The work environment has changed during the pandemic, and it will probably never be the same. The term essential worker has created a noble but transformed title among grocery clerks, healthcare workers, and mail carriers. All essential workers have job security, but they carry on at a risk. Remote workers have become another norm that hasn't waned despite the lifting of stay-at-home orders. Lastly, many people have had to find new sources of employment. Restaurants, salons, and other industries hit hard during the pandemic have had to downsize or close. The future is uncertain and definitely different for these businesses. That is why it is important for all workers to assess and hone new skills in the post-pandemic world. Here are the top 8 skills you'll need post-COVID.
It isn't hard to imagine that flexibility would make it on the list of skills needed in a post-COVID world, but the term is broad. Flexibility means being able to shift gears mid-stride. There could be more outbreaks and lockdowns. In order to succeed, you must be able to continue no matter where you are in a job duty or project. This may mean rescheduling meetings to conference calls or Zoom meetings with very little notice. It may mean shifting from a workplace to your sofa (hopefully a home office). The point is the work can be done anywhere and without interruption because you don't let the fluidity of life get in the way of your goals.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Second to flexibility is emotional intelligence, and this is an important requirement because many people lack the skill of flexibility. If you have a high level of emotional intelligence, you can help your team with compassion and empathy while remaining calm and stable. Resolving conflict and reducing stress is an amazing feat, and you can accomplish this with emotional intelligence.
When the nation figured out that it couldn't survive on lockdown, it needed to get creative to find ways to reopen. For some, it simply meant masks and partitions. For others, schedules were staggered to prevent overcrowding. Businesses changed the way they ventilate, and sanitization was elevated as a priority. This is not where creativity ended. People figured out how to transform their apartment into a home office, and many small business owners developed curbside pickup. The changes are countless, and they have all been a creative effort to maintain success no matter what challenge the world produces.
Flexibility and adaptability are different in that flexibility connotes a willingness to change while adaptability indicates a mastering of that change. It means that you are still able to be professional and maintain a work ethic from the comfort of your home. It means that you can shift your mind from a workplace to a remote platform. It means that your smile and hospitality remain whether you are behind a mask or plexiglass. Doing your job well amidst change is a skill.
A big challenge when things are in constant motion is remaining organized. If you are a person who can work remotely, you may be able to work in your pajamas, but can you do this and remain focused? Organization is a key element in excelling when things change. Setting schedules, getting dressed, and investing mental energy in routine can help to increase your productivity no matter what your life entails.
No matter if you are working from home, an essential worker, or unemployed, you need self-leadership for success. This is the drive that allows you to find new jobs, force yourself to adapt, and engage in emotional intelligence. It is the skill that allows you to put forth ideas in a team setting whether you are meeting virtually or in-person. Being able to self-manage and regulate pushes you to perform with quality and efficiency without oversight.
7. Willingness to Learn
The pandemic has pushed many people out of their careers and back to the drawing board as far as planning for the future. The only way to effectively change your plans for the future is to allow yourself to learn new things. You may have been an expert in your field, but your field has changed. The only way to gain expertise again is to create a malleable mindset that can unlearn the past and replace it with needed knowledge for the future.
Lastly, technology is a skill that you must master whether you are a freelance writer or a marketing analyst. You must understand digital platforms and data analytics to a certain degree in order to be competent in the industries driving the future. There are very few industries left that don't have some form of technology requirement, and the more you know, the more easily you'll be able to learn required systems.
The Skills You Need Will Drive Your Success
The skills above are essential for success in the post-COVID world. If you don't feel you have them all, that's great! That means you also have the skill of self-reflection, and you have a pathway for improvement. Nobody is perfect, and each person has their strengths. However, each person can also improve their skills. The world has changed during the pandemic, and it will continue to change. That does not mean that we are doomed to fail, but we do have to work differently in order to succeed.