Using lockdown to your advantage

Posting date: 30 April 2020
Home working was already popular in Switzerland in 2019, with 33.7% working from home at least occasionally. This number has of course dramatically increase in 2020, thanks largely to Covid-19. The black swan event was neither expected nor planned for by these employees and their businesses. Thankfully, there’s an abundance of resources which will help you make your lockdown space a productive one.

More than two-thirds of office workers say they are more productive when they’re working from home. This ‘new normal’ is the perfect time to focus on where your career is heading, upskilling and even prepare yourself for the next career move. Using this advice, you can be sure that you’re using lockdown to your advantage:

Project your career path

It’s important to always have sight of which direction you want to steer your career in, yet studies show that people spend more time planning their holidays than they do their career. As our global workforce experiences a sizeable shake-up this is the perfect time to assess where your career is heading. In light of recent changes, new opportunities may have presented themselves or you might have reached a fork in your career path.

To make a well-informed decision you must begin by writing down specific goals. For example, becoming the Chief Finance Officer of a multinational company with a gross revenue of £150 million is an extremely clear goal. The more precise that your target is the better it serves you when trying to make career decisions. To improve the effectiveness of your goals write them down - psychology professor, Dr Gail Matthew, shares that we are 42% more likely to achieve them when we do so.

Learn a new language

There’s no better time to pick up a new skill or hone an existing one and learning a new language could have more career benefits than you’d think. This is particularly true in multilingual Switzerland, where there are four official languages and regional dialects that can make business communication challenging at times. Take the opportunity to brush up on your German, French or Italian and you may see yourself with improved career prospects at the end of lockdown. An American study found that in just five years the number of job advertisements aimed at attracting bilinguists has more than doubled. Commit just 30 minutes each day and use free apps like DuoLingo to expand your vocabulary or enrol in virtual language courses from the Open University if you’re focused on becoming fluent. This free learning platform also offers courses in business, politics, health and more.

Pick up the basics of coding

If you’re not a natural linguist but want to learn a language there are several computer programming languages that you can choose from. Many websites, like CodeCademy, provide free tutorials for whichever language of code you want to learn and they help you do more than just add a skill to your CV. These resources strengthen your problem-solving abilities as you begin learning the basics of HTML and CSS, laying a solid foundation for programmes such as Python – which is great for beginners – and JavaScript.

Get to grips with technology

Understandably, the global recruitment landscape has been largely impacted by the imposed lockdown. Hiring managers can no longer meet candidates in person but must rely on technology to match the right candidate with the right job.

Already, 53% of HR professionals reveal that they routinely use video interview and we expect this figure to soar throughout and beyond the lockdown as the recruitment industry notes the benefits of a virtual interview over a traditional interview. Get prepared and ahead of other job seekers by learning how you can make an impression on a video interview. It all starts with having the right technology set up so there any no glitches on the day.

Alternatively, now could be the perfect time to refresh your knowledge of Microsoft Excel and pick up some new functionalities. AMT Training are offering a free Excel fundamentals course which will teach you Excel best practice and share top shortcuts to help you maximise your productivity. Alternatively, take a look at online training courses on LinkedIn, Udemy and Coursera, where you can do everything from learning business analytics skills to gaining a master’s degree in computer science.

Digital networking

We’re amidst the largest disruption to the global workforce but that doesn’t mean to say new job opportunities aren’t on the horizon. Many industries have adopted a business-as-usual stance – particularly Switzerland's pharmaceuticals industry - and others are concentrating on bouncing back from the impact that the outbreak has had on hiring efforts. Now is the time to brush up on your digital networking knowledge.

With in-person interviews and large networking events off the cards for some time you need to focus your efforts on your digital presence. Begin by optimising your LinkedIn profile so that you’re visible to recruiters and hiring managers. Remember that networking is not always about gaining connections - use this time to reach out to old contacts.

Start the job hunt with Swisslinx

The lockdown is no reason to put your personal and career development on hold. You now have the resources and advice to help use this time to your advantage and even ready yourself for the next career move. Begin the search now – browse our latest opportunities in life sciences and financial services.

How to be successful in the final round interview

As a candidate, the final round interview is the last opportunity to show why you’re the best person for the role. What happens in the first interview can be dramatically different from the final round, so that’s why it’s all the more important to prepare thoroughly and expect to be asked some challenging questions. Hiring managers do not often make final round interviews for candidates they’re not serious about. Therefore, when you’re invited to the final round, the hiring manager already knows that you have the skills for the job. What they’re going to be looking for is how you present yourself under pressure and whether you’re a suitable fit culturally for the organisation. Here’s a swift guide for how to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in the final round interview and securing a job offer.    Review the company and position   Once you’ve made it to the final round, you need to make sure you completely understand the position and the company. The final round may be much longer and involve more people. This means that professionals should review the job specifications again beforehand and be prepared for in-depth questions. At this stage, hiring managers want to determine fit and whether or not the candidate is a team-player. Companies will also use a final round interview to learn how you manage deadlines and juggle workloads. Hiring in a pandemic is no easy task, so companies will likely be paying extra attention to detail and focusing on the candidates who show the most potential. This means it’s important that you thoroughly research the company and come prepared with what you like about the company. Having that extra preparation will increase your chances of being offered a role.    Share your knowledge and expertise   While many final round interviews will be based on how you fit into the company or the team, hiring managers will still want to verify your technical skills and competencies. So, it’s crucial that you effectively share your knowledge and expertise during the interview, and quantify wherever possible. This means discussing your key accomplishments and how they were achieved, as well as any notable skills relevant to the role. For example, you might have excellent time management skills, so you will need to explain how these skills have helped you perform. Whether it’s through project management software or your strategic planning, you must show the unique qualities you bring to a company. Also, always show confidence and evidence of all your skills and experience.   Ask the right questions   In the early rounds of interviews, it’s important to ask thoughtful questions, but in the final stage, you’re going to need to show you’ve thought more seriously about what it would be like to work at the company. Therefore, professionals in the final round should ask questions about what the first month on the job would be like and if there will be any training, as well as what the performance expectations will be when you join. These type of questions show hiring managers that you’re already engaged and eager to be a part of the company.   Show your commitment and passion   In the final round, hiring managers will want to ensure candidates are interested in staying for a long period. Arguably one of the best ways to show you’re a committed professional is by discussing your long-term career plans, and how it’s connected to the role you're interviewing for. Hiring managers want to find candidates who have a strong work ethic and have the potential to be high performing. This means you need to demonstrate a passion for the industry and that you’re genuinely interested in this specific field. For a company, the final round interview is all about evaluating a candidate’s characteristics and attitude, so make sure you tell stories of how you solve problems and why you enjoy your work, which will no doubt help you stand out from other candidates.   Are you looking to advance your career?   At Swisslinx, we have a motivated and friendly team of recruitment consultants who are dedicated to building great relationships with clients and candidates. We specialise in recruiting for a varied range of sectors, including financial services, digital and technology, healthcare and natural resources. Our team works to the highest standards and we’re committed to delivering an exceptional recruitment service on a daily basis. If you would like more information on how we can help your career and even prepare for your next role, contact our team today.

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In a post-pandemic world, which jobs will continue to thrive?

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies and corporations has been dramatic, to say the least. Countries around the world have been forced to grapple with enormous change and adjust to the new normal of remote working, and the increasing use of digital technology. As we move into the post-pandemic world, professionals will have to be more self-reliant and flexible – and seek out the most in-demand roles to future proof their careers. Before the outbreak, the job market was still highly competitive and ever-evolving, but with the pandemic disrupting the landscape, certain roles will grow faster than others. Therefore, it’s time to take a look at the jobs with the highest demand, to help talent leaders and candidates make better decisions post-pandemic.   Cybersecurity roles   Cybersecurity is one of the most in-demand roles in technology. Over the years, cybersecurity job postings have increased dramatically and with the pandemic forcing many companies to adopt a remote working culture, this has posed new security challenges. Research has shown that the number of cyber-attacks in Switzerland during the height of the pandemic was up three times more than normal. Since there are more people now working from home, there’s more data available in the cloud, which means many companies are more vulnerable to attacks. In early 2021, many security bodies in Switzerland were targeted by malicious email that appeared to come from trusted organisations, like the police and banks, further exemplifying that cybersecurity risks have become a huge problem. Therefore, cybersecurity experts will be hugely in-demand and these professionals can look forward to many opportunities in the field.   Data analysts and scientists    Research has shown that by 2025, 97 million new roles will emerge, most of which will be driven by automation and data. In a post-pandemic world, there’s no doubt that businesses will continue to rely on advanced technology to understand the origin of different data sets. This means that data analysts will be highly sought after over the next few years. With more people working remotely and with more technology-based roles on the horizon, the amount of data generated is only going to increase. All of this data needs to be managed and analysed to understand correlations, and to draw meaningful conclusions. Big data is everywhere now and the pandemic has accelerated this shift toward machine learning and smart communication.   Software developers   It’s no secret that Switzerland’s technology scene has become one of the most advanced in Europe, with Zurich standing up as a powerhouse for the country’s digital technology. There’s a great demand for software developers with growing numbers in Switzerland, and research has shown that there was over 155,700 registered software developers in 2019, a figure which has likely grown since. Companies will increasingly need software developers to build the digital infrastructure for their projects in the post-pandemic world. Also, artificial intelligence investment increased during the pandemic, with more companies implementing AI into their products and processes. This means that businesses will need developers with AI skills and experience. And with more people spending time online, the role of developers has become even more crucial for a wide range of businesses.   Why not contact our friendly team of recruitment specialists?   There’s a wide variety of roles set to thrive in the post-pandemic world, but what remains clear is that these jobs will be digital and technology-focused. At Swisslinx, we’re committed to keeping pace with all the changes within the digital and technology markets. Our team of recruitment specialists have years’ of experience in recruiting top candidates, and we’ve built excellent relationships as a result. Whether you’re looking to recruit or are seeking new roles in Switzerland, contact us today to speak to a member of the team. We’re always happy to help. <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--> <!--[endif]-->

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