Arts and Culture

You Should Update Your Resume w/ the Things You Learned During COVID

Updated: Jul 20, 2020 12:38
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Have you started a garden during shelter-in-place? (photo by Markus Spiske)

Guest Post by Lilycat

I was talking with one of my neighbors, who worked as a librarian till COVID 19 shut the libraries. The City assigned him to be a residential shift manager at a quarantine hotel for at risk homeless people. We talked about all the skills he was developing at this new job that he been thrown into after undergoing some quick online trainings. He was learning a lot about how to de-escalate conflicts from many of the outreach workers who came into the hotel. It made me think of all the skills we are all now obtaining during the pandemic. Haven’t we all enquired some de-escalation and counseling skills that we use on friends, family, strangers, and our own damn selves? I have talked myself down a few times.

One of my co-workers said that he was going to add a line on his resume saying he “went to work during the pandemic.” This is something every healthcare worker, cashier, DPW employee, cook, and any other active worker should also put on their resume.

As my community clinic job starts to have more virtual appointments, and employees handle clinic business from their homes, I find myself using old school drug dealer and Catfish technology – like a Goggle voice number – as a stop gap while things get figured out. It’s important that I do my job without giving out my personal information. We’ve all become creative, merging old and new tech, to get face to face activities handled in social distanced ways. Everyone from educators to performers have begun to use online platforms, bringing us knowledge and entertainment with a warm community feeling, through flat screens. We’re also becoming our own IT departments, as all the freelance workers try to survive in a virtual word.

From the mask makers to the home bread bakers, many of us are developing new talents. My friend told me about a group of high school students who are making masks for outreach workers; that is one hell of a thing for their resume and college applications. All the things we used to hire a Task Rabbit – or some such service – to do for us, we’re now figuring out to how to do on your own. Suddenly, we’re taking a crash course in so many things.

What kind of home improvement projects have you done? (Photo by Annie Spratt)

I’m impressed by all the artists and extroverts sharing their stories, songs, and daily lives on Facebook live. We have become internet cooking show hosts and exercise teachers. We are creating showcases, conferences, and workshops on Zoom. Not to mention all the virtual concerts by independent musicians and neighborhood stars.

During this crisis, when our jobs ask us to take on new responsibilities, we suddenly feel less abused and more empowered (well I do, I guess not everyone does). We add a new line to our job list for a while, but new skills on our resumes forever. We become more valuable employees, and more well rounded people, as we try to keep everything together while the world seems to be falling apart.

From healthcare agencies to bars, and restaurants to shops, people are starting to figure out that we’ll have to do things differently from now on. Organizations and businesses are developing new programs that we’ll bring with us into ‘regular life’ again. During the HIV epidemic, service agencies were created to help sick and dying people that are still in operation today. As we create during this new reality, many of the little and big things that we start now out of necessity, will be viewed as vital parts of the culture in the future. And some day we’ll be able to brag about them in the bar.

Did you make some DIY flower planters? (Photo by Bernard Hermant)

We are of course also becoming masters of triage, harm reduction, and creative problem solving. A friend told me that because of Hurricane Katrina she learned important new skills like how to make swamp water clean enough to drink and how to cook canned soup over a fire. While gaining these new skills is often scary and annoying in the moment, we will be so proud of how we learned to get by once we can finally take that mask free breath of fresh air.

We are also becoming so much wiser about subjects we never thought of before. How many hours have you spent reading about viruses, immunology, how your body works, and theories of how to handle a pandemic? Who knew about things like herd immunity before? We certainly all know a lot about it now.

So, I want you to take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back all you have learned (because for right now you are the only person who can pat your back). You rock! We will get through this.

Now go update your resume.

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