Over the past several months, companies and individuals have faced extraordinary circumstances and pressures. Companies have not only been forced to re-evaluate their business models, but professionals have also needed to act differently and rapidly evolve their skill sets.
While the current circumstances have without question been challenging, it is worthwhile to take time to reflect how this period may have forced you to develop skills in new areas. The skills gained during these trying times have not only proven to be key but will continue to serve professionals well in their careers as we move to a new way of working.
Here are 10 skills you may have developed over the past few months that are likely to rise as the job market evolves.
1. Effective remote communication
Not surprisingly, the countless calls and virtual conference meetings that you will have participated in during the lockdown will have developed your skills in communicating effectively while operating remotely. Not only in managing successfully the features of this crucial technology, but also how you build rapport virtually, including your ability to practice active listening, and engage an audience remotely.
2. Resilience and patience
During any career, there will be times of adversity, increased stress, and uncertainty. However, the global pandemic is likely to have increased workloads, strained resources, and meant rapid changes for teams, which while challenging, will have required professionals to show resilience and patience when working with others under these circumstances.
3. Time management, discipline, and accountability
Whilst there can be a plethora of benefits to working from home, such as negating the need for a commute, it also comes with its own challenges. The switch to full-time home working while socially isolating was a big change for many and continues to prove difficult as the time stretches. In this remote set up, building, and managing an effective routine, juggling conflicting priorities, staying motivated, and maintaining productivity is key. This requires sharp time management skills, self-discipline, and a high level of accountability.
4. Continuous learning
The importance of upskilling and adopting a continuous learning approach to developing new skills has long been listed as a key skill. However, as the global pandemic has proven true, we are operating in a fast-changing environment and skill sets quickly need to evolve to remain competitive.
5. Empathy and respect
Now more than ever employees require an increased level of empathy and respect from their employers. However, professionals at all levels will have been developing their ability to engage empathically and respectfully with others at this time as we are all facing similar and yet unique challenges. Being understanding and respectful of others’ feelings, time constraints, and conflicting priorities will have been so important in maintaining strong relationships and supporting team members remotely.
6. Emotional intelligence
Building on empathy and respect, emotional intelligence, often a skill that is identified as key for leaders, is now a crucial skill for everyone in the current climate. However, the challenging times we are facing and the virtual way we are operating will have forced many to be more intuitive and dive deeper when considering how others might be feeling. It has also meant they have needed to be conscious of how they are interacting with people at this time. For example, how they are being perceived virtually, considering the circumstances of others and how intertwined challenges such as workloads, personal priorities and relationships with others might affect the way they work together.
To keep up and stay relevant in the market, it has been crucial to take the time to identify new opportunities. Named our 2020 skill of the year, intrapreneurship is described as ‘thinking and acting like an entrepreneur within a business.’ For example, an intrapreneur will consider ways to help drive business growth, introducing new ideas, offerings, and ways of working whilst fulfilling their day-to-day job function. While this period has been challenging for many, those who have maintained a focus on the future and how the business could benefit from these challenges will continue to flourish.
8. Customer centricity
As the customer landscape has evolved, so too have businesses to better meet the needs of their target audiences. Professionals responsible for keeping connected to customers and those organizations that have kept the customer at the heart of their decisions will be one step ahead of their competition.
9. Tech savviness
The shift to remote working saw IT departments working endlessly to ensure home setups, processes and systems were functional and employees were able to perform efficiently outside of the office, with very little time to prepare. The new technology, tools and processes put in place forced employees to get up to speed with technologies and programmes they have not previously utilised. Tech savviness will continue to be key in the world of work moving forward.
10. Adaptability and flexibility
This period of uncertainty has brought countless changes in all aspects of our lives. In the world of work, the ability to adapt to these changes and be flexible in the approach to navigating obstacles was crucial in stabilising businesses and key to preparing teams to operate in a very different environment.