Upskilling, the New Normal That Organizations Would Expect in the Post-pandemic World
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With the world undergoing a pandemic, the fear of unemployment due to a changing world is at an all-time high. A study released recently said that 135 million people could potentially find themselves unemployed in India. As the future of the economy grows increasingly uncertain, there are many changes occurring in our working styles and in companies as well. Companies are having to pivot quickly in order to keep up with the ever-changing, uncertain environment. From a wine tasting company that has started offering wine tastings to people in the comfort of their homes to fitness companies offering workouts over videos, the word on the street, (apart from ‘go home’) is ‘Pivot or Perish’.
As companies shift tracks, adapt to the new changes, and make significantly different decisions, what are the implications for the workforce and how should one upskill?
Companies are hiring differently, and individuals need to respond to that. Companies, and especially entrepreneurs, have pivoted their hiring strategies with the changing times. Organizations now need people who have multiple skillsets, so that they can execute and deliver independently when needed. Therefore, the post-pandemic world will need more people who can be agile, adaptive, and multi-skilled. With the demand for freelancers likely to rise as companies decide it is better to hire temporary workers rather than full-time staff, people who can execute end-to-end on projects and tasks will be in high demand.
Upskilling cross-functionally is necessary whether you go back to work or not. For those who might head back to work, roles, responsibilities, and work, in general, will look incredibly different than what the world is used to now. Returning back to work might mean that employees will be subjected to a higher demand for being able to perform multiple roles and pick up on the leftover slack too. Therefore, survival in both of these scenarios will be heavily dependent on the ability to learn and upskill.
Look at having a priority-driven career approach. Train yourself on in-demand industry skills through remote learning methods available to you right now. This approach will most certainly set you up for a sustainable career in the long run.
Being digitally competent is key for remote work. Every vertical has moved much of their previous face to face work to online platforms. Count digital competency as a definite fundamental skill, see where you lack, and train in those specific areas.
Upskilling may seem different for self-employed professionals. Diving into solopreneurship means that you need to pick up a lot more work than you usually would either delegate or have another team member do for you. Right from cash flow management to project management, you will need to be a jack of all trades, master of some.
Giving soft skills a chance maybe a good decision. Creativity, innovation, the ability to communicate effectively, and work in a team - all these are soft skills which are even more important given that remote working seems to be a certain possibility. Don’t overlook them and give enough importance to EQ as well as IQ.
Being multi-skilled will be the way to go as more and more companies will look for skills beyond the ordinary. So if you find yourselves at crossroads, unsure of which way to go, try your hand at developing different skills. It is highly likely that you will be called upon to demonstrate many of them in the post-pandemic world. Try to develop a basic working knowledge of all areas of business - the roles, goals, and demands of different verticals, while having in-depth expertise in one of those areas.
There may be a lot of uncertainty right now. But if there’s one thing that’s certain is that the face of work and business is changing rapidly. And all we can do about it is to learn to adapt and grow with it.