Hear it from the experts

By Michele Rapp

We connected with some alumni career experts for tips on how they’re staying resilient and active during the current coronavirus quarantine – and how to start thinking about what’s next! Here are some of their tips.

Roberta Matuson, DMSB’80
Consultant and Executive Coach

Prepare for the future. We don’t know precisely when the coronavirus pandemic will end. However, we do know that this too shall pass. Right now, leaders should be thinking about their future staffing plans. They may have had to release people, whom they’d like to hire again when business resumes. Leaders should be keeping in touch with these workers and helping them as best as they can. Plans should be put into place to handle what will inevitably be an abundance of applications from job seekers looking for employment. Decisions regarding company leadership will need to be made, as well. During times of crisis, true leaders shine. Who on the team is doing a spectacular job of keeping workers engaged? Who is not?
Keep your head up. To safely navigate through these choppy waters, you will need to see what’s in front of you. You won’t be able to do this if your head is down. The situation around this virus is changing daily, which means you will need to adjust as you go. Now’s the time to seek outside help. Reach out to those who can be a sounding board. This person may be a trusted advisor, coach, mentor, or even a peer. You don’t have to  go through this alone.

Nick Naraghi, DMSB’15
Co-founder and CEO at Team Machine

Update your skills. Many people will be focused on upskilling in this time, as their time has opened up and the job market will be more intense. It’s a good time to leverage online resources to learn new skills. There are many platforms that have made their resources free for a limited time.
Think about the future. As with any career transition, think about what skills are going to be relevant in the coming economy, not now. What are the downstream economic effects of people being stuck at home? What will the lasting changes be? Personally, I’m seeing a lot of movement in remote communication and collaboration, as well as ecommerce (especially food & beverage, health and beauty).
Listen to Nick’s webinar, Ahead of the Curve: Leveraging AI for Career Growth

Natascha Saunders, MS’09
Career Coach and Strategist

Reach out to mentors. Mentors have always been my lifeline. I am remembering that they too have families, jobs, and changes during this time so I’m mindful of their time. However, they have been coming through in full force because I asked for help and I even landed another one! I touch base with a mentor at least once weekly (email, text, phone). Mentors can be a professional colleague, wise relative, friend or adult in your life that you simply admire – don’t overthink it, and reach out.

May 1, 2020

Sabrina Woods, BS’93
Holistic Career Coach

Be smart about your job search. Practice the 3 “Ps” in your job search: polite (kind/empathetic), patient and persistent
Be flexible. Consider all different options, including remote work for your next job
Grow your skills. Take an online course from Northeastern, Coursera, EdX, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, etc.

Rita Balian Allen, MS’08, BS’82 
President, Rita B. Allen Associates

Express gratitude. During the most difficult times, we want to continue to be grateful for all that we do have; be creative with staying connected to friends and family with the use of technology, telephone and virtual options; reach out to check in on others; giving back and being of service is one of the most powerful ways to express gratitude and so rewarding!

Angela Reiner, SSH’13
Founder, Happiness Coach & Consultant

Take breaks to reflect, and slow down. One of the positive effects of this “new normal” we are being forced to live in is that mother nature has written us a permission slip to slow down and even stop to do nothing. I’ve experienced and heard from others that simply sitting without distraction to look out the window for a while has felt good in these moments of uncertainty. We are allowed to give ourselves permission to simply be human during this time of information overflow. Unplug from the computer, phone, and TV for 10 minutes each day to daydream, meditate, sit in solitude, write, or drink a cup of tea. Doing nothing has been proven to boost our productivity and creativity. It is also allowing our brain time to process and integrate conscious and unconscious tasks and experiences.