“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ” – Aristotle, Politics
We’re now well into week six of lockdown and like much, if not all, of the rest of the world we in Careers and Employability are having to learn fast about surviving self-isolation. Whether it’s adopting new ways of working (from home of course), getting to grips with home schooling our children, cooking creatively with store cupboard staples or discovering new ways to spend essential rest and relaxation time; we’re all finding our own unique ways to weather the storm of COVID-19 in the best way possible.
During these unprecedented times, Careers and Employability – Student Futures, wants to reassure you that we’re here for you, as always. Over the coming weeks we’ll be focusing on different areas of our work, from different teams within the Department, and this article focuses on the work of our Employer Engagement Team (EET).
The EET provides opportunities for students/graduates to engage and find jobs with employers/recruiters, as well as assisting organisations to promote themselves and raise their profile with their future employees. The EET is also responsible for delivering a number of key initiatives which include ASK, Careers Fest, Employer Masterclasses, Internships, TEDx, UniJob, job advertising and the Venture Programme.
We fully appreciate that being cooped up at home is not an ideal situation for anybody, ourselves included; however why not focus on the positives and try to make the most of the situation? This could be by spending quality time with those close to you, virtually if not face-to-face; discovering hidden talents or developing new ones; or by getting involved in initiatives that the EET has to offer, thereby making the most of the strange times we find ourselves in and preparing yourself for the future.
Perhaps you could:
- Find out more about our services and initiatives on CareerHub – careers.chester.ac.uk
- Work remotely through UniJob – new roles to be advertised soon
- Apply for part-time, full time and graduate vacancies which are advertised on CareerHub – careers.chester.ac.uk
- Attend one of our virtual ASK sessions – these will be published on both Portal and CareerHub
- Apply to the Santander Entrepreneurship Fund (eligibility criteria apply) – find out more here
- Find out more about our Venture Programme and develop your entrepreneurial skills or business idea
- Book onto one of our virtual Venture Chats with Kirsty and Kate – book here
- Sign up for one of our virtual Venture Business Advice Sessions or a Santander Advice Appointment – book here
- Find out more about wider support available outside the Venture Programme by accessing LinkedIn
The EET has also included our ‘ten top tips’ for dealing with the difficult circumstances of lockdown self-isolation:
Sally Harding (Employer Engagement Manager) – “My top tip is to be active. For me that could mean doing (or attempting to do) the daily Joe Wicks workout, going for a family bike ride, enjoying a walk around my local neighbourhood or perhaps netball/football shooting practice with my children in the garden. Whatever form of exercise you choose to do doesn’t really matter but remember that exercise releases endorphins (happy hormones) which help to reduce stress and anxiety by producing positive feelings.”
Adam Crane (Employer Engagement Co-ordinator) – “Rediscover podcasts, they have made a comeback! Podcasts are a great way to have that ‘background noise’ of an office, library or Binks Café. There are so many amazing podcasts out there. My personal favourites are “Feel Better, Live More”, by Rangan Chatterjee and BBC Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy.”
Christine Lawlan (Employer Engagement Assistant) – “My top tip is to be aware. Go out for walks locally and take notice of your surroundings, listen to the sounds, notice how nature is changing around you and take a stroll along roads you have passed many times before but never ventured into.”
Helen Farrall (Employer Engagement Administrative Assistant) – “Take this opportunity to learn something new; take a free, online course; try a new hobby; virtually visit a museum, an art gallery or the theatre.”
Kelly Ryder (Vacancies Co-ordinator) – “Take advantage of any nice weather we have while in lockdown (but don’t forget your sun cream). So often we’re sat at our desks studying or working during sunny weather and can’t make the most of all that mood boosting sunshine, but while we’re at home most of us can be a little more flexible in catching some rays! Read a textbook in the garden, enjoy a cup of tea sat on your doorstep or walk your lunch time sarnies out to a quiet spot. Personally, I’m making the most of things by taking my children out on walks, on their bikes or tidying up my garden (a job I’ve been putting off for ages) which also helps me to feel like I’ve achieved something out of the norm.”
Suzette Farrell (Vacancies Assistant) – “My tip is to maintain a daily routine whilst working at home. This involves getting up at the same time each day, starting work at the same time each day and getting dressed each morning rather than sitting around in your pyjamas for eight hours! Most importantly take regular breaks which may be walking the dog, making a drink or listening to your favourite music whilst dancing around the kitchen.”
Kirsty Badrock (Entrepreneurship Co-ordinator) – “If you have an interest or a hobby, take a look online to see what’s going on. As a fan of the theatre, I’ve watched National Theatre Live productions and ‘The Show Must Go On’ musicals through YouTube, available for free. I have tap dancing lessons through Zoom and I have ‘virtually’ joined my sister in Northumberland for a live Yin Yoga class. It’s amazing what’s out there!”
Kate Bingle (Entrepreneurship Assistant) – “Embrace the slower and simpler way of life. Look up at the sky and see the vast space out there. Watch the stars at night and see if you can spot a shooting one. Enjoy the simpler things in life, like a picnic in the garden or under a table in your home. Sleep with the window open and on a Thursday night, step outside your front door or open your window and cheer and clap for all the key workers and what a wonderful job each and every one of them is doing.”
Daniel Cole (Employability Clerical Assistant) – “Every day I go for a long walk where I just like to lose myself in the moment and forget about everything. I also like to read a lot, my favourites being Classic Literature along with History and Philosophy. I also watch perhaps a little too much Netflix! Finally, I would advise calling your friends and family and catching up with them as often as you can. I have made a habit of having weekly catch-ups with my friends over a video call. I also make sure to have a long catch up with my sister and Dad every week, with whom I am very close, and sometimes our dog Harvey the Dachshund joins in!”
Bertie, Harvey, Pebbles, Truffle, Poppy and Boo (EET’s pets) – believe establishing some sort of a routine is very important, along with regular naps and treats.
John Donne’s 400-year old poem ”No Man is an Island” states “No man is an island, entire of self; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” Here Donne explores the idea of the connectedness of people, that people are not isolated islands as we are all connected and important to one another and that we are all part of mankind.
Therefore…please don’t be ‘an island’, connect with the Employer Engagement Team by getting involved in what we have to offer, and by engaging with the wider services of Careers and Employability, whilst staying safe at home and looking after yourselves and one another.
If there are events or activities you would like to see us offering, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to accommodate any suitable suggestions.