UNC made the difficult decision to temporarily close its doors and go virtual due to COVID-19. This decision created stress for many students. Some students have lost their jobs and graduates had to put a pause on celebrating the culmination of all their hard work with the UNC community.

UNC’s Center for Career Readiness turned to our student staff and asked them how they stayed motivated and positive during these strange times. We asked them to reflect on what they noticed about themselves during this time, and also asked them to share an interesting article or trend about career planning and/or college life. Here are some of their responses:

Taye (Sophomore, majoring in Psychology)
"A skill that I am developing during this time of remote work is real time management. Now I honestly have 24 hours to get work and schoolwork done. Sometimes I spend too much time sleeping or telling myself that I have plenty of time, but then it’s dark outside by the time I blink."

Camryn (Sophomore, dual major in ASLEI and Psychology)
"I think a skill I am getting used to while working remotely is just the skill of working remotely. Still as a team but separate. I am a person who likes interacting in person. I am also working on managing time while I am working. I have to remind myself that it is OK to take a little break. I don’t have to stare at a screen my whole shift."

Cat (Sophomore, majoring in Theater Design and Technology)
"Honestly, I got sidetracked and just had fun researching all our employer options. There are some really unique opportunities out there."

Taryn (Junior, major in Speech and Audiology)
"During this time of remote work, I have learned how to manage my time wisely and stick to a schedule, so I do not fall behind on my school assignments and work tasks. Without the face to face time with my professors it is easier to forget assignments, so I have had to be very self-disciplined."

The future we once felt sure of may now feel distant or uncertain these days. Our graduates don’t have the same opportunities to celebrate in the way they had hoped to. Job applications have been sent, but the job market looks so different now. Even summer jobs may feel shaky. According to Handshake’s Rethinking Early Talent Hiring in the Era of Covid-19, 48% of students are unsure of whether they will get a job in the next 12 months, while 52% are confident they will. Just know that while the future may seem uncertain you have support from your UNC community. Employers are still posting jobs and the Center for Career Readiness is still providing services to help you with your job search.

Here’s how some of our student staff have been keeping things positive. They did some  current employer research on Handshake and commented on how they positively focus on their employees and interesting jobs postings, as well as some tips on future job searches.

Taryn: YMCA of Northern Colorado. THE BEST. SUMMER JOB. EVER. It's a job that changes lives. We are looking for welcoming, motivated counselors, (we call them leaders) who are 18 years or older. Our camp staffers have a genuine love of working with children. They are kind and patient. They have a connection with all things camp: the outdoors, arts and humanities, sports, games, cheers, chants and songs. They are willing to share their passions with campers and staff. Most importantly, we are looking for people who believe in the YMCA's cause and are passionate about fun.

Camryn: GoWild Outreach Team 2020. I think this employer is an amazing employer. I think this is just an amazing camp all together. Their whole purpose is to clean the planet.

Cat: Having compassion for your employees. I feel my most productive (and wanting to work the most) when I’m in an accepting and loving environment with my coworkers. When fun is allowed in the workplace, I notice how the quality of work skyrockets. I prefer to work for someone who I can also joke around with or is understanding when mental health issues make it impossible to work.

We hope that some of these thoughts might help you through these trying times. We understand that it is hard to look ahead when we don’t know what we are looking at. Please be assured that we, at the Center for Career Readiness are still available to help guide you. We are still able to help with resumes, interview prep, drop-ins, and everything else, via virtual appointment.

Visit the Center for Career Readiness website for more information