Social Distancing: A Time for Professional Growth

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I remember having a conversation with a close friend over the holidays about what it would be like if we didn’t have the confinements of school, work and financial burdens to dictate how we live our lives. We discussed how, in a perfect world, if we had an abundance of time to reflect and grow, we would be able to find what really motivates and fulfills us in life. We would live for ourselves and what drives our passions rather than what is expected of us or what pays the bills.

Now, amidst the current global health crisis, this hardly feels like a “perfect world.” It’s a time of fear, uncertainty and a loss of normalcy we likely haven’t experienced before. However, I find myself thinking back to that conversation with my friend months ago, and I feel motivated to find those things that bring me joy and release. With so much time spent indoors and away from distractions, these times are perfect for self-reflection and personal growth.

Quarantine and self-isolation can present themselves as an opportunity for setting career goals and making the necessary strides to fulfill them. Consider these questions:

  • What are your passions outside of work?
  • Is there a way that you can integrate those passions into a future career? If so, what companies exist in this sector? Which of them seem to have an exciting culture and line up with your own set of personal mission and values?
  • What is your dream job and what qualifications are needed to step into it? What steps do you need to take to get you there?

Now that you have an idea of what your dream job is, think about what you can be doing to immerse yourself in information pertinent to that industry and improve your personal brand.

  • If you are interested in some area of social media, take this time to research current trends (this is a great excuse to watch some funny TikToks and call it “work”!).
  • If you’re interested in crisis communication, take note of the many, many press conferences we are seeing right now and note what was done well and what you would have done differently.
  • Give your LinkedIn and resume a facelift – they can come out of this quarantine period with a drop-dead gorgeous makeover, making all the employers swoon! Take the time to change your outdated profile photo, make more connections and update your bio or work experience descriptions.
  • Make a website, tailor it to your own personal brand, and feature writing materials that cater to your dream job. As your personal brand and goals grow and change, make sure your visible materials (i.e. LinkedIn, social media, blog, etc.) grow and change with it.

Do you have any other ideas for building your personal brand during this time spent at home? We’d love to hear them!