The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century event. And while lockdowns, many of which are still being enforced, have had a large number of negative consequences for students, they also provide an opportunity to learn and reflect.
If you’re feeling uncertain about the future, then you’re not alone. Across the globe, millions of people are re-evaluating their plans, values and priorities. Students in particular are exploring career choices and degree options that they might not have considered only a few months ago.
The questions in this post will help you gain some clarity and put together a clear plan for the future.
1. Has the Way You Work Changed?
National lockdowns have forced the vast majority of people, including students, to work from home. And although restrictions are now being lifted, remote working will probably continue (at least partially) well into the future. Many companies, for example, have introduced more flexible in-office hours for employees.
Working from home has an array of benefits. And you’ve likely experienced several of them. Now is a fantastic time to think about how you can cement new, positive working habits and practices to improve time management, work-life balance, stress management and more. If you have found the experience of working from home positive, then you might wish to consider a career with flexible employment options.
2. Are Your Priorities the Same?
The coronavirus pandemic will go down as one of the most significant events in modern history. It has directly or indirectly affected nearly every single person on the planet. With this in mind, it’s understandable if your priorities have changed. Where previously you may have had a clear idea about which degree and career you wanted to pursue, now you may be less certain.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the way it has made apparent the fragility of global society, has prompted many to rethink their values. Do you feel like you should make more time for loved ones, for example? Would you like to pursue a career that will positively impact the lives of others? Have restrictions on your freedom fostered a desire to travel, explore and study in a foreign city?
3. What Kind of World Do You Want to See?
Global lockdowns have shone a light on many of the world’s inequalities and injustices. Even developed, Western societies, generally less susceptible to economic turbulence than third-world countries, will almost certainly experience widespread job losses, business closures and increased rates of poverty,
Many people have felt a desire to combat these negative aspects of the modern world directly. And this might also be true for you. If so, you should evaluate degree and career options in the context of your desire for greater social and economic justice. A relevant business qualification, for example, will provide you with the opportunity to work for a mission-based company or charity after finishing university.
4. How Do You Envision the Role of Businesses in the Future?
Lockdowns have radically impacted the business sector, with many companies shutting their doors indefinitely. If you’re planning to pursue a career in business, perhaps at the head of your own startup or in a leadership position at a large company, it’s worth thinking about what you think business should look like in a post-COVID-19 world.
Would you like to see a greater emphasis on sustainability? Will more businesses shift online? Is there a need for more local companies that don’t rely on fragile global supply chains?
As a business graduate, you will have the opportunity to drive meaningful change in broader society. Knowing which values you respect in a company will enable you to find the best possible vehicle for your skills and vision.
5. Are You Making Space for Friends and Family?
Lockdowns have restricted the amount of time that people can spend with family members and loved ones. And this unfortunate reality has highlighted the value of personal relationships for many.
Going forward, it’s worth considering how you can achieve a healthy work-life balance and regularly make time for the people you’re close to. Research shows that relationships are vital for a whole host of reasons.
As a student, it’s easy to sideline friends and family. There are a lot of activities to take up your attention, including completing big assignments, exploring your university city and managing a hectic social calendar. But remember that in the long-term, prioritizing relationships will provide you with a great deal of happiness and satisfaction.
6. How Do You See Your Personal Responsibilities?
COVID-19 has illustrated just how interconnected we are as a global society. What started as a handful of infections in a Chinese city has become a world-altering phenomenon.
Do you feel greater personal responsibility in light of this fact? If the answer is yes, now is an excellent time to consider your role in society and define precisely how you will structure your life in the coming months and years.
If you are eager to express your sense of personal responsibility in your career, think about which degrees will provide you with the best opportunities to act in an ethical and personally-meaningful way.
7. Are You Prepared for the Future?
It’s important to answer questions like, “Do I want to study in a new city?”, “Does my degree choice truly reflect my values and ambitions?” and “What might my career look like?”
But it’s also essential that you have the resources to turn these ambitions into reality. As life returns to a semblance of normality, it is a good time to consider practical issues like student finance, study visas, accommodation options and so on.
The future remains uncertain. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to adapt and thrive in a post-COVID-19 world. If you see a career in business as a way of expressing your talents, creativity and desire for change, then a degree from EU Business School will provide you with all the tools you need for success.
Take a look at our wide selection of bachelor’s programs and our range of one-year master’s. We have campuses in some of Europe’s most exciting cities and work with many of the world’s most prominent business leaders.