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Employer Q&A: PwC on support networks and digital resources

We know it's tough studying from home, so we have been asking employers for tips to help you adjust to the new normal.

In today's Q&A, PwC share everything you need to know about studying from home, from using your support network to making the most of digital resources offered by employers. Scroll to the bottom for links to PwC's resources which you can access for free.

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What tips do you have for students to stay motivated during the coronavirus?

As challenging as the current situation feels, try to identify the opportunities it presents for you and focus on making the most of them. Whether that’s the chance to take some time out for reflection, to focus on what you’re grateful for, to invest in your virtual network, to connect with your community, to take stock and explore your next steps, or to dig deep and find reserves of patience and resilience - find something personal to you and consider how you can create some positive outcomes from the situation you find yourself in. That’s by no means always easy, but can be a great source of focus when you feel your motivation waning.

Having a routine can give an increased feeling of security and purpose within the context of uncertainty. What advice do you have for adding structure to your day working or studying at home?

Girl playing video game

Regular breaks for something you enjoy is

a good way to maintain concentration

At school, as at work, you’ll find your day follows a routine or schedule. This can be great for allocating your time, keeping yourself motivated and prioritising your tasks. Why not try putting together a schedule for your day of independent working - book in time for regular breaks to do things you enjoy, and to catch up with other people. Some of our people have been using what would have been their daily commuting time to instead get outside for their daily exercise, learn a new skill or spend some quality time with those they live with - by scheduling in the the things that bring you joy, as well as the work you need to get through, you can ensure your day has balance.

Procrastination can be a problem when working independently. What tips do you have for staying on task?

Set yourself some SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) - you could set your goals for a week, a day, or even the next half hour, depending on what works for you. Be clear about what you want to achieve, as well as why - and keep focused on that outcome. It can help to limit your distractions where you can - mute your notifications, or put your phone in a different room, create a work environment that maximises your productivity, and use your support networks to keep yourself accountable for your progress.

Working or studying from home can be lonely, what tips do you have for maintaining social interaction?

Think about your usual support network, and put in place ways to connect virtually where you can’t meet up in person. That could be setting up virtual social catch-ups with your friends, having a phone call with a teacher or mentor, or organising a team quiz or game online for groups you’d usually be part of - all things that our people are doing as we’ve transitioned to working exclusively from home. Try to have some open and honest conversations with those around you about what you need and how you can support one another.

How can students prepare themselves for looking for an apprenticeship or further education opportunities after coronavirus?

Student on laptop

 Log on to employers' virtual sessions to

pursue careers opportunities during lockdown

The current situation presents an opportunity to pause and reflect. Take the time to think about your next steps and how best you can prepare yourself - do some digital research into different opportunities, courses, employers and career paths. Check out the virtual sessions that lots of organisations will be running during this time when we can’t get to know you in person. Lots of employers have YouTube channels, websites and social media accounts for you to explore and build a picture of the opportunities that might interest you.

Where should students look for career opportunities during and/or after the coronavirus crisis?

You can take a look at our careers pages on our website for the latest information on our roles, and to explore all our careers resources.

How can students prepare for video interviews and virtual assessment centres?

Visit our Employability Hub! We have free, interactive e-learning courses to take you through each step of the recruitment process, so you know what to expect and how best to prepare yourself.

How can students develop their digital skills during the coronavirus crisis?

Sign up to PwC’s A to Z of Tech Podcasts, and follow our journey through an alphabet of technology trends with PwC's technologists and special guests. You can download here.

Have a look at PwC’s Intelligent Digital Platform here to find out what PwC is doing in the world of digital and which skills you might need in the future

PwC’s Employability Skills toolkit here has some links to useful activities about a range of skills, including digital skills

In April, a platform called Pluralsight is offering a month’s free trial of their courses. These could help you develop your digital schools

Can you direct students to any resources or platforms to support careers development during this time?

Again you can visit our Employability Hub or our careers pages. We also have our Employability Skills Toolkit available to your parents to help support you in your learning from home, including how to manage money, new technologies and wellbeing.

Who are PwC?

Opportunities are at the heart of a career with PwC. Their purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems for their clients, helping them tackle business challenges and improving how they work.

PwC have a range of roles to suit everyone and they offer School and College Leaver opportunities in Audit, Consulting, Deals, Tax and Technology.

Find out more here.

Lead image by Makyzz via Freepik