Many of you are familiar with my passion for beauty and also for cooking – however, you may not know that I have over 25 years of Human Resources experience and have tons and tons of career advice to share.

Overnight employees are rethinking their careers in light of COVID-19.  If you are not part of an essential business- you are most likely trying to work from home.  I say “trying” because for those of us who don’t have an office at home – there are a lot of other things going on at home, that make working there a challenge.  Case in point, and a very funny example… I was on a Zoom call with several other HR people from different organizations sharing best practices – when one of the participants’ started to speak – but all we could hear was her husband shouting for his coffee. Thankfully I was on mute so no one could hear me fall out of my chair laughing. No, literally – I fell out of my chair!  My HR colleague continued speaking and remained such a professional – I called her later to ask how she did it.

Then there are those employees whose jobs simply don’t translate as working from home – those folks are really struggling right now because many people don’t have a large fund of cash for a rainy day.  Make sure you are taking advantage of all the benefits afforded to you such as the new paid sick time practice instituted by our government.  As I speak to friends and colleagues I keep hearing a similar theme:  “I wish I took that offer last year”, “I wish I worked in a job/company that was considered essential” “I wish I finished my degree”….

Well, I’m here to tell you that You Are in Charge of Your Career!  That’s right – nobody else but you – and now may be the best time to take advantage of different offerings – reconnect with previous colleagues and friends and tell EVERYBODY you are thinking about a different career or different job – and start doing something for yourself.  By the way, I’ve had about 5 different jobs in my career and I only interviewed for one – the others came to me because a friend recommended me for the role – so please don’t underestimate the power of networking!

Did you know in many states that unemployment offers retraining assistance where they extend your benefits?  For anyone on unemployment I encourage you to read through the material you received or go online and get to know all your benefits – you can extend unemployment benefits if you meet the requirements of retraining yourself also called “self-arranged training”.  You would need to contact unemployment soon after you are granted benefits to get started.  And these days there are many low-cost online classes you can take – now’s the time to look into it!

Remember – networking is important for so many reasons – use this time at home to connect with previous colleagues, and sign up to become a member of related organizations – many of these organizations are using Zoom calls for their meetings now – and while on the call please make sure your spouse isn’t shouting for their coffee – LOL!

By Rosemaria Altieri

Photo Courtesy of Glamour (Photo: Reproduction)