Returning to work should still be on your 2020 agenda, here’s why

It’s fair to say that we are all a bit shell shocked with the impact of COVID-19 as it influences how we live, work and play. Many of us feel like we are not in control and facing uncertainty around what is going to happen next.

For an indefinite period, we will be facing a ‘new normal’ within our households. Juggling new routines across schooling, working and keeping everyone entertained. What does all of this mean if you were planning on going back to work in 2020?

The irony is that there are genuine opportunities for returners, let’s explore these more.

Opportunity 1: ‘Banked’ time

This shift on where we are spending our time creates a new perspective on how this time is ‘freed’ up.

For example, if after school activities are all cancelled and frees up say 10 hours a week, then this can be ‘banked’ and re-scheduled to fit around the ‘new normal’. Use this time to focus on return to work activities. We are going to make this easy for you and set the challenge! Use this ‘banked’ time to get your LinkedIn profile sparkling! By sparkling we mean:

  • Add a professional head shot that has only you in it
  • Create a headline that captures the role you are working towards
  • Write an engaging and authentic ‘about’ section – here’s a great resource to help with this
  • Complete all other sections on your profile including experience, education, skills and interests.

Opportunity 2: More flexible and remote roles

Due to social distancing measures many workplaces are being forced to allow their people to work remotely and flexibly. This will be disruptive for many businesses but it will be a game changer for the workforce as a whole. Businesses still need to be operational and depending on the industry there will be new jobs created that will require flexibly and remote conditions. Pre-COVID the majority of advertised roles were rigid and inflexible for career returners so now is a great time to get your foot in the ‘virtual door’, show how amazing you are and secure a role that fits in with the rest of your life.

Opportunity 3: Broaden the lens

Many organisations are going to have to pivot and reinvent to stay sustainable. Others are having unprecedented growth due to high demand of specific products, services or both. Take a packaging companies who are now producing hand sanitizers or call centres who have been inundated. This means that there are new opportunities for talented professionals like returners. Use this disruption to broaden the lens; research where the growth and change is, identify the problem that needs solving, decide how you can contribute and approach direct. You can use your skills and adapt them to fit the needs of these businesses who will need project managers, change experts, customer facing roles, communication managers, training solutions and new business processes just to name a few.

Opportunity 4: Learn something new

Get familiar with remote working technology and productivity tools. For example, Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Google Suite and Slack. At the end of the day the whole population has to learn new tools and ways of working so hitch a ride on the same train and don’t get left behind! Or leverage your time to take a course,  edX and Coursera offer free courses from top universities that are worth checking out.

If 2020 was your year to return you have two choices. One, put the brakes on and prolong your re-entry for another year. Or two, embrace the uncertainty and use this extended time at home to leverage opportunities to put you in the best position to get a role now or once we emerge from this period!

To support Returners during this period ZIPWIRE have designed a 1:1 support package that will help you build a consistent story across ALL channels from CV, LinkedIn, Networking and interviews. Over the next 3 months we will also add unlimited reviews to allow you to keep momentum with your re-entry journey. Download now