By Rahul Varshneya,
Co-founder at an Information Tech Co.
The COVID 19 pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the digital disruption in the modern-day businesses. The digital transformation that many organizations are forced to enter threatens to widen the existing mismatch between skills and employer needs. The economic slowdown and its resultant downturn have made the job market such that only the most talented and resilient candidates would be able to persist and come out of this crisis victorious.
Resiliency is also about how you work and what skills you can draw on. Digital and technology talent is a critical asset, and the #COVID 19 crisis has reinforced that reality by sparking rapid change. Keeping up with the changing times and adding the skills to your skill set that the employers are looking for in the post Corona world is going to be the key to future-proofing your career.
Here is a list of skills, both technical as well as interpersonal, that can help you ride the tide of these uncertain times smoothly.
1. Get tech-savvy
Gaining technological skills is going to be a huge part of preparing for a post-coronavirus world. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Big Data, and the Internet of Things have promising potential to make businesses resilient and less susceptible to future disruptions.
Data is going to be the foundation of the next industrial revolution. From workers at the shop floor level of factories to engineers working at hi-tech research facilities, no job is going to remain immune to technological revolution in the years to come. Tech savviness requires you to be comfortable with using these technologies while adding to the overall organizational efficiency.
2. Work on becoming a pro at communicating
Communication and collaboration are going to be the founding blocks of workplace success going forward. With a number of business operations shifting to functioning, remote work is the new workplace reality. The time is ripe to brush up your communication and interpersonal skills to thrive when working with remote teams.
Soft-skills like the ability to communicate effectively are often underrated. The current job market has brought the interpersonal skills back into the limelight. These can not only help you grow up the organization hierarchy in your current workplace but they also play a vital role in helping you land lucrative opportunities in the competitive job world.
3. Set your resume apart from the competition
Whether you have been laid off or furloughed as a result of the pandemic or are just looking for a change, your resume needs to be updated at all times. A resume that is carefully put together opens up the gates of opportunities and sets you apart from the rest of the competition. A large majority of businesses today use applicant tracking systems to parse through the resumes they receive, and only a fraction of the applications actually reach the hiring manager.
Make sure that the resume is correctly formatted, has the right keywords and is free of grammatical errors to create a lasting impression on the recruiters. The skill set you offer is undoubtedly important to get you selected but an impressive resume helps you get the foot in the door.
4. Ramp up your technical skills
According to LinkedIn’s third Workforce Confidence Index, six in 10 professionals plan to increase their time spent on online learning as a response to remote working, a shrinking job market and the need for upskilling. While specialization is important, having cross-functional skills added to your portfolio ensures that you never become obsolete. Brushing up your technical skills from time to time ensures that your knowledge never becomes outdated.
Technology is the foundation that will create new jobs in the post-pandemic world. As Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher at Microsoft, says, “People will create the jobs of the future, not simply train for them, and technology is already central. It will undoubtedly play a greater role in the years ahead.”
5. Chart a path of continuous learning
A focus on individual growth sets you up on the path of success. Working in the post COVID era can be quite successful and requires immense level of discipline and dedication to succeed in such challenging times. Formulating a continuous improvement plan that outlines the achievables, goals and targets can set you up for success and develop individual accountability which is a highly desirable quality that companies look for in their employees.
Personal goal setting with clearly defined achievables allows you to monitor your progress and track how far you have come in the journey of self improvement. Both short and long term goals help you further along the professional development path you have envisioned for yourself.
6. Focus on creative skills that cannot be replaced by technology
In a survey by Pew research, 48 percent respondents believed that artificial intelligence and automation would take away more jobs than it would create. With the #coronavirus pandemic driving home a digital disruption, the adoption of technology to automate manual processes is predicted to accelerate. In such a competitive scenario, creativity and innovation have the power to give you an extra edge.
Focus on honing a skill set that puts you above the risk of being replaced by technology. Tasks that require high levels of specialization, creativity and innovation cannot be replaced by automation and technology. Mastering tasks that require specialized Human factors, Ingenuity, Empathy or Creativity can help in weathering the storm cast by the pandemic and help you sail through smoothly.
Rapid pace of technological change has made sure that learning remains a lifelong process. The advancements in digital literacy has ensured that upskilling doesn’t require going under hefty loans or years of study to add a competency to your existing skill set. A plethora of virtual courses and online classes are available to choose from to help you be better prepared for the post-coronavirus job market.
#COVID19 is serving as a tipping point in the future of the workforce. Professionals with expert skills who stay on top of their game will likely struggle less to future proof their careers even in tight job markets. The good news is upskilling and revamping has never been easier and the best time to get started is right now!
More about the Author
Rahul Varshneya is the President of Arkenea. He has been featured as a technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.
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