While we all adjust to the drastic changes to our lives and especially our work (as students or employed workers) caused by the impact of COVID 19, I want to make sure that you all have the career resources and support that you may need. I have done a bit of research for you and I am including some important websites that you may need to access services during this uncertain time.
Your continued engagement in the learning process is crucial. The university has transferred all classes to online and for the many of us who perform much better in a face-to-face environment, this will be a significant challenge. Thankfully our university has anticipated this challenge and our staff and faculty are working hard to make sure you all have what you need! You can visit the TWU Website at this link to find everything you need to continue your education remotely. We are also aware that many of you may not have the resources to attend your classes online. The FCC has recently made an agreement with internet providers stating late fees will be waived and service will not be terminated for lack of payment. Additionally, several providers are offering additional options.
- Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. You can visit this link for more information.
- AT&T COVID-19 response offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to families needing a data plan. You can visit this link for more information.
- Verizon has no special offers but is following the FCC agreement. You can visit this link for more information.
- Sprint is following FCC agreement, and providing unlimited data to existing customers. Starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, Spring will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge. You can visit this link for more information.
- T-Mobile is also following FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and will soon allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge. You can visit this link for more information.
Additionally, some of you may be missing important conferences where you were supposed to present as part of your program requirements. Many programs are making changes to their curriculum as a result of this change, so I encourage you to reach out to your advisors. A colleague of mine also recently shared a great resource for how to format the citation of a presentation or conference that has been cancelled so that you can still claim the credit for all the work you might have done preparing for these experiences. (Note – APA Format only) Check out the APA blog by clicking this link.
Many of you may have lost your jobs and income as a result of this situation and unfortunately, many companies are not likely to be hiring new employees at this time. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has created a webpage for individuals who have had their jobs and income impacted by this situation. TWC has waived the requirement to report that you are searching for work if you are receiving unemployment benefits due to the impact of the virus. If you have lost your job due to these circumstances, you may be able to qualify for benefits even if you are not able to look for work in the immediate future. This will not solve everyone’s financial burden, but it will certainly improve it while we all wait this out. You can take a look at the TWC summary by clicking this link.
Job interviews during this time are going to look very different too. Along with those seeking employment, many of you may be applying for internships or practicum experiences that will hopefully resume soon. It is very likely that the interview format has migrated to being entirely online which could be out of your comfort zone. One of Career Connections’ best gems is our Big Interview software! New this semester, this software provides you the ability to video record your responses to common interview questions! You can send them to your career consultant for feedback and ratings to help you improve on your virtual interviewing skills!
Here is an upcoming FREE Webinar from Brett Ellis that can also help you prepare for an online job market:
Mastering the Online Job Search
Many jobs have transitioned from on-site work to remote work. Each of you will experience this transition in your own way with advantages and disadvantages for everyone. It is essential to plan ways to stay connected to your co-workers (and loved ones, but more on that later) during this time of social isolation. One undeniable loss is the “water cooler” conversation that connects us to people and if you’re not used to that loss, full-time remote work can feel isolating. To fill the gap, some co-workers are scheduling online social time to have conversations with no agenda. Some fantastic software exists to make this and other teamwork activities possible! Here is a list:
If you are working from home with kids in tow, you’ll need to make a plan for education and entertainment. Stock up on books and puzzles. Also, it’s OK to use streaming services (Common Sense Media has good recommendations for kid-appropriate content).
Additional resources for Working from Home:
NPR – 8 Tips to Make Working from Home, Work for You
Inventopedia – The Ultimate Working from Home Guide
Finally, it is VERY important to pay close attention to your mental health during these trying times. We are all experiencing this in different ways and coping in different ways. Being isolated is strongly correlated with negative impacts to your mental health, so staying connected and engaged in life while you are quarantined is incredibly important. You have likely seen many emails from the school and community offering new virtual ways to connect with others. Here are a couple more, specifically focused on mental health during this time:
Therapy Tribe Wellness Community – Free Online Mental Health Support Groups
Support Group Central – Free and Low Cost Virtual Mental Health Support Groups
18Percent – a free and global online peer-to-peer support group centered around mental health hosted on Slack.
Additional Mental Health Resources
National Alliance on Mental Illness COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide
National Alliance on Mental Illness Resource Directory
NAMI National Helpline Directory
As always, your career consultants are here to help! Please reach out when you need to.
Click here to make an appointment with us!