By Neha Shanker
Uncertainty is all around us, now more than ever. The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to adopt new routines and challenged us to live a semblance of normal life within the boundaries of strict safety precautions. Despite the abrupt change of pace, canceled internships, and postponed summer plans, the silver lining presented during these events has been the ample amount of time available to explore new interests. Here are three simple ways I took advantage of online resources that you can still use to improve your professional development.
- Become PR Agency Certified
Communication is a vital skill, no matter what field you hope to pursue. With a range of topics covered, such as an in-depth tutorial on writing press releases, useful marketing strategies to cater towards Generation Z, and candid conversations about diversity and inclusion in the industry, the PR Council’s eight-week, twenty-credit certificate program is an opportunity every young professional should take advantage of. The program also offers extensive networking opportunities to connect with industry professionals and fellow students. If you missed the registration period, no worries! Muck Rack offers a similar certificate program covering the fundamentals of social media and media relations.
- Remotely Volunteer your Skills and Expertise
Virtual volunteering is at its peak and CatchaFire allows participants to match with nonprofit organizations to find short-term projects that match their interests. There are over a hundred different programs to choose from, differing in cause area and skill level. Not only would you be lending your talents to organizations that support communities, but you will also be gaining hands-on learning experiences at your convenience in the comfort of your own home.
- Learn the Basics
Harvard University offers an array of online courses taught by the school’s professors so you can become more knowledgeable in fundamental skills such as coding, persuasive writing, and personal finance. If you are looking to scratch the itch of curiosity, you can also immerse yourself in new areas of interest, including (but not limited to) history, anatomy, and political science. The courses are completely self-paced and can be completed anywhere from 2-9 weeks.
If our time in quarantine has taught us anything, it is that the world can function digitally in almost every way possible. Whether you used this time in isolation to keep busy or explore new hobbies, positioning yourself to take on the career world once the pandemic subsides will help serve you in achieving your professional goals.