Starting date postponed... until the situation improves

covid19 Entrepreneurship freelance Hiring freeze
Anonymous A asked on Apr 23, 2020

Hi everyone,

I got lucky enough to secure (and sign) an offer from a top tier firm right before covid-19 hit Canada. While I was initially scheduled to start in early April, HR informed me that I now have to wait until the state of emergency is lifted. This could be in a month, but it could also be next year. And that's out of my control...

I'd like to use my freetime to do something useful and not stay idle in this hazy situation. What would you do if you were in my position? Entrepreneurship? Freelance? Research and writing? I'm open to all your suggestions!

Thanks a lot


on May 01, 2020
Last Activity
on May 01, 2020
Last Activity

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer

Hi A,

Of course, it is just my personal opinion, but in your case I would make a step back and try slow-motion. Current COVID-19 situation gives every one of us unique opportunity to reconsider our lives and focus on the things that really matters to us. If I have a chance like this, I would determine my time to the new things which I would like to learn in my life. This could be: starting a new business or learning a new language, improving any sort of skills, reading books or whatever it might be in the area of your interest.

Basically, I would focus on the things that are really important to me and which I have always wanted to achieve and could hardly ever find a time for that in the future.

So, good luck!

And spend your time wisely!



Was this answer helpful? 10

Hi there,

congratulations on your offer! In terms of how to use your free time, it really depends on your goals. Some possible options include:

  • Master Excel and Power Point
  • Start freelancing based on a skill you know/want to learn
  • Learn a new language
  • Launch a website you can easily automate
  • Start a blog on a topic you know well
  • Support a local no-profit



Was this answer helpful? 8

Hi there,

I would agree that you can use this time to get yourself more prepared (and even get a head start) for consulting, on the hard skills like excel, PPT/slide writing, analytical tools etc. Clara has gave good advice on things to learn.

Other than that, just do whatever that interests you. All the options could be worth doing. It is totally up to you. :)



Was this answer helpful? 8


This is an interesting question, but it´s difficult to guide you without personally knowing you!

The thing that would have really really helped me before joining -and I tell this to everyone- is Excel knowledge. PFB a list of the most popular commands:

  • Basic operations: SUM, SUMPRODUCT
  • Text transformations: CONCATENATE, LEFT, RIGHT, & operator,
  • Connecting different datasets: VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX(MATCH(),MATCH())
  • Conditional-based operations: SUMIF, COUNTIF, SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, COUNTA
  • Learn how to analyze data using Pivot Tables

There are plenty of online materials:

  • Microsoft Support:
  • Kubicle: (go for the 7 days free trial - Excel for Business Analytics)

Hope it helps!



Was this answer helpful? 8


I would suggest to relax, since you will be very busy once that you will start :)

If you want to do something that could be useful for your next experience I would suggest the following (in this order of priority):

  • Prepare GMAT test, especially if you are interested in an MBA. It requires 1/2 full months of studying and it's really hard to find the time once that you are inside the company
  • Improve your Powerpoint and excel skills, focusing on the shortcuts and on becoming faster (it's not important to use complex functions..)
  • Learn a new Data Analysis software, like Tableau


Was this answer helpful? 7

unfortunately, nobody now is able to predict the precise effects on each business. The 2 true facts today are that interviews are taking place regularly but online instead than face to face, and that many new consulting projects are being paused. Therefore if this lockdown continues for long it can cause a shrinking in new hires.


Was this answer helpful? 1