Building Back Better – 3 things to consider
As we all adjust to a ‘new normal’ over the coming months, there are three key aspects that will play a vital role in ‘Building Back Better’.
Collaboration, Flexibility and Inclusion
Let’s have a look at what’s behind each term and what it could mean for us moving forward.
In a time where we’ve found ourselves social distancing and not even able to hug the ones we love, virtual forms of interaction have become more important than ever. It’s not just all about talking and being there for each other; we’ve actually discovered that we can still cooperate on most of our study projects and work tasks just as effectively using IT networks and platforms. In terms of digital literacy, we’ve made great progress as a society, with older generations now embracing this technology too - motivated by the desire to see and speak to their loved ones. Of course there is still work to do in this area, so that we can make digital poverty a thing of the past.
No matter what your business or course of study, collaboration with others to achieve common goals is essential to success. We need to continue using technology to facilitate this in the ‘new normal’, whether it be forming virtual study groups with peers, or having regular meetings with work colleagues and teammates.
Remember to celebrate your collaborative successes too! At The Manchester College we have just launched our Industry Excellence Academies and Centres of Excellence, taking our employer partnerships to the next level in 2020/21 for the benefit of our students.
Just as our College had to instantly adapt to ensure remote delivery of our courses back in March 2020, our students and stakeholders have had to do the same in the way they study and work. This pragmatic and flexible way of thinking will continue to be essential as we move forward.
In terms of employability; it’s expected that job interviews and open days will all be held online for the foreseeable future. Digital skills will therefore be high on the wishlist of every potential employer. We can’t avoid using technology to progress.
Maintaining a flexible attitude and approach will also help us with our mental health and well-being. It’s a matter of accepting that the sands are shifting at the moment rather than stubbornly pushing against what is expected of us and becoming frustrated and de-motivated as a result. Make it a regular part of your routine to check in with your ‘unofficial’ mentors, those people who have your best interests at heart and can help you stay on track with your goals and have positive things to say. Avoid the temptation to start a ‘moan fest’ with friends or colleagues about how things have changed and don’t trawl through negative news stories – especially just before bed.
Policymakers must do everything in their power to promote a more inclusive recovery, one that benefits all segments of society. We need to increase people’s access to opportunities, no matter who they are and where they are from. In a time where many still feel isolated and alone, it’s vital that society includes and consider everyone’s needs in order to bridge and eliminate those gaps.
On a personal level, volunteering is a great way to champion inclusion as well as helping you grow your employability skills and network at this time. You can make a real difference to the community and to the lives of people who are often less fortunate than yourself. See Section 2 of our last employability blog post for more ideas on voluntary work this summer.
Let’s hope that the shift to remote working in general will lead to more inclusion, as it can make work more accessible for people with disabilities, for single parents, or for caregivers for example. It also means that companies can draw on a much wider talent pool when recruiting new people.
It’s my belief that maintaining a collaborative, flexible and inclusive approach in the months ahead will be vital to personal, professional and economic success. We all need to step up for the well-being of our communities. Let’s be part of the journey and embrace the challenges to come.