With the changes in the workplace, in-demand skills, flexibility and being tech-savvy will help you save your job, says Indira Ramachandra, chief human resources officer, AscentHR.
Have you ever wondered what the work world would be like in a post-pandemic world?
In 2020, we saw how the pandemic induced lockdown across the world turned our lives upside down with millions losing their jobs. Others adopted a different tactical approach exploring alternatives to address the paradigm shift.
In order to emerge from the crisis with minimal losses, organisations are looking to nurture their current workforce and at the same time hire qualified candidates.
Most companies have already altered the way they select potential candidates and fine-tuned the skills they look for. However, the required skillset continues to evolve under changing circumstances.
Skills can be categorised into soft skills and hard skills.
Soft skills, or professional skills, are non-technical and related to how you work and interact with your colleagues. They also include how you solve a crisis and how you manage your daily tasks.
On the other hand, hard skills require you to have functional expertise in a specific field to fulfill the requirements of the job.
These skills are job-specific and are typically mentioned in job postings.
Core skills like accounting, bookkeeping, auditing, Java scripts, and construction require years of professional training, education, and practice.
But if you want to secure your current job, you will need to prepare yourself to meet the current requirement of your organisation and the market.
Here are some key skills that will not only help you keep your job safe but also help you transition to a new role:
1. Adjusting to the new culture of working
Companies are now looking for candidates who are comfortable with the new work culture or have the ability to adapt to it.
As an organisation and its services transition to the virtual realm,employers want candidates who are flexible, can adapt to the new change, and drive the organisation forward.
2. Embrace reading
Gone are the days of 9 to 5 jobs.
If you want a job, want to stick with your current firm, or want to move up in the chain of command, you need to embrace continuous learning.
Reading provides you food for thought, which leads to creativity and there, the cycle of your success begins.
Newspapers, books, research, the Internet -- look for information that will keep you updated and engaged with the latest happenings.
A majority of employers appreciate new ideas, especially if they contribute to the company's productivity.
3. Digital literacy
Digital literacy is paramount for job aspirants, especially at a time when organisations nowadays are undergoing into a digital transformation.
And experts believe that this shift, from physical to virtual, is likely to stay for a long time.
Therefore, it is vital for jobseekers to have basic knowledge of the latest technological advancements, especially at a time when organisations nowadays are undergoing into a digital transformation.
And experts believe that this shift, from physical to virtual, is likely to stay for a long time. Therefore, it is vital for jobseekers to have basic knowledge of the latest technological advancements.
Digital literacy will help candidates and jobseekers feel comfortable with the virtual collaboration model and helps the individuals maintain seamless communication with their peers, clients, suppliers, partners, and others.
Along with this, an educational background built around digital transformation gives you a basic understanding of critical data concepts and technology.
Transitioning to work models governed by applied machine learning and advanced analytics then becomes easier.
For example, for the position of Director of Quality Management, you will need to pump up your technical skills to collect, analyse, and monitor production data.
3. Time management and decision making
These two skills have always been important, and with the ongoing pandemic and remote working situations, they have become even more significant than ever.
Employers trust candidates who are good at time management as they can deliver work within the given deadlines.
The rapid transition to virtual work models has made timely response and accountable communication as an essential cue.
It is worth mentioning that decision-making is the ultimate skill and it can only be achieved with confidence and a sound knowledge base.
4. Communication is the key to success
It is probably one of the most important requirements for all employers out there.
It is a must that you are able to communicate effectively as you will come across a variety of people in the workplace.
Strong communication skills enable job aspirants to explain complex processes to potential business associates with ease.
An ideal candidate needs to develop and refine skills to communicate clearly, concisely and effectively.
In addition to this, one can also begin working on one’s communication skills by listening to people actively and delivering ideas in an organised way.
Maintaining eye contact during in-person interactions is crucial.
5. Coach others
Coaching can be defined as a process whereby individuals get together to clarify goals, identify potential stumbling blocks, and improve their performance.
In other words, you can help your colleagues become better versions of themselves by setting time aside for them to solve issues and achieve goals.
This can be achieved over the course of a series of regular one-on-one sessions.
Coaching can be addressed in three phases: solving existing issues, setting and achieving long-term goals, and improving performance.
The process of coaching requires time, patience, and empathy.
Remember, you cannot treat your fellow teammates as machines where you feed data and immediately expect an outcome, they are human beings who require support and guidance.
With an agreeable 'Ask and Answer' or sharing session, not only will your team members improve, but you will grow too, as teaching is considered to be one of the most effective ways to learn a concept thoroughly.
6. Be well organised
Organising a workplace well is vital for a business to thrive. Along with establishing a sense of structure, organising promotes team spirit.
As a result, your team will also run more efficiently.
A clean and well-kept workplace leaves a strong impression on your fellow colleagues as well as on the employer.
Your employer can take pride in your working attitude and may set it up as an example for other teams.
Along with this, your habit of organising can also address the safety and health concerns at work.
Organising your surroundings and work leads you to think better, which can come in handy at the time of a crisis. An organised, thinking individual is a problem solver.
7. Cloud computing
The term 'cloud' is used for the internet and cloud computing is the process of delivering computing services over the internet.
These services primarily include servers, storage, networking, software, intelligence, databases, and analytics.
The primary benefits of cloud computing are its cost-effectiveness as businesses pay strictly for what they use. If used well, it can be a game-changer for any business.
The world is moving into the cloud at a fast pace. As a result, companies hire people who have at least a basic knowledge of the concept and can work with it.
8. Social media know-how
At present, social media has taken the centre stage for any development taking place in any field.
It provides a platform for companies to reach their existing targeted audiences and to get some new ones as well.
If you plan to stay ahead in the competition presented in the current job market, you need to stay aware of all the new social media platforms, how they work, who their users are, and the kind of content they generally enjoy.
Social media is just not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.There is a wide range of social media platforms that are being followed by a variety of audiences.
Depending on your role, you might need to explore the world of social media and find ways to use it to expand the reach of your client, partner, or firm.
9. Artificial Intelligence
AI is influencing the present and future of virtually every industry.
Experts have set it as the primary driver of growing technologies. For example, big data, robotics, and the Internet of Things.
In 2021, AI will grow further as a principal technological pioneer for the future.
In other words, it is the new normal in technology.
In the years to come, the future is certain to be robot-friendly, or at least robot-adjacent. In all likelihood, such innovation might help curb the rise of another pandemic.
The above-mentioned skills will pave the way for more opportunities for employees in future.
One thing is emphatically clear. With the changes in the workplace, in-demand skills, flexibility and being tech-savvy have taken the front seat as qualities that get you hired.