Sarfraz Ahmed, Careers Advisors, Leicester College

On Friday March 20th 2020, like many other educational establishment, Leicester College closed its doors to the public, staff and students. Most of the staff including the college’s careers team provided a remote service through email and telephone guidance.

The week prior to the college closing was one of the busiest for a team of four college careers advisers, working hard during National Careers Week, in schools across Leicester and Leicestershire, as well providing a service in the college. We managed to see over 2,000 students on average through presenting at school assemblies, as well as being involved in initiatives such as ‘YES You Can’ a project looking to raise aspiration to Black and Minority and Ethnic students in Year 8 in schools in Leicester.

At the heart of the message that we were delivering was the importance of understanding what employers want from young people today, the workshops and presentations are very much in the spirit of the Gatsby Benchmarks (2013), and The Careers Strategy (2017).

The importance of Resilience

One of the key messages was the importance of Resilience – the capacity to never give up, and to ‘bounce’ back from difficulties and obstacles. At the time of presenting information the term resilience was very much used in relation to employability and making career transitions. However in a period of self-isolation that began in the last few weeks, we have all had to deal with situations and scenarios that we never thought would ever occur. The coronavirus pandemic has taken many countless lives across the UK and indeed across the world, and has forced to all re-think the way that we live our lives, including how we continue to work remotely, and continue to survive in a world that consists of a virus that has potential to kill lives, and damage our mental state of mind, needless to say our economy.

There are many different variations of resilience depending on who you talk to. Over the years my interpretation has varied slightly and has been influenced by such writers as Beth Benatti Kennedy who in her book ‘Career Re-Charge – Five Strategies to Boost Resilience and Burn Burnout, (2018), who advocates resilience being a key component of a key component of a five strategy model. Her definition of resilience is eerily appropriate for the world that we are living in. A world fighting a virus that has the potential to kill so many in a short period of time, she defines resilience ‘as the ability to adapt to changing career circumstances even when the circumstances are discouraging or disruptive. In this time of crisis, I believe our resilience is being put to the test as the onset of Covid-19, was to many an unpredictable obstacle. The challenge to all of us is to see how BOTH mentally and physically resilient we are.

In these uncertain times our resilience is put to the test, as potential long-periods of isolation could have effects on our mental state of mind with many of us coping with feelings of anxiety and stress. Ultimately we do not want the coronavirus pandemic to derail us, but to steer us all into a positive outcome where we focus on the future having learnt from the circumstances and situations that have occurred globally in the past few months. It is important that we focus the future to a world that has survived a mass pandemic, a mass crisis and mass devastation.

It is important to have a positive mind-set and be able to plan for the future, to use positive affirmations and to promote positive thinking and self-talk. In this period of isolation it is important that you look after your mental health and your well-being, to be self-aware and try to steer away from negative thoughts and maintain a positive more resilient mind-set. Connect with others like yourself, to share ideas with to talk discuss any concerns that you may have, maximise the use of technology, through Skype, Whatsapp, as well as Social Media.

Start planning for a future beyond Covid-19, whatever it may look like. Consider what part you will play. It is important that you continue to stimulate your mind, body and spirit. After all resilience is not a one-dimensional entity, it is two or three dimensional depending on the way you look at it. It is a belief system one that you must buy into. Through this period of uncertainty and disruption, resilience for me is a state of mind, an entity, a power, a strength that helps you to plough through the hardest of times, and helps you to find a way through obstacles and disappointments. I believe we are being tested on many levels, with our level of resilience being at the top or very close to it. We are all in a period of isolation and uncertainty, a period from which we will emerge stronger, and be ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

Sarfraz Ahmed, Careers Advisors, Leicester College

References: Beth Benatti Kennedy-‘Career Re-Charge – Five Strategies to Boost Resilience and Burn Burnout, (2018) Capucia LC Publishing

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

SERC has published a new article: Foundation Degree Opens Up Options for Nicole 8 hours 51 minutes ago
FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 9 hours 10 minutes ago

Britain’s construction training body pledges pre-Covid rates: The training body for British construction is proposi…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page