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5 Ideas For Being Productive at Home During the Coronavirus

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Going crazy during your self-quarantine? You’re not alone. There’s a whole world out there grappling with day-to-day life coming to a sudden halt. But in addition to sleeping and bingeing on Netflix, here are some ideas for passing the time and most importantly, feeling very satisfied with your productive self:

Take an online class and learn something new — or refresh the skills you already have.

Online learning has revolutionized the way in which people acquire knowledge and skills in both their personal and professional lives. Many sites, such as Skillshare and Udemy, have popped up in response to those seeking opportunities for learning on their own schedules. Below I’ve rounded up the top places for online classes and their price range:

  • Skillshare: Explore videos on a variety of subjects, from the creative – illustration, web development – to business – entrepreneurship, marketing – to lifestyle topics, including languages and health and wellness.

Pricing: Free membership to watch any of the free classes or upgrade to a premium membership for to access all of the classes on the site.

  • Udemy: Currently offering more than 150 courses, you can connect with expert instructors from around the world to improve or learn new skills. Topics range from business and IT to design and personal development such as learning how to read tarot cards or becoming a life coach.

Pricing: A little pricey but depends on the individual video. Pricing ranges from $50 – $200 per video.

  • Coursera: This website focuses on providing professional training and development courses from leading universities and companies. You can even earn a certificate or bachelor’s or master’s degree. Learn anything from English to Business Foundations to Anatomy to Self-Driving Cars. Enroll in a specialization to master a certain career skill.

Pricing: You can join for free. Price varies according to the track you choose – course, specialization, professional certificate, Mastertrack certificate (fundamentals of a Master’s degree), or degree. Auditing a course for free is available in some instances or you can apply for financial aid or scholarships to help you pay for your courses.

  • LinkedIn Learning: Have a profile on LinkedIn, the networking site for professionals? The company has launched LinkedIn Learning, an online educational platform with more than 5,000 courses taught by expert instructors. Subject fields include business, technology, and the creative. When you complete a course, you can add your accomplishment to your LinkedIn profile and attract job opportunities.

Pricing: You can choose from a monthly or annual plan. Monthly is $29.99/month while the annual plan offers a slight discount at $19.99/month.

Work on your ESL skills.

Learning English is one of the key skills to survival in America. Taking the time to practice it can only make perfect! Since most on-site ESL classes are cancelled right now, take advantage of these virtual opportunities:

· Have a friend who is a native English speaker or has perfect English? Ask him or her if you can practice your skills through video chat.

· Golden Beacon USA offers customized ESL tutoring through Zoom and Skype! We start with an evaluation and then create a specialized learning plan for you to improve your reading, writing, and speaking skills. Contact us today for more details!

· Access free ESL handouts and worksheets online to test your knowledge. YouTube is also a great resource for videos on learning the English language. These two sites provide an exhaustive list of practice activities for both kids and adults at all levels of their ESL journey.

· Go old school and make flashcards to practice your English vocabulary. Label items around the house and test your knowledge!

Learn more about your community to make it feel like home.

Even if you are not new to the area, it never hurts to find out more about the culture, resources, and activities available to you. In addition, you will be better equipped to find what you need during this very difficult time.

Check out our orientation e-learning videos on American culture and the metro Washington, D.C. area. Each video comes with a script translated into Spanish and Chinese and you can test your knowledge at the end with a fun quiz.

You can also visit the website of your county, city, or state to learn about:

o The school system and its enrollment requirements

o Departments and agencies, such as health or family services

o Arts and entertainment

o Taxes and how to pay them

o Libraries

o Public transportation options…and more

Legitimate county, city, and state website addresses end in ‘.gov’ because they are run by the local government (of the county or city) or the government of the state.

TripAdvisor is another great resource to learn more about the United States. Though travel is not advised at the moment, you can still use this site to find short historical and cultural summaries of popular places in the country. You can explore attractions from the comfort of your own home!

Make or adjust your household budget.

It may have shocked you to learn how high the cost of living can be in the United States when you moved here. Creating a household budget and sticking to it, especially now, is important for easing your financial anxiety.

Check out the 7 best budgeting apps for 2020 as ranked by NerdWallet.com. Most of them are free.

If you’re weary of linking your accounts to an app or don’t wish to budget online, there are free budget calculators out there such as this one and this one. If none of those are to your liking, a good ol’ Microsoft Excel spreadsheet can also help you to plan out your finances.

Dust off your resume and edit it.

In the midst of this economic crisis, you may not think it is important to update your resume since no one seems to be hiring right now. However, if you have been laid off or facing reduced hours at work, having a resume prepared will get you one step ahead in finding a temporary job or an online job should you want one.

Have a skill that can be done over the computer? Find freelance work through sites such as Fiverr and LinkUpFlexJobs is another option, but requires a membership to access the full job listings in their database. Pricing starts at $14.95/month and you can cancel anytime. Right now, they are running a 50% off deal on membership prices through April 30th. And remember, searching for jobs on LinkedIn and using your social networks are great places to find work as well.

When you find a position you’d like to apply for, tailor your resume to the individual job. One size does not fit all. Read over the qualifications and duties expected of the job candidate. This will help you to identify keywords. Then, match those keywords to your skills and knowledge as you write your resume. For freelance work, you may have to write a proposal, or a document that outlines what you understand to be the problem the employer faces and how you plan to solve it. For more information, this site provides a good explanation.

If you need help with writing your resume, cover letters, or proposal, we offer career coaching sessions over the phone or video chatClick here for more details.

We hope these suggestions help you pass the time while life is at a standstill. Thank you for protecting your community by staying home and above all, stay safe!