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How to stay focused and positive in times of crisis

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By DAISY OKOTI
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As the world continues to grapple with the unprecedented effects of Covid-19, there is widespread uncertainty over how it will all end. The only sure thing is that the pandemic will change future workplace activities.

Perhaps your internship had to end abruptly because the company was closed temporarily. This means you will have to retake your internship at a later time before you can graduate or get employed. Talk of messed up timelines!

Or maybe a project that could have helped you get that promotion has suddenly stalled as focus shifts to staying safe during this pandemic.

Will you ever get back on track and complete the task? Are you still on course for that promotion? You can’t be sure any more.

And in such circumstances, you may end up getting worn out by worry and anxiety. It may feel as though your career has hit a wall. But you’re not entirely helpless. Here are some things you can do to stay focused amid the uncertainties.

Do a few work-related activities each day

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Whether or not you are actively employed at this time, set aside some time to work. You could search for a job online, look through LinkedIn to stay updated on the emerging trends at the workplace, or read career-relevant articles or opinions. Do something to keep your mind occupied.

If you are unemployed, send in a few job applications or take free online courses to develop your skills.

Stay connected to your networks

Remember that what is being discouraged is close physical interactions between human beings. This doesn’t mean your contacts are on leave or holiday.

Send emails or make calls to remain in touch with all your networks. Now that you have more time on your hands, it might be a great time to revive old networks.

By doing this, you will not only stay focused in your career, you will also stay updated on the goings-on in your industry. You will get to know of all the webinars going on in your field or any virtual trainings you can be part of.

The coronavirus pandemic has altered life as we know it. Resist the temptation of resigning to fate.

History shows that humans have had similar problems before and risen again on account of collective effort and sheer determination.

There will be life after this pandemic. Many companies have had to shelve many projects, but scouting for talent through various platforms is still going on.

If you doubt this, check your favourite job site and find out how many jobs are being advertised. What this means is that you should make sure your online presence is continually active and positive.

Share work-related articles, contribute to hashtags about your job, and leave well thought out comments on LinkedIn posts. All these will pay both in the short and long terms.

You may be one of those people who permanently mutes group notifications, or you just never bother about the discussions that happen within those groups.

Well, these are unfamiliar times and you will have to do that which is unfamiliar, like actively checking and engaging in group discussions.

In the present situation, more and more information is being shared online. Unmute the group notifications because these forums will help you stay updated and connected to your colleagues in the industry, and the interactions you will have there may encourage you to be more hopeful and positive about the future.

Nobody has this figured out

Be kind to yourself. This situation is new to us all and almost everyone’s career has been impacted either directly or indirectly.

When you feel anxious and nervous because you feel like your career has hit a dead end, remember that it is not your fault and that in this life, certain things will always be beyond your control.

The best you can do is to observe the World Health Organisation guidelines. Other than that, try not to beat yourself up too hard.

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