Beauty / Wellbeing

Advice to work through the crisis: a career coach answers your questions

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Need career coach advice on how to start a new project during a pandemic? How to find yourself again after being stood down, or talk to your boss about job security? We asked career counsellor and Umenco director Angela Briggs your questions about working in these unprecedented times.


Where to from here? I've been stood down and am contemplating a career change!

I hope you are okay. It is a difficult time and I really feel for you. I think this potentially opens up a really exciting opportunity for you, making the most of the time and opportunity to reset but all be super kind to yourself.


How is hiring happening for creatives in these circumstances? Is it even happening?

There is freelance and contract work available. Current movements in the fashion  industry suggests at the end of May interviewing will begin and hiring of roles will begin again potentially in June. There are still some roles on, however the amount of opportunities for new full time roles currently is small.


Should I be reassessing my career progression goals?

It is important to focus on your skills and up skill in areas where you may require development. There are also some exciting online courses available now that are great now is a great time to tap into.


How do I approach getting some peace of mind from my boss around job security?

Send an email and ask for 30 minutes at a time best for them to chat through via Zoom or FaceTime. Have your questions ready and be prepared for some uncertainty. These are unprecedented times and the best approach is open, positive and for employers not to over promise.


Will the changes made by companies during COVID become the new norm?

Potentially. The industry was ready for a big shake up. People who work hard and are great at their jobs and keep an agile and innovative approach will emerge from this stronger.


Should I stay in a job I’m unhappy with until this all blows over?

Make a list, weigh all up and make more changes for the future - ensuring everyday you go to work you bring your very best self. Don’t burn bridges!


The lines between work and personal time seem to be more blurred than ever. Any advice?

It is business-critical to be doing your very best work at the moment. I recommend a structure that allows you to focus on both your personal self care and interests and equally your professional commitments.


How can one keep creative momentum / stay productive after job loss?

Taking time for self care and being inspired through this exciting time of change. We have an opportunity each day to choose our mindset.


I have two qualifications. How do I launch a career change in this difficult time? 

I would recommend ensuring your CV and LinkedIn profile are current and present your brief profile, career details, including responsibilities and key achievements, your personal details and qualifications. I would then work through a job search plan - start with housekeeping;  what is your ideal location, relevant roles, what companies / brands would you like to work for? When are you available? Then research company cultures / values, potential opportunities and relevant contacts you may have or that you could cultivate.


I am a nurse and wanting to delve into creating a wellness Instagram. Any tips?

Our team has recently started to use Planoly and love it. I think being authentic is always important and we have found consistency with posting helps to create engagement.


I work for a small company where my role is very broad. I'm not sure how to move on and find my niche within another company. I'm feeling like a Jack of all trades but a master of none.

I would suggest talking to your references or potentially a mentor about your key strengths and where perhaps, you need to up skill and develop further. Someone who is willing to get in and work support in all areas often brings a great attitude and an understanding of their industry! It is a great background to have! Sometimes you may have to take a side step to cultivate more experience in a certain area or to work within a bigger company. Keep an open mind when considering roles and companies.


How to keep motivated and trust your own ability?

You did not cause COVID-19. This is a time where globally we are experiencing collective circumstances. None of us have all the answers but by doing our very best as individuals and supporting each other we can and will come out of this stronger with new perspectives and experiences. I am choosing personally to focus on my skills and my experiences, knowledge and network to maintain my professional motivation and empowerment during this period.


To book in a time with Angela Briggs at UMENCO for personal career coaching and counselling services, while helping to support Giant Steps, click the link to donate and email [email protected].