During this unprecedented time of change due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbia University School of Professional Studies Dean Jason Wingard hosted a Twitter chat about how to prepare your career for times of rapid change. Using the hashtag #CUSPSchat, Dr. Wingard shared advice on managing stress, data on job hunting and how to leverage skillsets to meet the needs of the time.
Below, please find a summary of the chat and resources for students. You can find the full history of the discussion on Twitter here.
Question from Dean Wingard: “I’ll kick us off with a question. There is no doubt the economy is suffering under the ongoing crisis of #COVID19. Are any industries hiring?”
Dean Wingard followed up his question with: "In my recent Forbes column, I analyzed BLS data to share which industries are hiring aggressively right now: essential retail, warehousing and delivery, & the virtual economy."
In response, Jennifer Goez, Senior Director of Faculty Recruitment wrote: “I recommend leveraging the LinkedIn jobs section for daily updates and sign up for alerts. They have a comprehensive daily update on COVID-19 and job opportunities related news.”
Question from Dean Wingard: “We are all juggling ‘new normals’ in managing our jobs, education, and family under one roof. How are you managing the stress of it all?”
This prompt garnered many fun and helpful responses. Among the suggestions:
“Having a workplace that is flexible enough to let me rearrange things that normally are NOT for work time — e.g. time for grocery shopping in the middle of the day to avoid crowds — has been paramount. That, and running!”
“Trying to be easy on myself and others with expectations and walking the dog daily! I know from various experiences in my life that tomorrow will be different than today, and that there are silver linings to stressful situations and that you must be open to those emerging!”
Dean Wingard also offered these tips and tricks from SPS Human Capital Management students about balancing work and life during the pandemic.
Question from Dean Wingard: How can you make sure you are preparing for new opportunities on the job front during a crisis? Is it possible to look ahead, past these challenging and nebulous circumstances?
“Creativity can be nurtured in times of upheaval, when there is a change to the norm or status quo,” Dean Wingard wrote. “Take some time to list out your goals, and then list new and unorthodox ways to achieve them.”
Several other followers chimed in, continuing the conversation. Josette Thomas asked, “Do you think there will be a decline in young professionals entering the healthcare field after the Covid 19 pandemic?”
To which Dean Wingard responded: ”Interesting question--I find that in times of crisis, it's in our nature to be helpful. Take for example Miss England, who stopped her tour to return to the UK and continue her career as a doctor.”
Amanda Nelson, Interim Associate Dean of External Affairs, also shared a great resource for virtual networking, including the Columbia Alumni Association’s list of online events.
Michelle Aymold, VP of Marketing at Parker Dewey, also shared the interesting idea of micro-internships to help bolster one’s resume right now.
While there were many other interesting parts of the conversation, Dean Wingard wrapped up with a message about mental health:
“Those leaders who vocally advocate for seeking out and addressing mental health will encourage others to do the same,” Dean Wingard wrote, pointing followers to a recent column he authored on the matter.