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 Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of big data

In the early weeks of coronavirus, all eyes were on how Switzerland’s authorities responded to Covid-19. Several months on and the effects of the virus can now be identified, including how the outbreak has impacted big data.   As the name suggests, big data refers to large collections of information which grow exponentially and are therefore too complex to be stored and processed by traditional software. The term combines both structured – credit card numbers, product names and transaction information - and unstructured data – email messages, video files and imagery – illustrating exactly why big data just keeps getting bigger. Here’s how Covid-19 has boosted the amount of information we generate and accelerated the adoption of big data.   Covid-19 has pushed digitisation in all sectors In 2018, the global big data market was valued at $23.1 billion and it’s predicted to skyrocket up to $79.5 billion by 2024 – which is a CAGR of 25.4%. Covid-19 has amplified this growth by encouraging innovation across the entire digital ecosystem, from big data and AI to cloud computing and IoT. In retail, companies have embraced technology in order to remain relevant and heard by consumers, while the traditional courts have felt the pressure to adopt modern practices - storing evidence in the cloud - to protect the justice system. Just as blockchain technology has enabled the digitisation of the commodities market, big data has facilitated the digitisation of various industries during Covid-19 and even supported growth for the ecommerce market.   More data is being generated than ever before Before the lockdown, when supermarkets, hospitals and car garages were open, people could have as little interaction with digital technologies as they liked. But when social distancing measures were brought in many people were forced to rely on technology to get food to their homes and interact with their doctors online. In every corner of the globe, more people have become reliant on the internet for the most basic of tasks and this has generated an exorbitant amount of data.   The spike in digital interactions is also a result of the increased leisure time people now have. Experts predicted that by 2020 the amount of data generated each second would amount to 1.7MB per person, meaning that each day it would hit a staggering 146,880MB. When this prediction was made, there were 1.25 bitcoins and 3,877,140 Google searches generated each minute, all of which contributed to the growing stocks of big data. Now, with more people spending time online and searching for ways to remain productive in lockdown or information about coronavirus symptoms, the data collections are burgeoning.   How big data will help in the fight against Covid-19 Since the beginning of the pandemic, big data analytics have helped technology professionals provide the healthcare industry and governments with insight into the virus and has enabled app developers to create contact tracing technology that was essential to track the spread. Switzerland was the first country to release a virus tracking app and their swift response has been a large contributor to keeping the infection rate low.   The potential of big data analytics goes beyond tracking coronavirus. The past few months have demonstrated how the sophisticated technology can prove useful right from the point of screening and diagnosing the virus in the early stages, up until developing treatments.     Let Swisslinx help you navigate the job market Our team of consultants are experts in their chosen specialism and well-practiced in providing support throughout the recruitment process and beyond. Whether you’ve got a vacancy to list or you’re searching for your next job we can help. Contact us today to find out more about our services or browse our digital and technology jobs to start your search. 

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Why the Swiss job market is banking on blockchain

Switzerland’s strong reputation as bankers, chocolatiers and watchmakers didn’t come about by chance. Their dominance in these markets is a result of a focus on exceptional service and high value products which has earnt them the second highest GDP per capita worldwide. Emerging industries such as blockchain are benefiting from Switzerland’s prominence in the global marketplace and are gaining noticeable momentum. This reputation has enabled the nation’s Crypto Valley to establish itself as blockchain hotspot, attracting 100 new businesses in 2019 and creating over 1,000 jobs. Here are four reasons why the Swiss job market is banking on blockchain.   Blockchain is the answer to our security issues Bitcoin made its entrance in 2008 and questions began flying as to whether the digital currency could be trusted. Enter blockchain, which provided the security to users by recording chains of information about the transaction - but now fast forward to the year 2020 and a new security issue has emerged. Covid-19 has exposed a growing threat to data security, and yet again blockchain technology has stepped up to the mark and exposed a growing demand for blockchain developers and site reliability engineers among other IT professionals. This illustrates how the technology will help protect the global economy and may even be used to prevent crises in the future.   A growing digital token market In 2017, a surge in initial coin offerings (ICOs) led to the hub of token-funded projects in Zug being named Switzerland’s Crypto Valley. An ICO is the most effective way for start-ups to generate investments and for this reason they’re commonly thought of as a source of crowdfunding. While fintech start-ups and other new businesses rely on this method for raising capital, the smart contracts rely on blockchain technology to provide the digital tokens.   Despite the amount of published ICOs flattening after the peak in 2017, there remains a steady number of launches each year and Switzerland just misses out on a medal in the worldwide rankings for capital raised from ICOs, coming in fourth place with an impressive total of $2 billion. Technology professionals can expect their blockchain skills to remain in high demand as Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs) and Security Token Offerings (STOs) steal a share of the digital token market.   A government who is backing blockchain Switzerland’s National Council have held back from applying tax laws to digital tokens which is cause for celebration for the cryptocurrency market and in turn for blockchain technology. While the market remains in its infancy, the government will not apply capital gains tax legislation on any earnings and in doing so hopes to encourage more investments. Though this exemption can’t be expected to continue well into the future, it gives ample time for blockchain to put down roots in Swiss soil and establish a strong job market.   In addition, the National Council have announced a legislative package, passing several new laws that are designed to eliminate the legal obstacles that apply to blockchain and distributed ledger technology. This will attract more blockchain start-ups to Switzerland, and professionals with expertise in this field will reap the benefits as the nation asserts its dominance in the global blockchain market.   Working remotely Shortly after the turn of the decade, workplaces around the world had to solve the puzzle of continuing business operations whilst observing social distancing. Thankfully, for companies in the blockchain space, working out the logistics was far easier compared to other industries and moving their teams online has revealed some added benefits such as increased productivity. Now the challenge lies with product managers, technical business analysts and their IT colleagues to master the art of maximising productivity when working from home.   Since the outbreak of coronavirus, Blockchain has proved itself to be an essential and resilient industry, and the Swiss job market’s confidence in the technology will continue to grow as our world continues on the path to digitalisation.   Apply for a role with Swisslinx today Are you banking on blockchain? Our consultants at Swisslinx understand the importance of keeping a keen eye on technology drivers and trends such as blockchain. This deep understanding of the industry enables them to identify the top talent and place these candidates in organisations at every point of the scale – from boutique start-ups to global corporations. View our vacancies in financial services or explore our digital and technology jobs to start your application.

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