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Use the Coronavirus Pandemic’s Changes to Better Yourself

By Dr. Jarrod Sadulski
Faculty Member, Criminal Justice, American Public University

The coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly everyone around the world. Restrictions on public activities, the challenges of traveling and the increased risk of transmission of the disease by being around others has left many of us with a lot more time on our hands.

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Coupled with a significant drop of employment and a shift to remote work many in the workforce have lost their job or been furloughed during the current pandemic. All of these factors have contributed to us being at home more. But how we spend that time can have a positive impact on our future.

There have been many skills in my own career that I wish to strengthen, but I haven’t had the time to read the books or take the online courses to hone these skills. For example, I’d like to strengthen my communication, leadership and marketing skills.

Public health experts and in the media point to the concern that the pandemic may affect our daily routine for a while. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and  a leading expert on the coronavirus pandemic, says that it may be 2022 “before we start having some semblances of normality.”

Some Activities You Can Do Now to Better Yourself during the Pandemic

It might be helpful to reflect on activities that we can do now to improve our knowledge and skills that can benefit us in the long run. Some of these activities that we can do from home during the pandemic include:

  • Learning another language
  • Returning to school to earn an online degree or certificate
  • Research employment that is recession-resistant
  • Read books by the experts to strengthen communication, problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills
  • Strengthen your LinkedIn profile and expand your network
  • Strengthen your financial literacy
  • Complete certifications that are associated with your career field
  • Develop project management skills
  • Strengthen your professional skills through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • Become a multimedia expert
  • Learn coding and programming
  • Take the time to learn to strengthen your public speaking skills  

Spending the added time that we have due to the pandemic can help us to identify and improve the skills that perhaps were holding us back from a promotion or career development. It is also a good time to determine likely changes that will come once the pandemic ends and reflect on our own career fields. Once we recognize that some changes are likely post-pandemic, we can develop a strategy for success and a plan to adapt to the changing job market.

The Downtime Created by the Coronavirus Pandemic Is a Good Time for Personal Growth

Using this downtime created by this pandemic can have a positive effect on our lives if we use it for personal growth, instead of spending extra time on social media or watching television. Unquestionably, maintaining a proper work-life balance by also spending time with family and loved ones is equally important as we live through these challenging times. 

About the Author

Dr. Jarrod Sadulski is an associate professor at American Public University and has over two decades in the field of homeland security. His expertise includes human trafficking, maritime security, homeland security contraband interdiction, and intelligence gathering. Jarrod recently conducted in-country research in Central and South America on human trafficking and current trends in narcotics trafficking. He has served as a consultant and speaker to the key stakeholders in law enforcement, defense forces, and criminal justice in Belize on the topics of human trafficking and drug trafficking.

In late 2020, Jarrod served as a consultant for the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime on human trafficking and organized crime in Central America. His contributions will be reflected on the worldwide Organized Crime Index that will be published in 2021. His research on drug trafficking was published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report in 2019.

Most recently, Jarrod presented at the 2020 International Human Trafficking Conference where he presented his research on human trafficking in South America. He has engaged in speaking engagements in the United States, Central America, and Europe on the topics of human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, police responses to domestic terrorism, and various topics in policing. Jarrod can be reached through his website at for consulting and speaking engagements.

Dr. Jarrod Sadulski is an associate criminal justice professor in the School of Security and Global Studies and has over two decades in the field of homeland security. His expertise includes human trafficking, maritime security and narcotics trafficking trends. Jarrod recently conducted in-country research in Central and South America on human trafficking and narcotics trafficking trends and was the guest of INTERPOL in Colombia. Jarrod can be reached through his website at for more information.

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