By Lorna Mangel, Business Development Manager at Mindworx Consulting
Many people are feeling ambushed by the pandemic and asking themselves whether their jobs are still relevant. It’s a good question. There is no comfort zone in the workplace anymore. Indeed, for many there’s hardly even a workplace anymore.
Few people have not been affected. For those who remain with their pre-pandemic employers, the idea that their jobs will just carry on as before is likely to be an illusion. Those who wait to see what will happen next will be the losers in a world where employment is not what it used to be.
Developing new skills is vital to job survival but Covid demands more of us than this. The trick is not just to increase existing skills, it is to add new ones. Think multifunctional. When businesses are struggling to survive, the more you can do, the more valuable you are to an employer.
Here are 7 great tips on how to help yourself remain relevant and in demand.
1. Never stop learning
The more skills you can offer an employer, the better. There are many reputable courses online and a lot of them are either free or affordable. That said, it is always worth investing in your employability. Choose courses from recognised vendors and those that offer some sort of certification or proof of qualification.
2. Stay up to date with the trends in your industry or marketplace
You need to know and understand the latest terminology and you need a strong sense of where the future lies in your particular field. Don’t get caught napping.
3. Upskill your technical capability
Covid has turned us all into techies as we’ve learnt how to do our jobs remotely. Six months ago, working in an office surrounded by colleagues was the norm. Now, the norm is being able to host online meetings on a variety of video platforms and navigating through the cloud. Make sure you can ace modern communication methods.
4. Upskill your digital know-how
Online traffic increased during lockdown and companies that didn’t already have a strong digital marketing and e-commerce presence either lost out or learnt fast. A captive audience looking for information, goods and services is a market waiting to be served. However, there is a particular way of responding to this market: the biggest learning curve for everyone at the height of lockdown was sensitivity to a public that was not in the mood for pushy sales tactics. Mastering the art and science of the digital world gives you an edge as this way of doing business continues to grow.
5. Be prepared to continue working from home
Businesses are finding that they don’t necessarily need the office space they had before and most need the reduction in costs. Make your home office set-up as efficient and comfortable as possible because you might be there long after lockdown. The key is to continue proving that you are just as effective from home as you were in an office.
This is the time to step up, take on challenges and make decisions. When someone takes the lead, others feel more comfortable doing the tasks that need to be done. But leadership is not just about delegating; it is about putting people at their ease, being aware of their emotions, and being able to control your own emotions. Right now, the world needs leaders with high levels of emotional intelligence.
7. Consider contract work
If you lost your job because of the circumstances surrounding Covid, contracting is a great way to make money, gain experience and get your foot in the door at different companies. Make yourself visible to the market by keeping your CV and LinkedIn profile up to date and paying attention to how you come across on social media.
This article was published on 31 August in iAfrica