Making the most of your time in isolation


We have partnered with Fledglink until the end of summer to ensure you continue to get the support and guidance you need to prepare you for life after school or college. Here are their tips on how to stop yourself going stir crazy during isolation.

It’s safe to say none of us predicted this. Making the most of your time a short few weeks ago would have meant leaving your house, going out to networking events, or to the gym. None of us would have imagined 2020 would be the year of the ‘great isolation’ or the highlight of our day would be the walk to Tesco. You would have been hard-pressed to predict that you would have developed a newfound passion for virtual quizzes or Skype yoga.

And if someone had told you you’d soon be silently judging your teacher’s or colleagues living rooms over video chat you’d have just laughed at them. Some of you may still be working or studying remotely, but the vast majority of us are now stuck at home with very little to do and this is a pretty big adjustment.

Just what can you do with all this time on your hands? This article will guide you through how to go about making the most of your time, and how Fledglink’s app can help you, during these oddest of days.

Take a more considered approach to the job hunt.

In terms of jobs right now might seem very unclear. You might have recently stopped working due to the virus, or you might be looking to start working at a very uncertain time. Fear not! Whilst now is a difficult time to job hunt, it is a brilliant time to take stock and re-evaluate what you want from a career.

This is one of the best ways of making the most of your time during this period. Hopefully, you have a bit more time to think about things rather than running around like a headless chicken, like we all usually do!! Take the time to consider what your values are, what kind of place you want to work and what is most important to you in a potential job. Have a scroll through the jobs available to you on the Fledglink app to get a feel for what's out there. Fledglink is a great place to start as it focuses on early career opportunities, so all the jobs are perfect for people just starting out!

Identify some gaps in your CV and make a plan

Although many employers are still hiring at the moment, if you don’t want to apply for jobs you don’t have to. Especially because some employers might not be hiring right now… But you can look at historic ads and pick out the bits that interest you the most. Think about:

  • What skills have you already got that are highlighted in these adverts?
  • Which ones do you need to work on?
  • How can you go about getting that experience?
  • How can you highlight your relevant skills and experience on your CV? Here's some tips for writing a graduate CV or apprenticeship CV.
  • Use the Fledglink CV Clinic to get a 1:1 session with an expert!
  • This will mean that you can afford to be a bit more strategic about the job hunt when things get back to normal, rather than lurching into an unsatisfactory job because you haven't had time to think about it properly!

    The Fledglink app allows you to update a digital CV as well, which you can easily change as you go through this process.

    If you do update your CV be sure to add it to your GetMyFirstJob profile so employers can access it too. You can do this by clicking here

    Reach out to people you know

    Applying online isn’t always the most effective way to go about finding work, and you can hardly go out and network in person right now which can be frustrating. One of the good things about the current situation, however, is that people seem to be more willing to want to help others and look out for each other.

    Think about if there is anyone you know who might be able to jump on a video call with you to run through what they do at work. This will demonstrate interest in a particular role and you might be able to reach out to them after the lockdown. It is likely they will be happy to help out another human being in any way they can right now!

    This extends beyond people you know as well. Follow people who are big in your chosen area on social media, as many are taking the downtime to record instagram live masterclasses or run Twitter Q+A’s.

    You can also follow @fledglinkapp on Instagram to catch our live Q&As with inspiring people about how they reached success!

    Whatever your chosen career path there are sure to be those who are using their platform to spread some joy, and dispense some epic pearls of wisdom.

    Tidy your room

    Another thing you can do is tidy your room! Without trying to sound too much like a nagging parent, tidying your room might be something you’ve been putting off, but now is the perfect time to do it! If you want to be a bit more hipster about it, you could even call it ‘decluttering your space.’

    You can start by:

  • Chucking out all those old DVDs you never watch
  • Sorting through your wardrobe and starting a fashion empire by selling old stuff online!
  • You could order some new furniture or pillows, or even do a bit of DIY to upgrade your room to the next level.
  • Having a clear space to think will help you to be more productive in your new day to day routine, and has the added benefit of making your Mum smile. Put on a bit of Marie Kondo (an oddly entertaining Netflix cleaning guru) and get going.

    Exercise

    Exercising is really important for your wellbeing and your sense of routine. Making the most of your time doesn’t mean spending all day on the sofa! You are still allowed to go out for a walk, run or cycle, so do try and do this to get some fresh air… just make sure you are complying with social distancing rules. It is proven to be really good for your mental health and can keep you clear-headed and happy.

    As well as this, you can always exercise from the comfort of your home. This could be by:

  • Watching a workout video on Youtube (psst. Try Fledglink Tai Chi sessions!).
  • Using an app like the Nike training app.
  • Taking part in a dance challenge on Tik Tok.
  • You can even set yourself an exercise goal to keep you motivated. Personally, now that I can go on lunchtime runs much more easily, I have decided to aim to run a half marathon later in the year. A goal like this will get you looking forward to something positive in the future, so you aren’t too worried about what is going on in the news right now. Competing with friends is another great idea. You could download an app which allows you to give friends kudos for their runs, and even form a club and compete in a weekly leaderboard.

    Go on then, watch some telly… especially if you want to work in the industry!

    Let’s not beat around the bush, you’re going to watch a lot of TV during this time. You might not think of watching TV as ‘making the most of your time.’ But you could do a pretty good job of smashing through your watchlist during this time, with more films and great TV shows than ever at our fingertips.

    On a more ‘productive’ note, if you want to work in the TV or film industry you need to know your reference points, and watching a wide variety of stuff is actually really important. As someone who is keen to work in the industry, I can tell you it’s almost as important as having good grades or lots of experience! Potential employers or work experience bosses will want to know what you are watching and loving.

    Don’t overload yourself… use this time to rest and breathe

    Having said all of this, it is very important to go easy on yourself during this time. This is a bit of a stressful period, which might take it out of you and make you feel quite tired.

    Perversely, you might feel a lot of pressure for you to be ‘productive’ with so much free time in front of you… making the most of your time is important of course, but your own mental wellbeing will always be the number one priority. Many of you will still be studying and working as well, so make sure you take this socially quieter period to rest and recharge… ready to go again for when the world returns to its usual hectic pace!

    Read helpful articles… like this one!

    You’re already one step ahead of yourself on this one if you’ve reached the bottom of this article. Reading useful articles on industries or areas you might want to get into is a great way of making the most of your time during this period. GetMyFirstJob and Fledglink both have plenty of useful content on everything from writing a great CV, to choosing the right career, to taking a gap year. Go ahead and get stuck in!

    By Francis Gillen

    Advice & Tips