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    Career Questions & Concerns Amidst COVID-19

    The Career Center is here to help. Select the question below that best matches the guidance you are seeking:

           

    I’m concerned about getting a job, do you have any advice?

    Lean on your support network. It can be hard to stay positive and motivate yourself when opportunities are cancelled and so much of the information coming your way seems discouraging. We encourage you to engage in some of the following activities:

    • Take a deep breath and reach out to your support network.
    • Share your feelings and concerns with your trusted family, friends, faculty, staff, and advisers.
    • Take advantage of opportunities to ground yourself. The Wellness Resource Center and Chaplain’s Office are offering many virtual opportunities to support this connection.

    Make sure to maintain personal wellness. It’s important to maintain essential daily practices: good sleep, hygiene, nutrition, self-care, and activities outside of screen time are all part of this foundation. Below are a few starting points for identifying coping strategies and creating structures to support your well-being, mindset, and productivity.

    My offer was rescinded, what do I do now?

    It is hard to stay positive and motivated when your job/internship is cancelled. Here are a few things to help you follow up with the employer/ organization and ideas to help you move forward. You may also want to explore the resources under, "How do I begin my job/ internship search?"

    Email Template: Responding to an employer when your internship has been rescinded.
    Email Template: Responding to an employer when your job offer has been rescinded.

    Take Action. It is more important than ever when your professional plans and career launch strategies will likely have to change, to establish a plan and work your plan.

    Make a plan. (And be flexible.) Students have shared they are finding far less structure in their days. We encourage you to create a job or internship search activity plan for the week. Identify what you will accomplish each day and how much time you will invest. Here is a good starting place.

    Find out who is hiring. You will still need to be practical and identify who is hiring. These sites are crowdsourced information that can help in the process of identifying who is hiring and who has cancelled opportunities:

    Polish your application and networking materials. Now is a great time to work on making your application and networking materials shine. Use these resources for your LinkedIn profile, Resume, and Cover Letter. Once completed schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to review and gather advice. It can also be helpful to get feedback from alumni, parents, and other professionals in your industry of choice. Two great resources to connect with these individuals as TigerLink and LinkedIn.

    With that said, how important is it for a potential employer to know if I was offered an internship even though the position was rescinded due to COVID-19?

    Many career development professionals across the nation have weighed in on this question. While a resume should focus on what you’ve done and learned, many career services professionals nationwide are supporting the idea of temporarily indicating a cancelled opportunity on one’s resume (or at least one’s LinkedIn profile) for example:

    “XYZ Company - <Position accepted>. Cancelled due to COVID-19."

    Important caveats:

    • While this shows that circumstances were out of your control, make sure that it doesn’t sound like the rescinding organization did something wrong.
    • Once you accept a new internship, research opportunity, or are hired full time, you should remove/replace this information.
    • Landing the job/internship is part of the learning experience. How to deal with a job loss and uncertainty of the future is also a learning experience.
    • If possible, seek feedback from the internship site on the accomplishments and experience that brought about an offer, including soft skills observed during the interview.
    • Use the word “cancelled”; instead of  “rescinded”; so the loss doesn’t seem like it was caused by you.

    Apply to posted opportunities. Good news: despite all of the bad news you hear, many organizations are still hiring for internships and jobs! If your immediate goal is an internship or post-grad job, you should certainly stay the course. Make looking for and applying to opportunities a part of your daily routine. Especially during this time, we are seeing listings that are posted for less than 24 hours. Set up notifications on your job/internship boards of choice and check your email daily. Keep up conversations with your connections and here are a few of the sites the Career Center Team have found new opportunities and updates posted daily:

    Sites posting virtual/remote opportunities:

    Some companies have a history of hiring for virtual opportunities and other companies are transitioning to remote work. Here are a few sites we have identified that cater towards virtual or remote opportunities.

    Applying for work during COVID-19? Here’s what you need to know:

    • Be patient with companies – they might be trying to figure out next steps. They aren’t just ignoring you. A lot goes into the decisions and planning that needs to take place before any organization moves forward. They really want to do what is best for everyone at every step of this process.
    • While you’re waitingfollow organizations of interest to “hear” what is happening as information goes live. You can follow them on all platforms they are active on, including: Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Twitter!
    • Get active in industries of interest and on platforms such as LinkedIn. Set up "Job Alerts” to get job recommendations based on your profile, interests and recent searches. Jobs are being posted daily with very quick application deadlines. So check daily and set up these notifications.
    • Still haven’t heard back? If you haven’t heard from an organization you received an offer from, you should reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager you have been working with. The Career Center coaches would be happy to help you draft this email. Don’t hesitate to follow up!
    • Remember: All interviews will likely be virtual and now is a great time to practice your video interviewing skills. Get comfortable with using the following platforms, such as: Microsoft Teams, Skype, HireVue, FaceTime, Zoom, BlueJeans and even just standard phone calls. Need some tips and pointers? Click here.
    Email Template: Reaching out to an employer about a job that was posted pre-COVID.

    Can an employer rescind my offer due to COVID-19?

    In general, as a matter of contract law, any offer can be withdrawn or revoked before it is accepted, unless it is “irrevocable” - which is rarely seen in employment situations. Once an offer is accepted unconditionally (before being withdrawn or revoked), it becomes a binding agreement.

    Generally, an employer can withdraw a job offer for almost any reason, except a discriminatory one (race, religion, nationality, etc.). Nonetheless, most offer letters, even if binding, do not provide much in the way of substantive rights for the employee; and most employment agreements provide that the employment is “at will,” so the employer can rescind the employee's offer without cause (even before the employment has started).

    With that said we encourage you to follow up with the hiring manager you worked with when you accepted your offer as the possibility of rescission will depend on the company and will differ across industries. A Career Coach would be more than happy to help you develop a plan or draft an email so you can touch base with your employer. 

    Email Template: Following up with your future employer.

    How do I begin my job/internship search? 

    Start with a question: where you would want to be if COVID-19 hadn’t happened? Your first job is all about learning on the job. Think about what skills you want to do develop, what knowledge you want to gain, the type of people with which you would like to work. If you aren’t sure and need a place to start, try taking the PathwayU assessments. You can use free resources to enhance your skill set now, for example: Codecademy, Udacity, Coursera.

    Stay connected. Now is the time to cultivate your network. You have probably heard that often times opportunities are found through personal connections or "networking." Research has shown that “weak ties” or “acquaintances” are the greatest asset to your job/internship search. There are many resources to help you grow your network. For the Colorado College Community, you can use TigerLink to connect with alumni and parents. LinkedIn is a great resource for not only connecting with alumni, but also engaging with industry communities called “groups”. We encourage you to make this a part of your daily routine. Reach out to at least one person a day.

    Take Action. It is more important than ever when your professional plans and career launch strategies will likely have to change, to establish a plan and work your plan.

    Make a plan. (And be flexible.)  Students have shared they are finding far less structure in their days. We encourage you to create a job or internship search activity plan for the week. Identify what you will accomplish each day and how much time you will invest. Here is a good starting place.

    Here is a template to make a weekly search plan.

    Here is a template to keep track of job postings.

    Find out who is hiring. You will still need to be practical and identify who is hiring. These sites are crowdsourced information that can help in the process of identifying who is hiring and who has cancelled opportunities:

    Polish your application and networking materials. Now is a great time to work on making your application and networking materials shine. Use these resources for your LinkedIn profile, Resume, and Cover Letter. Once completed, schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to review and gather advice. It can also be helpful to get feedback from alumni, parents, and other professionals in your industry of choice. Two great resources to connect with these individuals include TigerLink and LinkedIn.

    Apply to posted opportunities. Good news: Despite all of the bad news you hear, many organizations are still hiring for internships and jobs! If your immediate goal is an internship or post-grad job, you should certainly stay the course. Make looking for and applying to opportunities a part of your daily routine. Especially during this time, we are seeing listings that are posted for less than 24 hours. Set up notifications on your job/internship boards of choice and check your email daily.

    Keep up conversations with your connections and here are a few of the sites the Career Center Team have found new opportunities and updates posted daily:

    Sites posting virtual/remote opportunities:

    Some companies have a history of hiring for virtual opportunities and other companies are transitioning to remote work. Here are a few sites we have identified that cater towards virtual or remote opportunities. 

    Email Template: Reaching out to an employer about a job you already submitted an application for.
    Email Template: Reaching out to an employer about a job that was posted pre-COVID.

    Should I apply for remote jobs/ internships?

    While traditional face-to-face, on-site internships and entry-level positions have been dramatically reduced for the current hiring cycle, remote work is emerging as a viable solution t o onboard new team members and provide students with internship opportunities. 

    Many postsecondary institutions and employers around the country (and the world) are advising their students to reconsider in-person internships (if they remain an option), and to postpone their internships or to begin planning for remote internship assignments. While it appears that some firms and organizations are waiting to make decisions, it is likely that internships will increasingly move online.

    In short, we would like to encourage you to consider searching for remote internships in addition to in person opportunities. Keeping an open mind will best equip you to learn, develop remote-work competencies and experience, while maintaining social distancing. If you are currently abroad, we encourage you to search for regional opportunities as the legality of remote work can be tricky. If you are abroad and are unsure where to begin, schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to get started.

    Here is a great starting place: 

    I can’t find the internship/ job I wanted:

    Remain flexible and open-minded: Students may need to pivot to working in an industry they did not expect to simply because it is the most viable option for employment right now. 

    In her commencement address to CC’s class of 2019, Oprah implored students to ‘just get started’:

    “You do need a job. And may I say, it doesn’t have to be your life’s mission, or your greatest passion, but a job that pays your rent and lets you move out of your parents’ house… (Your purpose right now is to) do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.”

    Here is a template to make a weekly search plan.

    Here is a template to keep track of job postings.

    How do I prepare for the job market without an internship?

    You can continue to develop your skills and add wealth to your resume even if you can’t participate in an internship or you feel trapped at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    In addition to keeping up with your online classes, you can participate in online adventures.

    Here are some suggestions: 

    • Contact professors in your major and volunteer to help with research. Research work may lead you to an area you’re most interested in pursuing in the job market.
    • Create a website. Take an online course in HTML or use one of the free website builders. Then, showcase your portfolio on your website and include the URL on your resume for potential employers.
    • Volunteer Virtually. DoSomething.org offers nine places to volunteer without leaving your home. Volunteer work offers the opportunity to learn new skills and make new workforce connections, plus, employers look for volunteer work on your resume. 
    • Call on alumni. Contact the career center for the names and contact information for alumni in the field you’re interested in pursuing. Call to do informational interviews and to start building your professional network.
    • Add to your skills by learning a new language. The ability to speak a second or third language is invaluable in a global workforce. According to U.S. Foreign Service Institute research, it takes 480 hours to reach basic fluency in a Western European language, and 720 hours for more difficult languages. Some websites offer language lessons for free. 
    • Pursue freelance projects and “micro internships”… Micro-Internships are short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns. These projects enable college students, graduate students, and recent college graduates to demonstrate skills, explore career paths, and build their networks as they seek the right full-time role. Unlike traditional internships, Micro-Internships can take place year-round, typically range from 5 to 40 hours of work, and projects are due between one week and one month after kick-off. Micro-Internships are used by companies ranging from those in the

    Fortune 100 to emerging start-ups, and go across departments including sales, marketing, technology, HR, and finance. One site to explore Micro-Internships is Parker Dewey:

    How can I use this time productively?

    Please Note: If you hope to transfer any credit from other institutions to Colorado College, you must provide documentation and a formal request to the Office of the Vice Provost before registering for the course. As with all questions regarding transferring credit, these are determined on a case-by-case basis and require complete documentation from the credit bearing institution.

    When life disrupts your work/life schedule or near-future plans, consider how you might seize the opportunity for more self-directed learning and professional development. Take time to review essential career competencies and assess your skills gap. Collect job descriptions and identify skills and qualifications that would enhance your application.

    Upskilling is the workplace trend of providing continuous learning and skill development for employees. Skills and knowledge gaps are especially likely if you have had little in the way of formal education and hands-on experience to prepare for desired roles. You can upskill at any time by assessing your skill gaps and pursuing training and development opportunities.

    It is particularly critical to develop technical skills now. The pandemic is going to change the world of work as we know it. More employers may do remote work for cost savings and/or need additional technical skills to deliver their products and services as a result of the disruption of serving clients and customers in person as we know it.

    How can I use networking to my advantage?

    Go virtual, but first read our networking guide here. Connecting with others is a powerful tool at any stage in your career--whether you’re looking for a job, applying to graduate schools, searching for internships, or seeking information about careers. 80% of opportunities are found through professional connections. Your search strategy should include a combination of several approaches.

    Email Template: Reaching out to Alumni and your Network.

    How can the Career Center help me?

    Connect with the Career Center.  We’re available to support you virtually, from coaching appointments and group chats, to live webinars and on-demand content. As we curate timely resources and advice amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll also guide you in making the most of flagship tools such as Handshake and TigerLink, and strategically leveraging curated resources.

    Update your Handshake Information. For timely announcements about newly added programs and resources, please update your Handshake account to indicate career preferences, update your class and

    Schedule an appointment through Handshake. All appointments have been moved to phone or video conferencing. You can request appointments on Handshake. If you need to meet outside of our normal business hours (8:30 am – 5:00 pm MT), please email us at CareerCenter@coloradocollege.edu and a member of our team will gladly arrange an appointment to accommodate your time zone.

    Do you have a Quick Question?  Please email us at CareerCenter@ColoradoCollege.edu with “Quick Question” in the subject line. We check this email frequently and will respond to you in a timely manner with an answer or a request to schedule an appointment.

    Keep up with new information. Check your Colorado College email inbox regularly and follow us on our social media channels: InstagramLinkedInFacebook , and Youtube. Here you will find up to date information on programming, relevant articles, tips, and advice from Alumni.

    Interested in connecting with alumni, employers, Career Center staff, and gaining advice? Digital meetups, alumni panels, employer virtual sessions, webinars, on demand tips will be updated frequently in Handshake. Click here for a list of our weekly reoccurring programs. Visit Handshake and click on “Events” to see the newest editions.

    My internship/ job is remote, how can I best prepare? 

    Given the current situation, online internships can provide students with a safe, work-based learning experience that is grounded in an authentic task or project for a firm or organization.

    Depending on the nature of the project, students can also develop skills – either technical, interpersonal or intrapersonal – by successfully completing one or more professional assignments on behalf of a professional organization. Additionally, an online internship can provide students experience with engaging in online project management and communications, which are common modes of project- and task-performance in many organizations. A notable benefit of online internships is the lack of costs associated with relocating to expensive cities for extended periods.

    Optimize working remotely in this set of online courses—whether you’re new to remote work or not, and whether you’re leading a team or part of a team involving distributed team members. Discover how to be productive and stay connected when working from home or other remote environments.

     

    I am thinking about withdrawing from my internship. What do I need to know?

    Email Template: Withdrawing from an internship due to COVID related concerns. 

    Additional resources for career-building opportunities

    The Career Center does not expressly endorse specific websites and resources, but we want to offer a variety of resources for exploration. Check out these and more on our Online Resources page:

    • Chegg Internships: Browse internships and employment opportunities in this large internship marketplace
    • Vault: Explore careers through in-depth overviews, including “insider” data on industries, employers and internships
    • GoinGlobal: GoinGlobal provides job search resources for cities and countries worldwide. Their H1B Plus guide helps international students identify employers sponsoring employment in the US. 

    Explore on-line learning options as well. Many of these services offer free access classes or are currently providing special deals and access. Please fully explore all free options before considering anything that has a fee. Type “free courses” in the search bar for options.

    • Complete a Micro-Internship: Get paid and develop your resume while working with top employers.
    • Coursera: Amazing courses in all kinds of fields, from professional development to psychology, history, and literature—all created and taught by professors at top institutions across the globe.
    • edX: Offers anyone, anywhere the chance to take university classes in various departments—and get certified. Some of their big partners include Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago (and that’s not all!).
    • MOOC.org: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses available for anyone to enroll and learn for a variety of reasons, from career development and supplemental learning to corporate eLearning & training.
    • Udacity: Udacity focuses on software development, offering free courses in programming, data science, and web development. The website also offers a nanodegree program for individuals who want to master a skill set or pursue a full-time career in tech.
    • Udemy: Offerings on Udemy range from completely free courses taught by experts, professors, entrepreneurs, and professionals, to frequent discounts and class specials. In addition to classes in tech, business, and marketing, you can also explore options in productivity, health, hobbies, and lifestyle.
    • FutureLearn: Free classes taught by universities and special organizations. Its big topics are business and management, creative arts, law, health, politics, science, digital skills, sports and leisure, and teaching.
    • Academic Earth: If you’re looking solely for academic classes, this website offers free courses in the arts, science, humanities, economics, computer science, and more.
    • ALISON: A large range of free, comprehensive classes on technology, languages, science, financial literacy, personal and soft skills, entrepreneurship, and then some.
    • LearnSmart: Career-oriented training for IT, security, project management, HR and business.
    • Codecademy: Codecademy teaches how to code for free. It covers all kinds of programming, including JavaScript, Ruby, HTML, CSS, and Python.
    • LinkedIn Learning: Previously Lynda.com, LinkedIn acquired this subscription-based learning platform with thousands of courses in business, design, art, education, and tech. Check with your local public library to see if they offer free access to library card holders.
    • General Assembly: Both online and in-person classes, as well as full-time and part-time options. It focuses mainly on digital skills, covering subjects such as digital marketing, iOS and Android development, data analytics, and JavaScript.
    • Skillshare: “Bite-sized” classes to learners who only have 15 minutes a day. It has more than 500 free classes and several thousand premium classes to choose from in topics such as film, writing, tech, lifestyle, and more. 
    • PluralSight: After subscribing to Pluralsight (or using its free trial), you’ll be able to explore classes in software, 3D development, VFX, design, game design, web design, and CAD software.
    • Adobe TV: Not sure how to use Photoshop or InDesign? Don’t worry, Adobe TV will walk you through all its programs with tutorials, manuals, and more.
    • Class Central: Personalize your class search by indicating your interests and receive recommended options from Coursera, edX, and other forums to find what best suits your needs.

     

    Connect with a Career Coach

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