As the world emerges from the COVID-19 lockdown, businesses are bringing employees back and even hiring new ones.
We’re all beginning to adapt to what many are calling a “new normal,” though that language is already getting a bit old. We’re living in a strange time, and it’s hard to know how to label it. “Post COVID” doesn’t really work, as we won’t be “post COVID” for some time to come. The same can be said for “post pandemic,” as the pandemic is definitely not over. And at what point is the normal no longer “new,” and just “the normal”? As far as your job search and career go, at some point we’re going to have to stop thinking of the “now” as a temporary situation and realize that this is just the way things are – now and from now on. We need to adapt, and fast.
Some soft skills and qualities are going to increase in demand as we move forward and as businesses adjust to demands of social distancing and trying to recapture revenue lost to the economic shutdown. Those skills and qualities listed here are already highly sought by employers, but as we learn to live with new demands on businesses, new ways of doing things, and new types of customers, they’re going to become even more attractive. Focus in these skills and qualities for career success in the new and future world.
Adaptability. As we stated, both businesses and workers will have to adapt to a series of new normals. Things will probably be changing for a while, and we all go through new ways of working and new ways of being together as colleagues in all industries. We’ll have to learn new skills and adjust to new environments, and people who do well with change will thrive and excel in this future. Entire departments, from human resources, to marketing, to sales to research and development may have to pivot – and then pivot again and again – before we settle into ways of doing things.
Time management. People will continue to work from home for some time to come and maybe forever. Companies are going to have a difficult time making up lost income and paying rent on offices that have sat empty, and may be paring down. Also, employees have now demonstrated that their jobs can, indeed, be done from home, despite what employers have long insisted. This means the ability to effectively and autonomously manage one’s time will be something employers value highly.
Problem solving. Hiring managers will be looking for people adept at out-of-the-box thinking, maybe even for roles that have traditionally required less of this. How office plans will work with continued social distancing, keeping employees engages from long distances, adapting products to new social norms, maintaining revenue while sales are dropping and people are struggling financially – these are just a tiny few of the problems businesses are struggling to solve and will continue to grapple with in future. Your ability to help will be quite valuable.
Communication. Communication will be even more key as people continue to work remotely and have fewer face-to-face interactions. How we react to each other, and our reliance on facial expressions, body language, and tone are shifting questions. New ways of communicating and interacting are going to require focus on different types of communication skills.