In just over a year, Covid19 has completely changed how we conduct our daily lives. We stay at home more often, wear masks when we go out, and when we go out, we now often admire each other through a thick layer of plexiglass.
We’ve been slowly able to revert back to our pre-Covid19 lives. With the vaccine, there may even be a light at the end of the tunnel. That being said, it’s unlikely that things will ever be truly as they were in a pre-Covid19 world. In fact, many companies are already looking to switch an increasing portion of their activity to the virtual workspace. Many consumers have become more comfortable existing and interacting in virtual spaces or e-commerce markets. Without a doubt, Covid19 will have lasting effects on how we work and interact.
In 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that nearly 400 million, or 14% of the global workforce, would have to reskill in the growing presence of automation and artificial intelligence. Moreover, a report by Deloitte Access Economics argues that by 2030, two-thirds of all occupations will be made up of soft-skill intensive jobs.
So, what does this mean for you? Moving forward, the general workforce will be experiencing huge changes stemming from not just Covid19, but from advancements in technology as well. Here are a couple of skills, old and new, that might just make you stand out:
Technology and IT, duh With advancements in technology and a general, potentially permanent, pivot to virtual work, it’s no surprise that IT skills and familiarity with technology are hot for prospective employees. An article from McKinsey & Company explains how companies moving forward will need to, “figure out how to lead their teams virtually as they build social capital and how to maintain cohesion without the benefit of informal coffee, lunch, or corridor chats”. As a virtual workspace continually evolves alongside our existing on-site one, its likely that employers will be searching for individuals whose skillsets are conducive to that evolution.
Adaptability and Critical Thinking While these skills have always been sought after in the workplace, recent and potentially future events are likely to only increase their value. The immediate shift to virtual and then subsequent shift back to on-site and virtual work has shown to many employers the importance of having adaptable employees who can think on the fly.
More specifically, the volatile workspace environment created by Covid19 has been obviously difficult to handle for many. However, those with effective critical thinking skills, an ability to manage both expected and unexpected deadlines, and the capability to reinvent the nature of their work in different environments are the ones who have been most successful. As aftereffects of Covid19 are predicted to remain for the next few years, it’s likely the demand for these skills will only increase.
Effective Communication and Interpersonal Skills Nothing too new or exciting here. However, having high emotional intelligence and social skills has been hugely important for allowing workers to help both themselves and others in some difficult, recent times. Additionally, as virtual workspaces limit especially informal interaction during work hours, having really solid communication skills in meetings and emails is going to be the main form of building relationships and cementing trust for many.
Obviously, there are plenty more skills than this that employers will be looking for in a post-Covid19 era. What skills do you have that make you stand out? Or better yet, how do you best convey those skills to a prospective employer?