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Improve your employability

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Published: 6 April 2020

Two hands shaking

Alice Mcdougall, Careers, Employability and Enterprise Manager at the University of Sunderland in London, gives some advice on using this unusual time to look for, or create, your dream job.

In these strange and uncertain times, you could be forgiven for putting your career plans on hold. Although we appreciate some of you may be trying to work, study and look after children and/or vulnerable relatives all at the same time, you might find you have some extra time on your hands. Below are some ideas on activities which could support your future plans. 

What career path should I take? 

Nobody can tell you which career path to follow, only you can make that decision. We are sometimes told there is one, single, magic answer to our career dilemmas but in most cases, it is a matter of getting to know yourself, being aware of your strengths and skills, exploring opportunities and gaining the experience you need to move forward. 

Although having specific career ambitions is not always necessary to have a fulfilling career, it is worth broadly understanding the direction of travel you want to take. If you have not thought about the kinds of careers you might be interested in, maybe now is the time. These websites give an overview of different career sectors and

  • Prospects
  • Target Jobs
  • Step into the NHS

Developing Skills and Knowledge 

This is a great time to find the skills you might need for your future career. Thankfully there are plenty of opportunities to learn online. Do you need to learn specific computer skills like Excel or InDesign? Do you need to improve your writing or presentation skills? Or maybe your confidence or business communication? Below are three popular online platforms for distance learning: 

  • Coursera
  • Udemy
  • LinkedIn Learning

Voluntary Work

While some charities will be closing down, others will be desperate for volunteers to support them through these difficult times. Voluntary work can help you develop skills, confidence, open your mind to new ideas, meet new people and do something for others. It also looks great on your CV. If you are not keen now, why not research opportunities and charities for the future. 

Business Start-up

This might not be the time to start a business but it is a great time to think about the future. If you are an international student and are planning to apply for the Start-up visa, now might be a good time to work on your idea. If you are planning to apply for the Business Enterprise Certificate when we return to the University, you might want to start thinking about developing your ideas now.