Quarantine: An Opportunity for Personal Growth

By Abigail Mosley on May 7th, 2020

Most of us are spending more time at home these days. This new reality comes with more free time. Although many of us are gravitating toward watching TV, online shopping, and aimlessly re-cleaning our kitchens over and over again, this extra time provides a great opportunity to evaluate where our own personal growth opportunities lie and reinvest in ourselves both personally and professionally.


Here’s a good mindset to be in: instead of focusing on what you can’t do during this time, focus on what you can do.

Here are some of the ways we’ve been committing to personal growth and development at HNM Systems!

Personal Growth and Development

Learn how to meditate

Meditation has been proven scientifically to have numerous benefits including increased awareness and relaxation. Apps like Headspace have made it easy for beginners to learn how to properly meditate as they allow you to tailor the meditation to your personal preferences down to the sounds you hear. This week, we are hosting a meditation training for our own employees. Julie Hunt of Bija Living will lead us as we jump start this new habit in our lives.

Think about your goals and create a plan

Create a strategic plan to invest in personal growth by using both short-term and long-term goals.

Take some time to think about what you want to achieve. These goals can be based on your career, finances, or education, as examples. Goals should be SMART. By SMART, we mean specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.

Figure out exactly how you are going to achieve these goals. For example, if your goal is to get your Master’s degree, your individual steps would be to study for the GRE, take the GRE, write essays for your application, and submit your applications. However, those goals are still not SMART. The first SMART goal would be to spend 1 hour per day for the next month studying for the GRE (see how this goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound?).

Write each individual SMART goal down, including the individual goals that you need to achieve to get there. Microsoft Excel is a good tool to map these goals out, and you can access a goal chart template from Smartsheet here.

Sign up for an online class

Schools such as Harvard University offer dozens of free online courses covering topics like Game Development, The Chemistry of Cooking, Machine Learning, Shakespeare, and Neuroscience.

On top of their vast library of free courses, the online learning site Coursera is also offering additional free courses and certificates through May 31st, 2020 to support online education during quarantine.

Websites like Skillshare offer a variety of creative courses, including plenty of free options here. Some of my favorites include “The Perfect Grilled Cheese,” “Chopping Like a Chef,” “Photoshop Fundamentals,” “Watercolor Painting,” and “Excel Formulas Made Easy.”

Read a book

Here is one of the most tried-and-true methods to expand your knowledge. Some of my favorites include “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey and “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth.

Professional Growth and Development

Update your resume

Job Boards like Indeed have great recommendations on how to write your resume to land a job. These recommendations include calling attention to important achievements (such as goals that you have exceeded), catering your resume to the industry you are targeting, and proofreading for grammatical errors.

Give your LinkedIn a revamp

LinkedIn makes this easy. They offer you personalized tips on how to optimize your profile based on the information (or lack of information) that you have already included. These will show up when you access your profile from your own account, and go to the “Profile Strength” section. This section will point out important pieces of information that are missing. Make sure that your information is up to date and relevant to your industry.

Be sure that you have a professional image for your profile picture. Make sure your face takes up the majority of the frame. Consider taking your photo in front of a solid colored background such as a white or grey wall.

Dress professionally in your photo. Remember: this is a professional network, so wear attire that you would wear to a professional job.

Finally, be the only person in the picture (no family photos, prom couple photos, etc.)

Build your network

Effectively building your network can be one of the best ways to land a new job! The people you have interacted with professionally just might be your pathway to a new company or role. A good starting point for expanding your network is through LinkedIn.

Make a list of all the companies that you have worked for. Then, make a list of the people that you worked with at each of those companies. Begin searching for these people on LinkedIn.

Send these individuals personalized connection requests such as “It was great working with you at XYZ Company. I see you’re in the same industry now. Let’s keep in touch.”

Think about individuals that you have met at a conference or industry event. Connect with them as well.

Make sure you are consistent with networking. Be sure to keep in touch with your connections on a consistent basis.

Our HNM Systems team is here to support you. We have a team of experienced recruiters on hand that would love to help you with any resume advice or reviews. Email us at info@hnmsystems.com!

Always remember, although this is a time where you can’t do many things, there are still many opportunites to invest in personal growth. If you have any other tips or ways that you have been investing in yourself during quarantine, we’d love to hear! Comment in the section below.