Whether the economic impact of the coronavirus caused you to be furloughed or limited your income, you might wonder what you can do now to prepare for a post-coronavirus job market. Global pandemic aside and regardless of a recession, it’s always a good idea to build resiliency into your career to safeguard yourself when faced with disruptions in the job market. Here are ways you can prepare for a post-coronavirus market.
Build Your Skillset
It’s never been more important to keep building your skill set. The only constant in our workplaces is change, and professionals who commit to updating their skills are the ones that will be most adaptable in a post-coronavirus job market. There are always more skills to learn, no matter your industry or position. Do an audit of your skills to determine educational priorities. Evaluate not only your technical skills but also soft skills such as communication and time management prowess and transferrable skills—those skills that are valuable in a variety of positions and industries. Here is my list of skills that will help you succeed in a post-coronavirus world. Once you understand where you have shortfalls, create a plan to help you close your knowledge gaps. It’s important to allocate time in your schedule for your ongoing development. Plus, there are many low-cost and even free resources such as Udemy, Khan Academy, Coursera, Google Code Academy, and lots of coaches and organizations providing learning opportunities that you can tap into.
One thing that remains important in a post-coronavirus job market is the depth of your professional network. If you’re still under stay-at-home orders, it’s a great opportunity to update your LinkedIn profile to ensure your personal brand reflects the type of network you wish to attract. Utilize virtual meet-ups and connecting tools in order to build and nurture your network even while social distancing. Networking can also help you connect with professionals in other industries if you are interested in exploring other industries or a career shift. It’s much easier to find work from your network rather than going through a traditional application/interview process.
Embrace Gig Work
Did you know that the majority of Google’s workforce is made up of temporary or independent contractors? One prediction for the post-coronavirus job market is that rather than look for full-time employees, businesses will continue to rely on gig workers—consultants, independent contractors, on-demand workers, freelancers, and more—who accept assignments on a temporary basis. Are you prepared for the gig economy or ready to adapt to this new reality? Companies will want more flexibility in their workforces. As a result, professionals should approach their career with an entrepreneurial mindset. To be successful at working in a gig way where you jump from one company or project to another, you need to understand your intellectual capital and how to increase it, quantify your value, build your reputation, and be poised to market yourself and find new opportunities. While the gig economy is increasingly embraced by companies of all sizes and industries, professionals will need to learn the basics of running a small business if they wish to succeed because as a gig worker, they will be an entrepreneur.
Improve Your Online Presence
In addition to updating your LinkedIn profile, now is also a good time to improve your online presence. This includes activities such as creating your own website. Even if you don’t have a business yourself, you can market yourself as a professional with your own website and use search engine optimization techniques to help potential employers or clients find you. Another part of these activities should include cleaning-up any pictures or content that aren’t in line with the professional brand you want to convey. Also, find online communities that interest you and become an active participant in those communities. Done correctly, this activity can build your network and confirm your identity as a thought leader.
Update Your Resume
Everyone should keep their resume up to date even if not actively pursuing a change in employment. Updating your resume with accomplishments as you experience them ensures that the content on your resume reflects your current qualifications. You will also be prepared for any opportunity that comes your way no matter when it happens. It’s important that you spotlight key skills and make it easy for a recruiter to understand what you have to offer a prospective employer and why you stand out. It’s always important to quantify your accomplishments with numbers and results.
Here, you can watch the 10 most important job skills every company will be looking for in 2020:
For more technology trends, see Bernard Marr’s new book Tech Trends in Practice: The 25 Technologies That Are Driving The 4Th Industrial Revolution.