8 CRITICAL CAREER SKILLS You Can Tap into Right Now
To say COVID-19 has turned the business world upside down is an understatement.
From adjusting to remote work to encountering abrupt career setbacks, we are navigating turbulent waters. As the saying goes, a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. There are crucial career skills that can benefit you to not only survive the current storm, but also learn to thrive in it and emerge stronger and improved.
Mastering the list of competencies below will equip you with eternal expertise that will help you manage even the most volatile or brutally competitive scenarios with grace.
Adaptability isn’t simply a career skill, but more so a general life strategy: In a world where change is faster than ever before, we need to be willing, able, and even excited to change course without feeling hindered or angry. We have no choice if our objective is to remain relevant professionally. Either we learn to pivot with spirit, or we risk becoming archaic. How enthusiastic are you about rolling with the punches? Are you able to quickly pivot without being too fixated on the original plan? Do you catch yourself dwelling on what could have been? Take an honest look at how adaptable you tend to be and learn how to enjoy change.
Being solution-oriented is a skill that will always serve you in your career, regardless of your job situation or industry. We must all be solution-oriented to remain valuable as employees and, for those of us in a job search, to distinguish ourselves from all the other candidates. Companies will hire and promote you when you make a difference. It is not simply confidence that gets you hired and promoted nowadays. It is demonstrating real measurable value as well as the ability to determine how to make your job and the company operate better and to achieve greater prosperity in the long run.
Focusing on the things you can control supports your ability to continuously adapt to the ever-changing world around you. That includes habits and routines as well as your physical environment. Organization is a must-have career skill that makes the process of dealing with unexpected changes much smoother. When you keep track of the details and maintain records and files, it’s a lot easier to adjust. From using project management tools to organizing your Google Drive, practice the art of keeping your work items streamlined.
Technology is key and the world in which we work is irreversibly driven by innovation. The more you know, the better off you will be. Even if your role is not directly technology-focused, you at least need to demonstrate that you can thrive in a technology-based environment, so you don’t chance being viewed as outdated. Whether you’ve been putting off learning a new app or you’re looking to refine your knowledge of the platforms your company uses, now is a perfect time to expand your technological horizons. Remote work has only made it more vital to do so.
Self-sufficiency is more important than ever, as you may not have the same level of access to your usual resources and are lacking physical proximity to your colleagues, yet still need to remain effective.The new normal will likely mean that many of us will be working remotely. We simply won’t have access to many of the resources and tools we had before. We need to be able to demonstrate that we are resourceful and that we can perform our roles independently while still collaborating with our colleagues virtually.
Whether you are in the process of applying for jobs or sourcing for clients, don’t despair. The Coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected a lot of business operations, and it might take more time than usual for potential employers or leads to respond. This is the perfect opportunity to practice patience, a skill to rely on when you come up against circumstances that are out of your control. It will take longer for companies to reach a decision. They will get back to you. It will just take a lot longer to manage the logistics involved in coordinating interviews, feedback, and an official offer and subsequent onboarding.
The pandemic has also affected the job market and the way negotiations are taking place. It’s important to remember that in this climate, more flexibility may be required. When it comes to negotiating a new job, it’s vital not to bulldoze the process. In this market and for the foreseeable future you will have far less opportunity with respect to negotiation points. There may be plenty of alternate candidates the company can turn to if you appear dissatisfied.
Ensure you periodically evaluate where you are professionally. What it is that you want, the professional landscape, and what you need to do to remain whole. Take the time for regular career check-ins with yourself. Assess what you need in order to grow and achieve your goals. From attending conferences to chatting with mentors and from taking online courses to asking for more responsibilities at work, investing in your professional development is a timeless career skill — and those who have mastered it are having an easier time dealing with the current crisis.