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Experts talk about new skills to list for a job in the post pandemic era if you want to survive. Here’s a peek.
The Coronavirus pandemic situation will soon be history. With the Covid-19 vaccine being dispensed around the world, people are becoming bolder and venturing out – albeit behind a shield. Does this mean that offices will soon begin functioning per normal? Not likely. Attitudes towards everything have changed. From the way a consumer purchases grocery or greens to the way recruiters hire, everything has been touched by the pandemic. Meanwhile, technology continues to evolve. Experts talk about new skills that you may need in the post pandemic era if you want to survive – and be gainfully employed. BYN takes a look.
Hard & Soft Skills
Skills are customarily classified as hard – a.k.a. hard-core or job specific – and soft – a.k.a. skills that enhance competency. Soft skills are sometimes referred to as transferrable skills or employability skills while hard skills are variously called technical skills, industry skills, academic skills, proficiency, or talent.
Both, hard and soft skills are equally important in order to fulfil any role and both evolve. A study by Gartner showed that role based skill planning – a technique where employees are taught the skills required for the job – doesn’t work. The study also showed that the number of skills required – or demanded – for a single job increases by 10% every year and more than 30% of the skills in demand in 2017 would be redundant by 2021. On a more pragmatic level, a LinkedIn Poll revealed what both recruiters and candidates are looking forward to. As far as hard skills go, obviously it would depend upon the industry and the specific job profile. That said, every role will demand some knowledge of technology.
So should technology be considered a soft-skill?Tweet
If you are looking for a soft skills list, you aren’t likely to find one nor will you find “hard skills to list on resume” if you search for it or even “customer service hard skills” or for that matter any niche specific list of skills for a resume. The line of demarcation between hard and soft skills is not the sharpest and as needs and skills evolve, it is likely to fade further. With that background here are seven skills you are most likely to need in the post pandemic era.
Given the pace at which technology and its application is evolving – McKinsey survey shows that 80% companies have speeded up digitization – employees will have to be tech savvy well before they land their first job. Apart from collaboration software – such as Teamware – and LMS (Learning Management Software), you should also be comfortable with other technology that is in use within the industry in which you work – or want to work. In the post pandemic era, even after complete unlock is achieved, there’ll still be some tasks that will stay online.
One fallout of the enforced WFH (Work From Home) was slack. It’s easy to walk down the hall to the kitchen for a bite or the bedroom for some shut eye while your computer tells your boss you are online. During the lockdown, the line separating home and work disappeared along with the commute to and from work. In the new scenario, separation of business and pleasure – which once used to be the skill required by CEOs – will now be the responsibility of every employee.
Ownership & Discipline
With the demand to separate work and pleasure comes the need for ownership and discipline. Employees will now have to hold the rudder and navigate their own career boat. As more and more processes and tasks are digitized, the already crumbling organization structure is likely to disintegrate further. The need to cut costs will drive businesses to outsource more and more to vendors, freelancers, and contractors. On the employment front, while skill will still be important, role-ownership, self-discipline, and self-direction will be important considerations for growth.
At the crossroads of advancing technology and the enforced lockdown, a hybrid work model has evolved which is kind of hard to define or describe. Things are still in a state of flux and organizations are unsure of whether to go offline or stay online with may preferring to play it by the ear. In this scenario, the ability to quickly adapt to changing job roles, scope, and learning new skills on the fly become paramount. As an employee you will have to push the envelope often moving out of your comfort zone to work. This translates to learning new skills quickly, taking on more responsibility, multitasking, and working beyond your workhours.
Emotional Intelligence has always been considered a soft-skill though there are those that disagree. Debate notwithstanding, in order to adapt you will definitely need to keep your emotions in check and use them in a positive way for positive outcome. In the bedlam caused by the joint forces of the Covid Lockdown situation and fast emerging technology, employers and employees alike will have to rely heavily on their EQ (Emotional Quotient) in order to stay focused, be productive, and grow.
Okay! So this is not a new skill. But it does take on a new meaning in the post pandemic era. During the lockdown, business communication evolved in three directions – internally, externally, and in public. All manner of channels was leveraged – from texting on Whatsapp to TeamViewer, conferences and video calls – to send instructions, requests, orders, invoices, and more. Building relationships is no longer about taking the client out to dinner. It’s about replying to his text at 3 am and accepting a call from your boss the moment you open your sleep sodden eyes.
Pandemic notwithstanding, every industry was already talking about shifting landscapes even before 2019. With changes occurring so rapidly, you are often likely to find yourself in awkward and problematic situations. Getting to the root of the problem and resolving it quickly will help you emerge on top. After all, “It’s all about perspective.” Says Wynne McLaughlin – and if you are at the bottom, the only place to look is up.
In this era of uncertainty, it is not enough to be a team worker. Qualities like agility, self-motivation, and leadership will be in demand. Versatility is going to be paramount– at least until the world reaches the next plateau. So be prepared to land on your feet. We hope these insights helped you gain a new and better perspective. Feel free to share your own views – either here in the comments or through our FB community. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for updates.