How to Sustain your Career during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.

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Since March 11th, 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, we should have known that our professional life will not be the same during and after these circumstances. Many businesses have been affected badly, some have been affected positively but, that’s a story for another time. However, in this blog series, I will talk about the effect of this pandemic on you as a professional and your career.

Check episode one: How to Start your Career during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

Check episode two: How to Seek a New Career during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

Sustain the current career

To sustain or grow a career during a pandemic, you simply need to improve yourself to keep up with the needs and demands of that career; more specifically, you need to improve your technical skills. Check article two to review the definition of  your technical skills.

You can easily upgrade your skills by creating a learning plan or PDP (personal development plan), preferable with the help of a mentor. Use the extra time you might have while you’re staying at home because of COVID-19 to shape your learning plan in the following way:

Skills/ Learning Objectives

Here, you need to write down all the skills you want to acquire. Make sure you work on only ONE SKILL AT A TIME in order to make sure you don’t distract or overwhelm yourself.

Priority

Here, you write the relative importance of the skills you need in order to determine which is the most important to start with. You can rate your skills from one to ten, high/medium/low or simply use TDD.

Resources

Once you have your skills in priority order, you’ll need to research and document the resources you will use to learn the skills from. The more targeted and professional the course and provider is the better. Here’s a list of online resources you can use to learn almost any new skill.

  • Coursera.com
    • Choose from over 1,500 online courses on machine learning, project management, data analysis, and other technical skills.
  • Udemy.com
    • Browse from over 35,000 online courses from teachers and experts around the world on web development, photography, business, and more.
  • Udacity.com
    • Earn nanodegrees in web development, building mobile apps, data science, and more.
  • Edx.com
    • Join over 5 million learners in highly actionable online classes backed by Harvard, MIT, and other prestigious universities & organizations from around the world.
  • Yale University Courses
    • Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.
  • Codeacademy.com
    • Learn to code for free, in HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby, and more.
  • MIT’s Open Courseware
    • Access all of the learning materials used in every MIT class, directly through their OpenCourseWare project.

Expected completion date

Here, you write the date for when you expect you will start learning each skill.Be realistic in your ability to finish on time and, again, remove all distractions that you can. The more realistic you are the better, especially if you’re someone who gets demotivated easily if they don’t achieve goals.

Checkpoint

It’s important to add a checkpoint date to make sure you’re on the schedule you created to learn this skill. Believe me, this will be handy if you’re learning a hard skill.

Actual end date

Here, you write when you have actually ended. If on-time, congratulations, reward yourself. If not, revisit the reason behind not adhering to the expected completion date.

Takeaway

As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail”. Having a strong plan for the skills you need to track your progress and removing distractions will help build your path to success. Every time you learn a new skill, make sure to update your resume and your online profiles. Again, regardless of the reason,, see the time COVID-19 is giving you and work on your career.

4 Tips to Nail Your Next Online Interview

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, many of us have been forced to change the way we conduct our professional lives. employers are embracing remote work style and employees are entering a new, digital workforce era. Amidst all these unexpected changes recruiters and hiring managers are still tasked with finding the right talent. This sudden shift from in-person to video only interviews has come as a bit of a shock to many candidates especially those who have been training extensively for the traditional in-person interviews.


While questions and conversations remain the same, there are some differences between interviewing in person and through a digital screen, and with more and more employers using Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom as their main interviewing tools, it’s time to take your interviewing skills to the next level.

Check your tech

Remote interviews require technology. For starters, you must familiarize yourself with the software where the interview is taking place. It’s a good idea to try using the virtual meeting tool beforehand, like Zoom & Google Hangouts, which are currently made available for free test runs. This testing will allow you to determine whether the software recognizes your microphone, is picking up enough volume, and if the program is running efficiently with your internet connection.
At the time of your interview, make sure your device (computer, tablet, or phone—whichever you feel most comfortable working with) is fully charged. Or, plug it into an outlet, to avoid battery outage.

Pro Tip: Before your interview starts, make sure your interviewer gets your cell phone number so you remain reachable in case anything goes wrong. 

Prepare your interview space

With everyone improvising and getting creative with their home-office spaces nowadays, it’s important to find an area with minimal physical distractions for your interview. Consider creating a mini studio at your place; find a quiet, well-lit corner with a neutral background. It’s also important to remember that video interviews give a peek into your personal life so make sure that mini-studio/ space is clean and free of any possible distractions of people or kids in the background.
Before you conduct your interview, make sure to quit all unnecessary apps in your background. For one thing, they might impact your bandwidth and processing power—especially if you have to share a screen and walk the interviewer through some work of yours. Second, those apps can prove a distraction; a notification popping up at exactly the wrong moment can derail your answer to a particular question. 

Pro Tip: Do a trial run at the same time of day that you’re going to be doing the interview, so that you know exactly what the lighting is going to look like

Master the digital handshake

Just like your usual in-person interviews, first impressions do matter. In the first few seconds of your video interview, when you are seen on camera, make sure your body language expresses that you’re engaged and – to put it simply, alive. 

Your camera should be at eye level to avoid looking down or up when speaking and try to keep your eyes focused on the camera throughout the interview so it appears on the other end you are looking right at the other person.


Pro tip: avoid brightly-colored clothes or large pieces of jewelry that can be distracting. And, make sure your bottom half matches your upper half, in case you need to get out of your seat for any reason.

Be prepared


The all-time, common interviewing tip. With many candidates wrestling with new adjustments in the interview process, it’s important not to forget “studying” for an interview. Take some time before your interview to conduct extensive research on the role and the company; during the conversation, try to bring up recent news you’ve read about the company and maybe some personal experiences in your answers to break the ice. Being yourself will make you sound less robotic so DO NOT memorize answers. 

At the end of your research, jot down any questions that need clarification; If there is a specific question regarding the outlook of development for the position, or knowing the tasks you may handle, make sure to ask it when you’re given the chance as they will go a long way in impressing your potential employer.

Pro tip: Book your interview coaching meeting with WUZZUF Coaches to help you answer the most common interview questions.


Before you sit down for your next interview, it might help to do a couple of practice runs with friends or family to get comfortable and ask them to share their feedback. This will ensure things going at least relatively smoothly even if you’re not wholly comfortable with video interviewing as a format. Keep in mind that everyone is doing their best to adapt to this new COVID-19 situation, and that might help you relax a little more. And most importantly, stay safe 🙂

How to Seek a New Career during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

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Set your new career direction

If you can afford to look for a new career at this time, want to find a new career when it’s all over or if you are forced to look for a new career right away, you can use this time to your advantage. Even though many companies are not hiring, there are still others in this time that are. In any case, spending extra time at home during the pandemic should offer you more time to reflect and prepare. If you aim at shifting your career, here’s how you can use this time.

Let’s start simple. Even if it feels weird or too optimistic during this time, thinking positively will keep you focused on finding the right opportunities. To start things off you’ll want to set your new direction and do a skill check 

Find your passion

You don’t want to repeat the da** cycle again. You find a job, you get excited, the job consumes you and breaks your heart. What you do want is to find your passion. How? Friends and family members will always be very welcoming to give you their opinion and share their personal experiences on what career you should pursue. However, the right career for you is an important matter, and it’s better to seek a professional  opinion to guide you in the right direction.. One way to do this is to raise your market awareness through career coaching exercises. Then, seek advice from subject matter experts and professionals in the field you wish to join. Or ask us! check WUZZUF career coaching services now and get guidance from an expert.

Focus on your skills

Another important aspect of the career hunt is to assess and improve your skills. Before we get into this, you need to know that there are three kinds of skills; transferable, self-management and technical skills.

Transferable skills are the ones you can easily learn, can use in your current career and take with you to the new one; such as communication, leadership, presentation, etc. For example if you’re an English teacher, you will need the previously mentioned transferable skills and then add new relevant skills to achieve the teacher’s career duties. Transferable skills can also be called core competencies.

Self-management skills are the ones that you are usually born with or come naturally to you such as stamina, patience while answering questions, etc. Again, if you’re an English teacher the self-management skills you possess will also determine your ability to achieve your goals. Self-management skills can also be called talents. Since you’re usually born with such skills, they are harder to acquire but you can self train over time.

Technical skills are kind of self-explanatory. They’re the ones that you use in a specific career from a technical perspective to perform your job. It can include skills such as deep knowledge of grammar, pronunciation, punctuation, writing rules, etc. Again, if you’re an English teacher, you will need to have the previously mentioned technical skills and more of the sort to achieve your English teaching duties. This kind of skills’ complexity and depth depends on the career itself.

To change your career, it is valuable for you to do two things: :

  1. Showcase your current transferable skills in a way that gives you an advantage in the new career. 
  2. Acquire the missing technical skills that are needed in the next career move. .

In other words, when you focus on gaining the transferable and technical skills needed for your next career move, and showcase these skills in a professional way; you will definitely facilitate this career change.

This leads us to the third career scenario, sustaining your career during a pandemic. Stay tuned for episode 3: How to Sustain your Career during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.

How to Manage your Career during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

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On March 11th, 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, we should have known that our lives (and our professional careers) would not be the same any time soon. Many businesses have been affected negatively, companies shutting down, pay-cuts and people being laid off. All of this happening, it’s bound to take its toll on careers and future plans for ourselves. In this blog series, I will talk about the effects of the pandemic on your career as a professional.

The first thing you need to know is “DON’T PANIC!.” Stay safe, follow your health authorities procedures and remember that “this too shall pass.” Now, with the niceties out of the way, here are a few practical tips on how to manage your career during the pandemic.

Managing a Career

You might be wondering; ”Will the coronavirus slow down an already slow hiring process even further? Will there be layoffs and hiring freezes? And, most importantly, can you find a new job if you need to? The answer is that it depends. Sure, the pandemic will cause some drastic changes to the economy which can and would affect any company’s decisions such as hiring; but do you know who gets hired during economic shifts? Those who don’t stop job searching and, instead, keep going. Even though many industries will suffer, there are some that are doing quite well so let’s get you ready in case you find yourself having to make a move. 

Your Professional Online Presence

Since you should have more time now than ever at your hands, you can start by simply creating and ensuring your presence on some of the most used and successful online job boards around the world to broaden your job search horizon. Here’s a list of some of the better ones. And, here’s how you can create a great  profile on WUZZUF.

These platforms are the future of hiring; they’re easier to use for employers than traditional CVs because they facilitate and automate the hiring process for employers by providing candidate scoring and applications tracking systems. These systems allow employers to rate your profile based on how relevant it is to the vacancy you seek.

Your CV

It goes without saying, a CV is still an extremely important asset in the hiring process. You’ll either need to email it or upload it as a part of your application process. Here are a few tips to create your CV for the first time. Also, here are some mistakes to avoid while writing a CV. If you’re more experienced than this, check out our guide to executive CV writing.

Your Portfolio

Some careers require having a portfolio where you compile samples of your work to showcase your expertise and demonstrate how good you are. An example of these careers is any variation of design (UX, UI, graphic design, etc). Your portfolio should highlight the best of your work and how diverse (or incredibly focused) your work is. This ultimate guide to personal branding will definitely help you.

Your Network

Now is a great time to reach out to your network and refresh your communication with them. You can also check how they’re doing during the  COVID-19 situation. Listen to our radio interview about how you can expand your professional network and use the tips included in the episode to give you a leg up.

Your Job Search Choices

The coronavirus is changing the job market, not just in Egypt, but around the world. You need to consider those changes while planning your next career move. For example, companies in travel, entertainment, hospitality, and event planning have been especially hit the hardest. On the other hand, healthcare, online retailers, delivery services, TechEd, and other fields are rapidly hiring. You should also consider working from home. (stay tuned for our series of webinars tackling that last point).

Whether you are forced to make a career move or you are doing it by your own choice, you should always be ready to go. It’s important to remain optimistic and hold on to your sanity during these troubling times. The changes are unprecedented and we have no idea yet about that’s at the other end of this situation. So keep an open mind, stay safe and wash your hands. 

 I hope that these tips helped you out and stay tuned for the next article on How to Seek a New Career during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.