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Life after the Coronavirus – The role of the Careers Adviser will be more important than ever

“No matter what kind of challenges or difficulties or painful situations you go through in your life, we all have something deep within us that we can reach down and find the inner strength to get through them.” ― Alana Stewart,

It is true to say that we are living in strange times, as of today and according to GOV.UK As of 9am on 28 March 2020, a total of 120,776 people have been tested, of which 103,687 were confirmed negative and 17,089 were confirmed positive. As of 5pm on 27 March 2020, 1,019 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.

The world has not seen anything like the spread of this pandemic before certainly not in the UK where our everyday lives have been affected. The Coronavirus has put all of our health at risk and subsequently killed thousands and certainly changed the plans of many people across the world, especially those who continue and study, have all had to look at different ways of working and communicating.

Many of us are self-isolating at home and for those in the field of advice and guidance offering a remote service through email and telephone. Others are also offering a Skype service maximising new technologies at a difficult time. Through this difficult period were many of us are uncertain about our health, work, and the future. In months to come with many of us in self-isolation, it is important to look after our health BOTH our medical and health well-being and to remain positive and focused on a positive outcome were we will return to some normality and we will come out on the side.

Once we return to some form of normality and this period in our lives is a memory deep-rooted in our forever in our history, we can all subsequently expected to return back to our lives and try and pick up where we left us. For many us we that will mean we going back to our jobs, our studies, and for all us this will mean becoming part of the fabric of this society one more. Although not forgetting what we have all have been through, not forgetting of cause that some of us will have been through more than others.

This is where support and community spirit will play its part and the role of the Careers Adviser will be more important than ever. All of us at this stage will be trying to back to some normality and this is where Careers, Information Advice and Guidance will play an important part in helping individuals piecing together there career plans and ideas, and will require support to help them with making effective transition after the period of isolation due to the Coronavirus. Careers Advisers are by in nature good career planners and their skills and techniques will be a valued resource to help support individuals to get back on track, whether it is trouble-shooting, interpreting new rules for required for entry requirements to college, universities and apprenticeships. Many of us will be anxious about the future and will need inspiration and positivity after being self-isolated or worse dealing with contracting the coronavirus either themselves or some close to themselves. Practitioners in the care and support field including those in guidance community must get themselves ready to be in a position to help others deal with the disruption and devastation that this world-wide pandemic has caused. Careers Advisers will have the job along with educationalist to try and piece together fragmented careers, jobs and studies and effectively support individuals through this pandemic.

We must maximise all means of communication effectively to rely information from the government and to support those studying to make smooth transitions to their next step in their studies. For those employed and unemployed it is our role to provide support and appropriate guidance to help individuals to get back to work, and to adjust to months with working as well as supporting the unemployed many who lost their jobs through this period of self-isolation. For Careers Advisers there is a challenge that is coming towards us, once we all return back to work and some sense of stability, the Careers Adviser will be there to help a individuals piece together fragmented pieces of their career and more importantly provide much need support to the lives of everyone whose lives have been disrupted by the effects that the Coronavirus which has had an impact on all of us to one extent or another. The effects of this pandemic have been huge especially the impact on the UK and world economy and the labour market and its effects on occupations which have seen the largest and smallest declines in employer recruitment postings since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

In the next few months the challenge that faces Careers Advisers and educationalist is potentially massive as they will be tasked with among others to help those who lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus. Their role and stand-point will be very much a reactive one, as they will primarily tasked with helping to piece together their career plans and to help raise aspirations and support people in whatever context they find themselves in, to assist them to make effective choices and smooth transitions through making well-informed realistic decisions in a world of that has become uncertain and unpredictable.

Sarfraz Ahmed, Careers Advisors, Leicester College

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