Over the past few months, we have all had to adapt to a new routine, perhaps a changed work situation, new housing arrangements, cancellation or postponing plans. A lot has changed in my life over the past few months, including my outlook on my future plans. As someone who is a big ‘planner,’ meaning I try and schedule my life about a year out, the uncertainty has been a little difficult to accept. However, after a lot of reflection and adapting, I have found a better outlook on this time, become a better student and overall take advantage of a new situation.
EZ Insider's 4 Recommendations For Productive Quarantine Activities:
1. Learn More About Who YOU Are
I have always been extremely interested in personality types, astrology and anything that can help explain who people really are and may provide reason for why they do the things they do. During my time at home I’ve taken dozens of personality tests. They’ve provided something really fun to share and compare with friends, as well as help me really reflect on who I am and who I want to be.
Some I recommend include:
- Enneagram Test: This test categorizes individuals in to nine personality profiles. (I am type 2 – the helper!)
- 16 Personalities: This is based on the Meyers-Briggs Personality test and breaks down your personality based on how you approach and react to situations. (I am an ENFP.)
2. Reevaluate Your Schedule
As busy marketing communications professionals and students, we always hear how important it is to have a set schedule. For myself, I always start off the semester with good intentions of a consistent schedule but make excuses for when things shift. This forced temporary break, and complete change in any form of routine, made me confront the factors and excuses that were disrupting my schedule. I took initiative to get organized, to plan ahead and create a complete Google Calendar. By using a tool like Google Calendar, I am able to set updates and reminders to my phone, schedule meetings with a built-in virtual meeting feature and easily able to manipulate my schedule.
Things to include in your revised quarantine schedule:
- Work hours
- School hours
- Exercise goals
- Social virtual meetings with friends
- No-screen time (Take a break from blue light!)
3. Prioritize Professional Development
At this time my graduation from the M.S. Integrated Marketing Communications program is projected for December 2020. While this may seem far away, for someone who feels the need to plan extensively ahead this is extremely unsettling in an uncertain job market. In order to calm some of my nerves about the future of my job search I have been focusing on what I can do now to position myself as a highly qualified candidate in the future.
Here’s some simple professional development activities you can do today:
- Revamp your personal brand: Check out this Integrate Online session for some tips on upping your LinkedIn game, defining what your brand stands for and more from industry experts.
- Reformatting your resume and cover letter: Another great Integrate Online session brought together top recruiters to discuss what recruiters look for when selecting qualified applicants to interview for positions.
- Seeking industry-relevant certifications: Certifications for popular industry platforms like Hootsuite and Google Analytics can be great interview talking points and help you match skills listed in job descriptions. These can be sought individually or as part of the new M.S Digital Marketing Communications program.
- Create portfolio ready content: Consider starting a blog, upping your social media game or contributing to WVU Marketing Communications content channels. Reach out about contributing to our blog or being featured on social media.
4. Craft the perfect work-from-home playlist
I currently have two jobs and a number of side projects because of my inability to sit still, and we all know marketing communications professionals are the kings and queens of the “side hustle.” This means I spend a lot of time plugged in to my laptop. I personally need some background noise to motivate myself and focus on my work. As someone who loves music, I have really taken a deep dive in to finding new music and artists to listen to while I type away all day.
Here are some websites to help you discover new tunes:
- Obscurify: This site actually tells you how “unique” your Spotify listening activity is compared to the general user population. Thanks to my indie, modern rock, alternative taste in music mine was pretty out there. It also provides a custom playlist of more “obscure” songs you might like.
- Moodify: Similar to Obscurify, this site uses your listening activity to generate a custom playlist. However, it also has controls to input your current mood and interests such as how much “danceability” you want each song to have.
- Podcasts: If you’re looking for something new to listen to and an opportunity to further your professional development, consider adding a few industry focused podcasts to your playlist. Check our WVU Marketing Communications own Marketing Communications Today podcast on our website or on Spotify.
This situation of staying home and adapting our everyday life is only temporary, but the impact you make now can change the course of your life and career forever. Take advantage of this time to slow down, reevaluate, plan and execute things that matter to you!