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Online Teaching Blog

Best practices, tips & tricks, and career advice—served up fresh

In Challenging Times, Invest in Yourself

In Challenging Times, Invest in Yourself

by Dr. Nicole B. Dhanraj
April 29, 2020

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is undoubtedly turbulent times for many people. If you happen to be one of those persons who lost a contract, a speaking engagement, training session, a class canceled, and out of work, take some time to lament, and lick your wounds, but not for too long.

This period of inactivity is valuable. Depending on how you look at it, this period can bring significant rewards for you so that it can be considered an investment period, not in the stock market, but in yourself. The best part is that there won’t be any worry whether you will lose the investment if challenging times reappear in the future. This is one investment that will have compounded returns.

Here are some investments in yourself that you can consider, which will reap significant returns for you.

  1. Knowledge is power. Get started on those books you didn’t have time to read in the last year or years! There is no need to buy or rent, pick up one at your library, or find all the free ones available for educators. Most libraries have an online database where you can access e-books as well as browse many other resources. As faculty, you will have access to many textbooks as well. Or perhaps, you can catch up on various blog posts. Use this time to learn, learn, and learn!
  2. Listen and digest. Podcasts are another source of valuable information. You want to learn about history, relationships, education, or health? You name it; a podcast is available on the subject! And the best part, you can listen to this while you go about your daily activities!
  3. Increase skills. You can use the time to add to your arsenal of skills you were hoping to find the time to build. There are many open education resources, and especially during this pandemic, many sites are allowing free access; Coursera, APA, to name a few. YouTube and other online resources like Edx and LinkedIn learning are good options too. Whatever you are looking for, search, you will find something to suit you, or you can keep up with postings from our Facebook group.
  4. Enhance your image. You probably were too busy before this pandemic to spruce up your professional page, or LinkedIn profile. Spend some significant time to update your page and profile and refine your professional brand if needed. Consider revising your elevator pitch as well.
  5. Grow your network. With the additional time, you can spend some time making connections. We all know the saying it's not what you know but who you know. Well, it is a bit about both, but who you know can allow you to leverage your skills and show what you know! Join some online groups; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, whatever platform you choose. Start posting, browsing, and connecting with people. This is doable even if you are an introvert!
  6. Write. Most people are usually disappointed that they do not have the time to write for publication. Well, during this downtime, you may be at home with kids or perhaps busy with pandemic preparations, but this is an excellent time to at least get started with your writing. Getting started is half the accomplishment. Or you can choose to collaborate and coauthor.
  7. Plan. With this chaotic period, it has forced businesses to think about their contingency plans; you can do this for yourself as well. How can you diversify your portfolio so that you are never out of work, unless it is on your terms? If you have funds and want to hire a mentor for guidance, that would be an excellent investment too. Consider widening your income stream by applying for jobs now that there has been a greater emphasis on online teaching.
  8. Fuel your hobby. When we are busy with normal life, sometimes it becomes too demanding that we are unable to spend time doing the things we enjoy. With this unplanned break, consider starting a new hobby, or picking up a hobby or project where you left off.
  9. Self-care. When life is demanding, we often neglect our self-care. Use this time to exercise, make healthier choices, and just appreciate and care for yourself. There are many online resources available to help you strengthen your mental health.
  10. Take a break. For many of us, we are workaholics, or in high demand and as such, always on the go. Use this time to take an essential moment of unproductivity. Allow yourself some time to rejuvenate. You can simply choose to do nothing, and that is ok. Having such moments are critical so you don’t face burnout. Now is a great time to connect with yourself as well as your immediate family. A break is deserved, and when life returns to normal, you will be firing on all cylinders and ready to roar!

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About the Author

Nicole DhanraDr. Dhanraj received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St Martin’s University and her Master’s in International Relations, graduating magna cum laude from Troy State University. She earned her doctorate with an emphasis in Organizational Management from Capella University.

Currently, when she is not saving the world one x-ray at a time, she spends her time as a researcher, writer, and an educator. She is dedicated to issues such poverty, entrepreneurship, environment sustainability, leadership, personal and business finance, women affairs and higher education growth. With her philosophy of knowledge is power, she seeks to empower others through her presentations and articles on topics related to these issues.