5 skills to level up your career in the post-pandemic era

The world went through a major jolt when the pandemic hit all of us in early 2020. The first half of the year was really tough for people as cities around the world initiated early phases of lockdown. However, transitioning into the second half of 2020, offices, schools & universities adapted to working from home. As new vaccines arrive in late 2020, conditions are bound to come to normal, but the changes which the world went through has given a taste of remote working to most of the organizations around the world. Surprisingly, some companies like Twitter, Facebook, Shopify and many more gave an option to work from home ‘forever’.

As we look forward to the post-pandemic era, considering the rising costs of college & worsened economic state, the market is focusing more on skills rather than a degree. Apple, Google, IBM, Starbucks and many other companies are expanding their talent options by no longer requiring applicants to have a college degree. Instead, they are looking at candidates who have hands-on experience via a coding boot camp or an industry-related vocational class. However, there are skills which allow candidates to stand out irrespective of the hiring structure in a particular company.

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1. CRITICAL THINKING & PROBLEM SOLVING

This is really important in the 21st Century since it’s harder than ever to verify accurate information (thanks to the Internet). Critical thinking empowers students to discover the truth in a certain claim, especially when it comes to separating fact from opinion. With critical thinking, students don’t just learn a set of facts or figures. Instead, they learn how to discover the facts and figures for themselves.

They become curious. They become engaged in the world around them. They multiply the energy and help others think critically, too. That might be the most important part of critical thinking. Once one student has it mastered, it quickly spreads to their peers.

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2. CREATIVITY

Creativity allows students to embrace their inner strengths from big-picture planning to conscientious organization. It cannot be taught, but it can be practised. As a student explores their creativity, they also learn how to express it in healthy and productive ways.

Creativity isn’t just for students but for professionals too. Just like critical thinking, that makes creativity contagious. Employers want creative thinkers because it benefits their bottom line as well. Creativity helps increase efficiency & productivity for almost all jobs which will exist in the post-pandemic era.

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3. COLLABORATION

Collaboration is the practice of working together to achieve a common goal and it’s the same reason why companies are keen to look for people with not just communication skills but collaboration skills as well. It is important because whether people realize it or not, they’ll probably work with other people for the rest of their lives. They have to be in touch with different teams or people to complete their tasks. Almost every job requires someone to work with another person at some point, even if it is for something as simple as what to get for lunch.

Practising collaboration and teamwork helps people understand how to address a problem, discuss the problem, pitch solutions, and decide the best course of action. It’s also helpful for them to learn that other people don’t always have the same ideas that they do. In fact, as collaboration is practised more and more, they’ll learn that the ideas on the table are unique and worth exploring.

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4. COMMUNICATION & STORYTELLING

Communication isn’t just talking to each other, but it’s so much more. Whether you are talking to a client, customer, co-worker, an intern or even a stranger, your communication skill will mark your first impression on the person you are talking to. Being a good listener is one of the best ways to be a good communicator. No one likes communicating with someone who cares only about putting in her two cents and does not take the time to listen to the other person.

In this sense, storytelling will become a very desirable skill for businesses, especially considering it can help brands connect with audiences and help companies establish a sense of loyalty and trust with clients and consumers.

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5. REMOTE WORKING

The global pandemic has brought a culture of remote work which is here to here to stay for the foreseeable future. To succeed and thrive in a remote work environment, both employees and leaders need to collaborate, communicate and be ready to adapt. A person who knows how to work remotely effectively & efficiently, definitely has good leverage.

On average, companies estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling of six months or less and 94% of business leaders report that they expect employees to pick up new skills on the job, a sharp uptake from 65% in 2018. The future of work has already arrived for a large majority of the online white-collar workforce. There are definitely more skills which will keep coming in the foreseeable future, but the ones mentioned above are the ones which are definitely needed to level up your career in the post-pandemic era.

“As basic automation and machine learning move toward becoming commodities, uniquely human skills will become more valuable.”

— Devin Fidler, Research director at the institute for the future

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