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 future-proof your business in the age of digital disruption

In business, change is essential for improvement. We are currently undergoing a major digital transformation that is impacting the way we recruit, onboard and retain new employees. Even before the pandemic, technological innovations were changing the way people work and the skills needed to do different jobs. Therefore, disruption has become the new normal for modern businesses.    Companies now must develop new strategies and adapt to the changing environment to remain in a strong market position. As technology evolves, it will be all the more important for businesses to ensure they’re still relevant and competitive. That’s why the implementation of changes across organisations is key. So, here’s an overview of how to future-proof your business.    Nurture a digital-first mindset With digital technology now ruling the economy, businesses of all sizes strive to develop a digital-first mindset. This means using technology to create structures and processes that support digital optimisation, as well as adopting a flexible, growth-mindset that is always ready to innovate. There are several ways companies can instil a digital-first mindset. This includes providing collaboration tools to support teams regardless of location and creating a recruitment process that focuses on finding people who are digitally-savvy, and who can swiftly adapt to the changing needs of your organisation. Switzerland’s technology market is currently in a great position, which means companies must seize the opportunities of increasing innovation to ensure growth in the long-term.   Invest in upskilling your workforce If you want to make sure your company continues to thrive in the future, you need to make upskilling your workforce a priority. The nature of jobs are shifting at a rapid rate, with every company being affected by digital innovations and as a result, employee expectations are changing. The best professionals understand they need to be continually developing their skills. As we move forward, companies will need to offer more training and development opportunities, so their employees have the digital skills needed to keep up with the demands, especially as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.   Digital transformation is not limited to the structure of the organisation; it’s also about future-proofing your employees so they feel happier in their roles and can grow alongside your company. The next generation of workers will need to understand how to use big data and how AI can help workflows, and complete tasks more efficiently. According to a study by Dell Technologies, more than half of respondents said they believed that workers of the future will disrupt the workforce with new, innovative skills.   Create an agile business Today, the importance of creating an agile business has never been more important. Leaders need to find ways to increase the efficiency of organisations and make sure their businesses are continually responsive to change. As digital technology evolves, companies will need to work faster and harder to keep up with the competition. Dynamic organisations understand how to respond efficiently to new challenges and opportunities while cultivating a sense of stability at the same time. By taking an agile approach, you’ll be able to take advantage of new technologies more easily. One of the best ways to ensure your company has an agile mindset is to listen to your customers and always plan for the unexpected. From quarterly reviews to budget plans, leaders need to make sure every part of their business is flexible and has the potential to innovate. In a time of digital disruption, creating a more agile business will help increase adaptability, employee engagement, and company culture.   Are you looking to recruit? There’s a range of ways your business can future-proof itself to boost productivity in this digital transformation. Providing ongoing training to your current workforce and recruiting the right professionals that fit your culture is essential. At Swisslinx, we offer recruitment expertise to clients within finance, digital and technology, as well as the technical services. We support our clients at every stage of the hiring process. Swisslinx serves as a partner in talent strategy, helping companies make the best recruitment decisions to drive their organisations forward. Contact us today if you’re looking to recruit and take a look at our insights page for more career-based blog articles.

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Charity Announcement – Food for everyone - Pastor Sieber/Essen für Alle

Swisslinx is delighted to announce that instead of hosting Christmas events this year, we are supporting a Zurich-based initiative called Food for Everyone. We have donated 20’000 CHF to this organisation, founded by Amine Diare Conde, who recognised the need to support the most vulnerable people affected by the COVID crisis. The charity received publicity in recent months for its valuable contribution, and our donation has been provisioned specifically to support the distribution of food to those in need due to financial constraints caused by the pandemic and will enable it to continue operating longer into 2021.   The organisation Pastor Sieber is leading the Food for Everyone project by distributing basic food and hygiene to those in need. Since 1988, Pastor Seiber has worked tirelessly to help disadvantaged people. The charity focuses on those who’ve experienced hardship and gives long-term care to people in a crisis. Pastor Sieber offers a range of support and facilities, including safe places to sleep for the homeless, social counselling and food banks. People who are struggling to find shelter and food can expect to receive pastoral care and find a temporary home with the charity.    We chose this charity as it is founded on strong values and ethics, which includes helping people in need, regardless of their background, religion or social status. Pastor Sieber relies on donations to support people who are struggling, especially right now. The Food for Everyone initiative has the power to change the lives of many people. That’s why the team at Swisslinx decided it was time to offer a helping hand to ensure the charity can continue to provide care during these challenging times.     If you would like to contribute, then visit Food for Everyone’s and Pastor Sieber’s donation pages where you’ll be able to commit yourself to a fantastic cause.

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