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2020 is a daunting time to be employed, and even if you have not been made redundant, it can seem impossible to be able to advance in your career or to find a job in the current uncertain climate. However, 2020 is also a year that is filled with new opportunities in terms of the job market, such as the opportunity to take the plunge with a degree, such as online nursing programs. To utilize the recruitment gaps that are opening up, here are some of the top steps that you can take to boost your prospects.

Take an Online Degree

Although many people have avoided heading off to college or university this year, this should not deter you from being able to get the qualifications that you need. In order to get 2021 off to a great start, you should consider applying to take digital courses, such as online nursing programs. Taking an online degree is an excellent option for those who would prefer to stay at home for the rest of 2020, as qualifications like online nursing programs are conducted purely across the internet, with assessments and coursework being submitted through a digital portal. You will also be able to access lectures and tutor support remotely.

In addition to being able to take online nursing programs at home, online degrees are also an excellent choice for those who are still working during the pandemic. This is because they can allow you to boost your skills while still earning money alongside this. You can also use degrees like online nursing programs to boost the career that you already have as they often teach you the leadership and managerial skills that you need to progress.

Adapt to the Current Job Market

It is easy to feel as if every opportunity for your future career has quickly been stripped away, with many industries choosing not to hire new employees for the foreseeable future. However, rather than simply wait until your industry opens up again, you should consider finding ways in which you can adapt to the current job market and the in-demand careers that may be available during the midst of the pandemic. For instance, technical jobs, like software engineers, are currently in demand due to the increase in people shopping and working online. Not only this, but science and healthcare careers, which you can get into through taking online nursing programs, are constantly recruiting in order to cope with the high number of patients and testing that needs to be performed.

Acquire Transferrable Skills

Many people train for years in order to acquire specialist skills which can help them to excel in a certain career path. However, while these are extremely valuable, they can make your career options limited. Instead, you should focus on learning transferrable skills that can be applied to and used within a great assortment of different situations. For instance, having IT competence can help you to work within a number of different industries, from retail to administration. You should also consider building up skills which employers often look for on resumes, such as good communication skills, interpersonal skills, and leadership, which can often be learned from online nursing programs. This will then help to propel you to the top of an employer’s hiring campaign, regardless of your experience or expertise within their specific industry.

Use Your Extra Time Wisely

The pandemic has given us all extra time, whether we have been furloughed or whether we have stopped doing some of the activities that we normally enjoy. Although it is important to spend some of this time resting and recuperating, you should also consider ways in which you might be able to use this extra time to your advantage. Many people have never had so much time on their hands before, and never will again. In order to use this time wisely, you should find work experience opportunities in your industry, consider learning new skills or knowledge which you can use in your career, or even spend your days applying to new jobs and sprucing up your resume before a big recruitment surge occurs near the end of the pandemic.

Avoid Getting Comfortable

One of the dangers of the pandemic to your career is that it could lead to you getting too comfortable in your current job role, especially if you are concerned that you will not be able to find another job if you do decide to leave your position. If you get too comfortable, this could lead to a lack of progression and could even leave you with a dislike for your job. Then, to make sure that you can keep yourself open to new prospects in 2020, you should keep asking for new responsibilities, apply for promotions and roles in other departments, and ensure that you are financially secure enough to take the leap into the unknown if your job is beginning to feel stale.

Conduct Research into Your Industry

Before 2020, you might not have had the time or the inclination to conduct research into your chosen industry. However, conducting research is incredibly important to allow you to keep up with the latest updates and advances, to make sure that you are aware of the most recent job prospects in your sector, and to allow you to have a comprehensive knowledge of your business. Although you will conduct research as part of degree qualifications, such as online nursing programs, what you learn will soon become out-dated, and so it is important that you can research information yourself when you leave college or university.

There are many ways that you can conduct fact-based and useful research in 2020, and this includes subscribing to online journals, studying the biggest companies and reading interviews with their owners, and using academic resources to find out all of the facts that you need.

Consider Alternative Options

If you believe that you have to stick to the career that you decided on before you left high school, this is not the case. As people, we grow and change all the time, and so do our concepts of what would make the perfect career. Rather than going into a career that you are going to hate, you should consider alternative options. This is particularly the case if the current global situation has made it impossible for you to enter into the industry that you had previously planned to do. Even if you are slightly older, it is still possible to think about the alternatives. In fact, many people now choose to follow a career change in their 60s, when some people are starting to think about retirement.

Consider Going Self-Employed

Self-employment is a two-edged sword. Although it can allow you to follow the career of your dreams and to enjoy increased flexibility, it can also leave people financially insecure and without the work benefits that they rely on, such as holiday and sick pay. However, self-employment can be one of the best ways to boost your career prospects in 2020, if only in the short-term. This is because self-employment can allow you to take your job search into your own hands, and can allow you to pay yourself the amount that you need to survive. You will be able to set your working hours and manage yourself, having control of every single aspect of your working life. This can be incredibly beneficial in 2020, when many elements of employment can seem like they are out of your hands, especially if you are unable to find a position through traditional routes of employment.

Apply for Jobs Online and Off

The job market might be tough at the moment, but this does not mean that jobs are not available to you. To make sure that you can be in with the best chance of getting the job of your dreams this year, you should apply to as many jobs online as possible. You can do this by signing up to digital job listing websites, such as Indeed and Flexjobs. You should also consider emailing companies cold if there is a certain firm that you are interested in or that you believe that your expertise would be right for. However, even if you are applying for dozens of jobs a day online, if possible, you should consider trying to apply for jobs offline too. For instance, many smaller businesses advertise for new employees in their windows, or are able to tell you about their recruitment opportunities if you inquire on their premises. This will ensure that you never miss out on the perfect job opportunity again, no matter where or how it is advertised.

Help Others

Everyone is looking for that extra helping hand at the moment, and although it may not pay off immediately, helping others can help you to build up your job prospects for the future. For instance, by offering your services to another person, they may be able to recommend you for a job in the future or be able to provide you with a reference that you can use to showcase your skills and expertise in the future. Not only this, but if you are able to lend a hand when employers need it, they may then think of you when an available position comes up at their company.

Make a Career Plan

Whether you are set on a certain career path, or 2020 has made you rethink your plans, making a career plan can help to bring you direction in an uncertain and disconcerting year. By making a career plan, you will be able to establish the best route to take toward your dream job. This can help you to constantly make active steps toward your goal, rather than languishing on the same career rung for years on end. Even if you already have a career plan, you should consider editing it in 2020 to ensure that you are able to take into consideration the changes that the current situation may have had on your goals.

Utilize Digital Networking

Although you might not be able to attend networking events, conferences, and trade shows at the moment, the internet has allowed those who want to expand their career horizons the opportunity to interact with a range of professionals on this digital medium. In fact, many networking events are now starting to take place online. Digital networking forums, such as LinkedIn, allow you to make connections with a range of recruiters, entrepreneurs, and like-minded early-career individuals. If you are at college or university, such as if you are taking online nursing programs, they may also be able to introduce you to a professional network that can move your career along. These connections can help you to find a mentor, learn more about your industry, and can even help you to be put forward for job positions in the future.

You can also make a name for yourself on these platforms by creating a public portfolio on which HR professionals will be able to contact you if they believe that you might be right for a position.

Volunteer

Even if you are not able to return to your usual role this year, there is no reason why you cannot work to advance your career on your return. There are now more volunteering opportunities than ever before, in every different industry, from retail to animal care. By volunteering, you will be able to build up both your soft and specialist skills, as well as make connections that could benefit you when you do return to work. There are many online resources that you can use to find volunteering opportunities, such as VolunteerMatch.

Although it may not seem like it, 2020 is the best time to boost your career prospects for the future, whether you are looking for a promotion or want to make use of the online nursing programs that you have taken. By creating a career plan, networking and conducting research, you will soon be able to return to work with a bang and get the career that you have always dreamed about.