By Jill Micla
We’ve all watched the 2011 movie Contagion, but not even that could’ve prepared us for the worldwide pandemic. COVID-19 has affected our lives drastically, and one of the most unfortunate consequences of it is the decline of job security and the increased rate of unemployment. We are confronted with the fact that nothing – including the job market – is certain. The best way to prepare for this challenge is to upskill and reskill ourselves in the workforce so we can better secure our place in a changing world.
Reskilling focuses on developing a person’s skills through training and education, so that they can perform better at a job they already have.
Upskilling involves the development of additional and new skills so that a person is better equipped at a new occupation.
1. Enhance Your Digital Skills
In the post-pandemic era, the best way to better prepare for a shifting market is to look to the future. Current trends point to the rise in digitisation, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation in the workforce. Also, the new generation of hires will be digitally literate and bring a lot of digital skills to the table. With existing employees, it is important to upskill your digital skills so that you can stay sharp and competitive in your field.
The best way to do this is by doing and exposing yourself to the digital platforms. For example, when COVID-19 made remote working universal, we saw almost everyone in the world learn how to use Zoom together. Lots of exposure and playing with the interface will allow you to understand how many platforms work, such as social media and basic design programs like Canva.
However, of course, for additional information or for more complicated skills, you can consult various educational sources (e.g. books and websites), specific industry courses and qualifications (e.g. a TAFE coding course), online learning tools, seminars and events, and more.
2. Develop Soft Skills
Even though technology is very important in this day and age, soft skills are still valuable in the workforce. In almost every job, you need to interact with others and work as a team. Thus, it is important to develop your personal skills in communication, problem solving, networking, and critical thinking.
Don’t let the social distancing of COVID-19 deteriorate all your social skills. It can be hard to muster the motivation to communicate, or get in contact with friends. But again, technology has allowed us to still reach others. You can develop your interpersonal skills simply by just surrounding yourself with people and listening. There are also a myriad of sources that you can look for to hone in these skills.
3. Invest in Your Side-Hustle
The unprecedented job losses that came with COVID-19 has meant adapting to a new environment and finding new ways to make ends meet. In response, we have seen many people adapt by monetising hobbies and starting their own small businesses.
In Lisa’s story, we can learn an important lesson. Don’t let quarantine restrictions or the social distancing of COVID-19 hinder your success. You can do what you love and use it as a way to supplement your income. Lisa used the traditional route of starting a small business, and she was able to find success through word of mouth and digital marketing efforts such as social media advertising. But there are many ways to do this.
Love video editing or being creative? Look to Fiverr and become a freelancer in any industry. Want to sell candles or your embroidery? There’s Etsy and Ebay. Doing a ‘Marie Kondo’ haul of your clothing? Sell it on Depop.
There are a million and one ways to stay productive during this time period.
COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live. Traditional industries are being disrupted. Certain skills and jobs are becoming obsolete, making way for more modern practices online and through technology. These changes are proving to be permanent and accelerating at an unprecedented rate.
Adaptability, flexibility, and a commitment to work will be essential for us to thrive in an ever-changing and uncertain job market. The importance of upskilling and reskilling has never been more important.
Written by Jill Micla, Digital Marketing Analyst at The International Institute of Digital Marketing™
For more details, visit: https://thedigitalmarketinginstitute.org/