Career Development in the Era of COVID

Life during lockdown can be overwhelming. This new way of life presents many challenges and opportunities for learning and personal development. In fact, you can use this time to learn a new skill, upgrade an existing one, volunteer and revamp your CV. So, if you are based in the UK and wondering how you use an extra time for personal development, here are a few ideas: 

  • Volunteer: there many options here. If you are self-isolating but feel well enough you can help with contacting and befriending people who are isolated or help share official information online, or check in on your neighbours using, for example, WhatsApp. If you are well enough, you could volunteer to support your community, and the added boost to your CV will be a bonus. You can find out more about options for volunteering at your local Volunteer Centre (, or check the NHS website for ideas how you could support them You could also begin a fund raising campaign like this hero of a man (
  • Refresh your CV and your Linkedin website – this is a great time to sit back and you’re your CV and LinkedIn profile a bit of TLC. See our previous posts about writing a good CV and application and check this article out for more advice of sprucing up your LinkedIn profile
  • Research career opportunities: we all are probably spending more time online than we would normally do, so why not turn it into a productive activity and research the companies you would like to work for in the future. Pay attention to the language they use and what they stand for and take notes. This will come in handy when the lockdown is lifted and life will get busy again.
  • Start an academic blog or draft that paper: for more advice check our previous articles about writing for academic journals. 
  • Learn programming: data scientists and business analysts, like to see candidates being able to programme using Python, an easy language to learn and very much in demand because it structures data in a very helpful way. Microsoft has introduced this course to get you started:
  • Learn Excel: most jobs require strong MS Excel skills and without knowledge of Excel you will be at a great disadvantage. Here are some courses you can check out: 10 Excel functions everyone should know ( and Microsoft tutorials (
  • Catch up on your reading: while physical buildings are closed you should be able to access online journals through your library

More useful articles to read:–2/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely


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