What you can do today to improve your post-pandemic employability

The Steps to Take to Make Yourself More Competitive

The pandemic has - and will continue to - force us towards a new normal. This new reality presents tremendous challenges but also new opportunities.

By the time all restrictions are lifted, many employers will have already built up their remote work capacity, and their employees will have become accustomed to the work-from-home lifestyle.

How does this change impact the skills necessary to be a successful employee?

Working from home requires employees to perform work in a completely different way than they are used to. Whereas before an employee could walk over to a co-worker's desk to get a quick answer, now that same employee might need many back and forth emails to know how to move forward. Add to that - home distractions, family members, etc! It's a completely new work environment.

Because new work habits are forming, there is a reprioritization of essential skills that are necessary for success. Time management, personal accountability, team collaboration, leadership behind a monitor will all be new skills needed to be a standout team member in the workplace.

A recent study found that 65% of Canadians who are working from home for the first time hope to be able to continue working from home after the crisis ends. Further, employers are enjoying savings for employees that work promptly. So the work-from-home model is likely here to stay in some capacity in the post-pandemic landscape.

As a result, employers who have made the switch to a remote-work model will prioritize hiring candidates who possess the skills to excel in this environment, including resilience, adaptability, strong communication skills, teamwork, curiosity and self-motivation - and many companies will value these skills even above traditional hard skills to successfully be a part of - and manage - teams.

So what if you don't have these skills on your resume?

Well, you might be thinking right now….how can I acquire these skills in a pandemic? I want to work on these skills now, so that my resume can stand out and prove I have these skills when the pandemic ends.

4 opportunities to look for in order to upgrade your post-pandemic "must-have" skills:

  1. If you are wanting to boost your resilience skills but don't have the opportunity to do so in a workplace then volunteer your time to do so. Volunteering also can provide an opportunity to gain work experience while also supporting your local community.
  2. If you can't find the opportunity to develop these skills, create the opportunity for yourself! Freelancing and the gig economy can now allow you to have a side-business. Now you're able to make money while boosting your skills. From dealing with client expectations, managing your time and communicating with your potential customers.
    • Writer, sell writing services on Contently
    • Graphic designer, sell design services on 99Designs
    • Crafter, sell your creations on eBay or Etsy
    • Freelancer; consider Upwork, Freelancer, Gigster and Fiver
  3.  Learn something new through online courses, webinars and training programs - such as Udemy, Coursera, Masterclass and edX - which can help you develop both hard and soft skills. This shows your ability to learn independently and have self-motivation.
  4. There are networking and learning opportunities taking place online. Showing up for webinars and digital meetups can help you be engaged in your industry and expand your network. Build communication skills while learning about new opportunities in your field that might be of interest to you.

Don't miss the opportunity to start something now to get you ahead in the future.