strong, and well!
Erin Minta has had worked with students in higher education in a variety of roles and serves Embry-Riddle as a Program Manager in Career Services. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, Arts and Sciences from Western Michigan University and a Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. She has been actively involved with the Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration/Cooperative and Experiential Education Division (CIEC/CEED) as a presenter, and as an article and abstract reviewer for the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE). She enjoys working with students to help them identify and fulfill their academic and professional goals.