OK, anyone else getting a little antsy after sitting in the house for the past couple of weeks due to COVID-19? Particularly if you are on the job search and things have seemingly slowed down as a result of the pandemic, you may be feeling some anxiety about what's next and when you may be able to find your next opportunity. The silver lining is that with the #StayAtHome order and social distancing rules being in effect, you now have the time (LOTS of it) to set yourself up for job search success.
Here are five tips to get you started:
Get your knowledge up!
With so many programs and universities halting in-person classes and transitioning their courses to online, this is a unique opportunity to build your knowledge base and make yourself more marketable as a candidate. You can learn a new skill, take classes, and earn new certifications for discounted or no cost. These can then become additional highlights that you can add to your resume to help set you apart from other applicants in the job market.
Update your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Speaking of resumes, now that we've got time, you've got plenty time to update yours! And contrary to popular belief, companies are still hiring. In fact several industries are ramping up hiring to help meet the increased demand during this crisis, including:
- Grocery Chains
- Crisis Management
- Remote Meetings & Communications
- Online Learning
- Online Retail/Amazon
So put the extra effort in to overhaul your resume and LinkedIn profile to ensure they are competitive and will attract the attention of recruiters. Don't feel like doing it yourself? Hire someone! There are plenty of resume writers who are taking on clients now (hi!!) and offering discounted rates to help job seekers navigate this new environment to find employment.
Define your potential employer list.
Part of finding the right job is also identifying the right companies to work for. Use this extra time to research and select prospective employers and understand what they may be looking for in candidates. Utilize the online forums like Glassdoor to review what current and former employers are saying. Search various news/media outlets to learn how this company is viewed by the public, what challenges they may be facing, and any major organizational changes. Find current employees you can connect with to learn more about the inner workings of the company and its culture. Then narrow your company list so that you can begin to tailor your documents (resume, cover letter, etc) to align with what those companies are seeking.
Prepare for virtual interviews.
As a result of the coronavirus, employers are getting creative with how they are connecting with and interviewing candidates. Even after the crisis is contained, you can expect that remote/virtual interviews will become more of the norm. So take this extra time to get comfortable with using remote communication software, practicing your interview answers in front of a camera, and establishing the interview space in your home (please don't be the person interviewing in the bedroom with the headboard in the background).
Build your online network.
Now that we can't hang out in person, people are leveraging online and social platforms to maintain and build relationships. First one that comes to mind is LinkedIn, so after you update your profile (see #2), start engaging with other members via groups and forums. Identify decision-makers, peers, and other industry personnel to add to your network and send connection requests (pro tip: don't just blindly send connection requests. Personalize the note so the person knows you aren't spamming them).
But it's not just about LinkedIn. Many companies have become even more active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep connected with their customers and employees. So utilize these platforms to interact with company personnel directly and engage them in relevant conversation.
As you seek to connect with more companies and decision-makers online, this is also a good time to do some cleanup on your online brand. It's 2020, you know that companies will check you out online, so don't give them something to find. Even though your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts may be for personal use, they are still a reflection of who you are and how companies perceive you. So if your accounts are public, you'll want to spruce up your profiles and remove posts that may come across as inappropriate (i.e. the drunken party photos and the highlight reel from your trip to the dispensary in LA).
For more information about Julia Rock, check out Rock Career Development or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
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How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Signs Your Trauma Is Affecting Your Sex Life
The body keeps score! Trauma can have far-reaching effects on our physical, emotional, and mental health. One area that can be significantly impacted is our sex life. Trauma sticks with us. It lives inside us and our relationships, greatly interfering with our ability to experience pleasure on the deepest of levels. People who have gone through a traumatic experience sometimes can be left feeling emotionally drained and/or have difficulty establishing intimacy. They sometimes even lack a sense of self-worth or find it difficult to be affectionate with a partner.
To learn if your trauma is impacting your sexual relationships, here are some signs to look out for.
1. You avoid sex.
The first sign is a general lack of interest in sexual activity. You may find yourself avoiding or actively running away from any kind of intimacy, whether it be physical or emotional. This could be because you're feeling overwhelmed by the trauma or because you feel like it's not safe to open up emotionally. Either way, it's important to pay attention to what your body and mind are telling you so that you can address the root cause of this behavior.
2. You dissassociate.
When you don’t feel safe in your body, it blocks you from feeling the depths of your sensations. It is not uncommon for people living with trauma to feel disconnected from their bodies. During sex, the brain releases norepinephrine which is the same hormone that floods the brain when experiencing fear. In the case of trauma, your brain sometimes has trouble separating the normal release of this hormone during intimacy from a traumatic experience.
3. You have poor body image.
Trauma and body image issues have a complex relationship. Traumatic events can lead to body dysmorphia, which is an extreme preoccupation with one's physical appearance. People who have suffered from traumatic experiences may be more likely to develop negative thoughts and feelings about their bodies, leading to negative body image. Negative body image can also lead to depression and anxiety.
4. You experience painful sex.
Oftentimes, female trauma survivors suffer from gynecologic issues such as vaginismus, an involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles during penetration. This condition is caused by violence, childbirth trauma, sexual assault, and emotional and/or psychological trauma. Whenever penetration is attempted, the vaginal muscles tighten up, causing extreme discomfort or pain.
5. You have difficulty maintaining intimacy.
Another sign that trauma is affecting your sex life is the difficulty in maintaining intimacy during sexual activities. This could manifest itself as difficulty staying aroused, difficulty sustaining an erection, difficulty getting into "the mood," or even difficulty communicating openly with a partner about what feels good or doesn't feel good physically and emotionally. All of these issues can point to underlying issues related to the trauma that needs to be addressed before they begin to interfere with relationship dynamics and overall well-being.
6. You have trust issues.
The lack of trust in a sexual partner can be problematic in a variety of ways due to past trauma. First, being vulnerable is unlikely to happen unless you have faith that the other person won't hurt you physically, mentally, or emotionally. Secondly, it is challenging enough to share your wants and needs without the perception that people are inherently dangerous or that sex leads to betrayal or harm. Sex can be disappointing, triggering, or unsatisfactory if trauma has taught you these things.
Trauma has a wide range of effects on our lives, including our sex lives. If any of these signs resonate with you, it's important to take time for introspection and practice self-care so that you can deal with your past experiences in healthy ways.
While the signs of sexual trauma can be difficult to identify, they can be diagnosed through counseling and therapy. Therapy For Black Girls has a wide network of licensed therapists and online resources that can help you get the help you need. Survivors can also contact their Crisis Text Line by texting the word TRIBE to 741741.
Healing takes time, but it can be done with the proper care and attention paid to our minds and bodies.
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Feature image by Andene Sanchez/ Getty Images