Preparing for Online Career Conversations

Video conferencing has become a part of everyday life for many of us.  As we use tools like Zoom and BlueJeans for face-to-face meetings over the course of a day, how can we address the fatigue that will inevitably set in?  If we add virtual conversations that facilitate career planning and the job search to the mix, anxiety may pay a visit as well.  Longer-term wellness strategies such as getting sufficient sleep, eating healthy foods, and leaning into a support system are certainly important.  At the same time, there are also ways to increase energy or serenity in the moment.  Here are some quick and simple practices that you can do right before or during virtual informational interviews, job interviews or career fairs.

1) Breathe – We know that breathing is necessary for life.  Yet it is easy to default to shallow breathing during times of stress.  Being intentional about deep breathing can calm and center us, and remind us to be fully present in our bodies.  As a result, we are not trapped in our minds, which can conjure up scenarios that fuel anxiety.  A good approach for this practice is to breathe from the diaphragm, slow down your inhales and exhales, and be attentive in experiencing each breath.

2) Move – As many of us attend class or work from home, we end up being glued to our laptops, phones or tablets. This lack of movement and increased screen time can lead to lethargy.  I have had to be intentional about movement during the day since I am not going out for lunch or commuting to and from work.  Movement can involve walking around, stretching, or doing chair exercises to energize you before you meet with a recruiter or another contact online.

3) Recall – Bring to mind a situation where you had a positive impact on a person or situation.  Visualize the actions you took and the results that occurred.  This can be particularly helpful for boosting your confidence before an interview or career fair chat if the accomplishment that you recall is one that demonstrates what you would bring to an employer, job, or opportunity.

Finally, always feel free to connect with a career advisor as you prepare for career conversations and be sure to check out Penn’s Wellness Resources.

By Sharon Fleshman
Sharon Fleshman Senior Associate Director, Nursing, Education, Social Policy & Practice