5 Career-Friendly Activities To Help Your Employability During Lockdown
With ongoing social distancing measures and repeated lockdowns in Malaysia, you might be feeling restless and worried about your future employment. As a result, you may well be exploring productive ways to fill your time and that would also contribute some great points to add to your CV and career.
We would like to help you with that! Here are 5 career-friendly activities that you can work on to keep yourself employable, all from the comfort of your own home!
Create And Elevate Your Digital Presence
It’s time to give your social media accounts some TLC during this pandemic. Take some time to elevate your online presence in terms of professionalism, information and accessibility.
Register and set up your profile on career-oriented platforms like LinkedIn, gradmalaysia, Glassdoor and JobStreet and connect with organisations that you’re interested in. Some employers also have official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts dedicated to careers and hiring that you can follow. Don’t forget to turn on your notifications for your favourite employers so you’re aware when they post new content.
If you choose to interact with employers through your social media – putting your profile on employers’ radar – it would be a good idea to keep your work and play separately. You can learn how to do so with our article on effective ways to manage your digital presence.
Pick Up A New Language
Learning a new language not only helps you to watch your favourite Korean dramas without English subtitles, but it also sets you apart when it comes to hiring. The modern workplace is an international and multicultural setting, especially since remote work is the new norm now. So employers increasingly value candidates with a working command of multiple languages.
Language skills can also expand your career options globally. For example, having a sufficient understanding of Mandarin may allow you to explore career opportunities in Chinese-speaking countries. You don’t have to limit yourself just to opportunities in Malaysia!
Whether you plan to improve on your current language(s) or start learning a completely new one, there are plenty of free online tools, podcasts and apps available to help you, such as Duolingo, Busuu and Babbel. If you need to have practice conversations with native speakers, you can try platforms such as HelloTalk.
Keep Researching Employers And Jobs
There’s definitely a lot of uncertainty around how companies in Malaysia plan on hiring during this time of crisis. However, that doesn’t mean you should slack off. Keep researching possible career paths and vacancies, and look out for opportunities to engage employers.
Sign up for virtual career fairs like the ones held by gradmalaysia.com to connect with employers and ask them questions in live Q & A sessions. Make sure you have an updated copy of your CV ready to apply for jobs too.
Keep a close eye on the news every day too and take note of which industries or companies are performing better than others. Many job opportunities are often not openly advertised, so you may have to knock on doors and try your luck. You won’t be able to do that effectively if you don’t know where to look!
Plus, being a well-informed job seeker will help you be better equipped to face recruiters during the assessment and interview processes as well. So do your best to keep your knowledge of the economy and the job market constantly up-to-date!
Sign Up for An Online Course
Looking to gain some new skills and certifications to boost your employability? Try looking for credible online courses through sites like Coursera, FutureLearn, Google Digital Garage and MasterClass that offer a wide range of courses.
Most of the time the courses offered have no entry requirements, and you can join as a beginner to explore topics that spark your curiosity. Pay special attention to skills or topics that are in demand in today’s workforce. If you followed our advice above and kept researching employers and their jobs, you may notice certain required/preferred skills that keep popping up in job postings or employer mentions. So use online learning to follow through on those if they seem both relevant and interesting to you!
Remember to add any online courses you’ve completed to your CV. Provide key details such as the title and duration of the course as well as when you completed it.
Practice the Recruitment Process
Apart from uploading your CV and filling in your information, many online job applications, especially those from large organisations, require candidates to take aptitude tests. You’ll be tested on several abilities including verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and logical thinking.
Try searching for practice tests online and time yourself while completing them. It's a chance for you to find out how well you can do in standard employer aptitude and get that practice in. Here’s a website that offers free practice tests for various abilities with a built-in timer for each test: www.assessmentday.co.uk.
You can also work on your interview skills by studying mock interview questions and drafting your answers to them. Then, request help from your parents, friends or siblings to do practice interviews with you. This will prepare you for any future interviews, be it virtual or physical.
Try Out Career Coaching
If you haven’t done it before, why not try a bit of professional career coaching? A good career coach can help you understand yourself and your career objectives better, which will help you tremendously when figuring out how to present yourself to an employer as well as your goals for personal growth.
Even if you have gone for career coaching before, it might not hurt to try another session or two to see if your goals or understanding of yourself have changed over time. We are living in volatile times where things seem to be constantly changing. So it doesn’t hurt to have a professional help you checkpoint yourself every now and then.
There are plenty of career coaches offering online counselling right now at different price points. Many accredited local counsellors in Malaysia can offer career coaching on the side as well. Make sure you check their qualifications beforehand to figure out which coach may be right for you. You can also try asking for a free trial session or two to see how well you get along with a potential coach before committing to them.