Schools, companies, and communities have taken swift action in response to the Coronavirus, a.k.a. COVID-19. Students are forced to take classes online, and some students who expected to walk across the stage at their graduation ceremony this May are disappointed, having been told otherwise. Lectures from parents and lectures from professors seldom fall under the same roof, if ever. Yet, here we each are, in our home/office/classroom/sanitary confinement, wondering what to do now, myself especially. My screen time on my phone is up 39.7% per day since I started to WFH. Does this mean we’re all slacking? No. Since starting to WFH, I built and released my first proprietary software product on Node.JS, and multiple teams are using it. Though, it does mean something interesting for you students in the job market.

It’s time to catch them slipping, or else show that you can excel in spite of all the hype. Speaking to my first point are pictures and videos of people working through the challenges of WFH—background noise from family members, cats jumping on keyboards, posters left hanging that are NSFW, and the like. If a recruiter faces any of these challenges, be understanding and know that these are unusual times. But make sure it isn’t you who faces these issues. To my second point, make use of the newfound time that you have at home, because you’re not the only one with newfound time. Try to:

  • plan more virtual job interviews because you, and most recruiters, are interviewing with less baggage. No need to commute or to shine your shoes, or to think about how firm your handshake should be. You’re only talking over Skype.
  • reach out to people you know who are doing the things that you want to do. Ask them what helped them get to where they are, what hurt them along the way, and apply their lessons to your life. If you are in a technical field, ask them if you can collaborate with them on any small projects. Try this one out on me if you’re interested in software development!

Here’s the thing: everyone wants to stand out, and here’s a big stage. The teachers, the parents, the recruiters, the mentors, everyone’s at home watching. It’s your possession, the time’s winding down, the defense is in their pajamas, and the lane’s wide open. It's your time to shine.

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