FACE COVID and Your Plans for This Summer

By: Christy Cheesman

I know there is an incredible amount of information going around right now. I would like to discuss your summer plans in a way that takes into account what a wild and weird time we are currently in. I have based this post off of a video (which you can watch below) that truly inspired me to think about the way I am responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The video was created by Dr. Russ Harris who is an Acceptance Commitment Therapist. He wants us to focus on acknowledging what is out of control, let it go, and focus on what we can control. Let’s follow his steps with a career-minded focus to FACE COVID.

F– Focus on what you can control. As much as we like to plan out our every move, this current moment in time is completely new and unpredictable. Maybe your internship was cancelled or you were laid off from your job. It is not your fault! There is a pandemic going on that was not your doing. This summer may simply not go as planned.

A– Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings. Cry even if you don’t need to. As scary as these present times are, we have to take care of ourselves as best we can. While we are stuck inside, there are still ways that we can keep learning and do things that bring us joy.

C– Come back to your body: Unclench your jaw and relax your shoulders. Maybe take a walk or have a glass of water. Your career is important but taking care of your mind and body is an integral part of doing well in your job/internship search. Tremendous amounts of long-term stress will not help you whatever your career goal may be. Click here for more info on this topic.

E– Engage in what you’re doing. We are still in class here at Richmond and we have to stay focused on our academic goals. If you were applying to jobs before the COVID-19 crisis, continue to do so. Keep working at what you want to accomplish.

C– Committed Action. This is where I would like to spend the majority of our time today. Think of small things you can do and engage in fully. There are still things you can do from home that can help you in your career. The following are a few ideas I came up with but feel free to do as little or as much that feels relevant to you. This is not the time to be in a productivity race.

Have you had an internship before? Try contacting them and letting the company know that you are available and interested in any remote work they may have available for you. Since you have already been trained for this company, they may be more willing to work with you. When you’re reaching out to existing contacts, don’t forget that we’re all juggling many things right now. Start off by genuinely asking how they’re doing. Recognize that they are likely going through a period of upheaval and uncertainty at their organization.

In need of quick cash? Here are some places that are looking for employees. Generally, places like grocery stores are going to be the best places to get hired quickly. Don’t forget, having customer service experience will help you grow and is great for a resume.

This is a great time for informational interviews since everyone is stuck at home. Reach out to people who have careers you want to know more about. Go to the University of Richmond LinkedIn page and look under the alumni tab. Check out what alumni are doing and message those who you would like to schedule a zoom interview with. It is possible to network virtually.

Learn a new skill. Don’t forget as a Richmond student you have access to LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com) The website provides unlimited access to an online library of high-quality instructional videos on the latest software tools and skills. With more than 13,000 courses taught by industry experts-and more added every week, the website is designed for all levels of learners and is available whenever you’re ready to learn. You can even view the resources on your iOS or Android mobile device (via web site or mobile apps).

Make an appointment with your career advisor!!! Feeling stuck? We are still available to meet with you virtually through phone call, Skype, or Zoom. Make your appointments through SpiderConnect as normal.

O– Opening Up. Open up about your feelings and be kind to yourself. What are some kind things you can do or say to yourself? This is more important than ever when we are balancing academics, career, and a global pandemic. Here are ten quick ways to do that if you are looking for some inspiration.

V– Values. What do you want to stand for in the face of this crisis? If you are finding yourself distracted when working on academic or career goals, take a break and look for little ways that you can help. Once again, here are some ideas for inspiration.

I– Identify Resources. Who is it that you can really count on for love and emotional support. Give them a call. While we are practicing social distancing, we can still stay connected to those that boost our mental health. Be kind to yourself and to those around you, it will feel good.

D– Disinfect and Distance. The most important thing you can do is stay home and stay safe. Give yourself grace from your normally on-the-go schedule, and stay home.

Photo Credit: Designed by Freepik

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