Staying sharp while social distancing

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All over the city organizations and businesses are closing their doors to help slow down the spread of covid-19. We are encouraged to stay home as much as possible and reduce the amount of big social gatherings. A helpful article published by the Washington Post shows us why doing this helps “flatten the curve”, a phrase that is now making its rounds online. While the job market becomes more and more uncertain as businesses shut down, there are still things you as a job seeker can do to be ready as soon as an opportunity comes up. The best part? All of these things can be done right in your home.

1. Intentionally plan out your job search.

Often when we start looking for a job, we dive right into it and readjust as we go. Now that things are slowing down, why not take the time to actually think about where you want to work and what you need to do to get there. Make a list of industries you see yourself working in, companies you want to work for, and the people in your network. Be more intentional about checking in with your network. You want to establish or regain trust so that if things change in the job market you are up to date and the first to know. Research the companies and industries from your list. What are the common skills they require? When is their peak hiring season? Which positions open up the most often? Use this information to shape your learning, which brings us to the next two points.

2. Strengthen your current skills.

Look, if you don’t use it, you lose it. As we adjust to a new way of working and living, make sure you devote time to growth and learning. You can access lessons online for things like typing, emailing, even practicing writing resumes and answering interview questions, all for free!

Free Online Resources

(You can also follow our YouTube Channel to see resources made by OFE facilitators, especially if you have taken our workshops in person. These posts will compliment things you already learned and give you a chance to comment and ask questions directly on the post if you need more guidance.)

3. Learn new skills.

You know that thing you always wanted to learn but never had time for? This is the time! There are many videos on YouTube alone that teach you everything from knitting to playing the guitar. You can also open yourself up to new ideas and learn more about the world around you, and what better way to do that than by picking up a book? Below are a couple of places you can download eBooks and other eMedia for free!

eMedia (books, audiobooks, magazines, movies, tv)

If you are more of a visual learner, you can check out the TED Talks website or explore YouTube for videos on self-improvement, leadership and other work-related skills.

Want something to play in the background? Podcasts are another free resource and are available through a variety of mediums including iTunes and Spotify. Some podcasts to get you started:

4. Reflect and readjust.

Everything else aside, this is a great time. Usually we are too busy to slow down, stop and think, but now we have no excuse for making this part of our new daily routines. As you are working through your job search plan, think about those times you were unsuccessful, in an interview, in a specific task, in a job related assessment, etc. and ask yourself what you need to change. Maybe it is one small part or maybe it is the whole plan. There is no better time to look at both the big and small picture and adjust and reroute as necessary to ensure a better outcome in the future.

The big idea here is to keep learning. Your brain is like a muscle, you need to keep using it for it to stay strong. The first few days of social distancing may feel like a great time to relax, and if this is the stage you are in then enjoy it! But we encourage you not to stay in it. When businesses start to open up again, the people who spent their time learning and growing are the people who will bounce back the fastest. Give yourself the upper hand by using this slow time wisely.

Author: Nelsa Uson, Employer Liaison

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Stay up-to-date on topics that can boost your career, give you a fresh perspective on job searching, and help you meet your goals faster.


Stay up-to-date on topics that can boost your career, give you a fresh perspective on job searching, and help you meet your goals faster.