Maintaining Positivity

Several years ago we did a series of pieces on mental health within the workplace around flexible working and the ability to talk to people within your environment about any concerns (Click for those blogs here). During Mental Health week and at a time of unprecedented uncertainty and isolation for some I feel this is a good time to revisit this.

The list of stresses for many people has extended to worrying about their job, when they will be able to see family and friends and the long term affects this will have on the world in general. These problems become exacerbated by the constant confinement to familiar surroundings of our homes, which rather than being a place of rest and relaxation have become an office as well. The spectre of the how long this could drag on for is undoubtedly a huge factor in people and information on this is expectantly thin and varied.

This week the British Psychological Association sent an open letter to the government about the impacts the virus is having on young people. The affects seem to be more keenly felt as in the last few years young people have had to deal with more pressures than ever before with an inflated housing market and having to fight harder to stand out in a bloated graduate job market. There has been a concerning number of graduate roles that have been pulled over the last two months due to fears on difficulty of training methods for new starters.

While I can offer no guarantees on the prospect of graduate vacancies ascending within the coming weeks I do think there are shoots of optimism for junior candidates being able to secure positions. The uncertainty delivered in the last statement by the prime minister didn’t embolden businesses to start working towards bringing through a fresh generation but we have encountered several junior positions over the last few weeks which shows our clients in the market are showing excellent adaptability and outside of the box thinking to get new people on board and to give them the best possible training they can at this time. My hope is that as the situation eases, and people return to the city, that is when an influx of these junior jobs will hit the market giving much needed relief to many.

Everyone is in very different situations so there can be no one template to helping people get through this, however while waiting for vacancies to pick up I think everyone has to come up with something that they can use as a driver to keep themselves positive and keep going as there will be an end point eventually to all of this. Whether you set yourself a goal to become fitter, much more time now to exercise, or learn a new skill, no excuse that you are back late so have to buy a ready meal, pick up some fresh ingredients and get stuck into the kitchen (a personal new vice). Also it’s important to stress that your driver doesn’t have to be active, I think for many working people a goal should be to use the time to relax and spend time with family. Because of daily commutes, when before can you switch off at 5.30pm and just take time for you. Read a book, go for a walk or just enjoy the sunshine in your back garden.

One recommendation I would make to anyone just leaving university for a job in finance is to develop your coding skills. Over the last year, people with skills in Python, VBA and SQL have had significantly more success in interviews.

For some, the next weeks or months will be very difficult for everyone whether directly or indirectly affected by the virus. If you are a recent graduate or even have 20 years’ experience, give us a call and we will give you some advice on your job search. It will allow us as well to be able to get in touch as soon as things pick up.