A shift in the labour market typically takes decades to happen. For instance, the advent of digital technology didn’t totally replace traditional media like TV and radio. There are still jobs on TV and radio, even newspaper houses. The traditional journalists still have their jobs. So new technology doesn’t immediately substitute traditional employees, because people and businesses adapt to change at a different pace.
But there are times when adjustments to technology change may be catalyzed by a series of events like economic crisis or a pandemic. In a time of prosperity, companies may be more resistant from adapting to change due to the potential initial cost of dumping the old for the new. However, recessions can produce shocks strong enough to overcome this resistance and force companies to seek innovative options. This is known as creative destruction. Creative destruction is the dismantling of long-standing practices in order to make way for innovation.
Where am I getting to with all this? Here it is; whether adjustments to technological change will be gradual or sudden is important for you to understand how the landscape of jobs will be affected after this pandemic and the level of up-skilling that will be required.
After the 2008 economic crisis, according to Harvard Business Review, the economy recovered faster than the employment rate. That is, many people remained jobless even after the economy had recovered. Why did this happen? Again, after the 2008 recession, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, job adverts were more likely to contain education, experience, analytical and computer skills than before the recession.
Due to the tough economic situation, companies were focused to adopt technology and innovation more strictly than before it. The recession drastically changed the skills employers want, and this remained so years after. Workers who had not developed these required skills found it more difficult to get a job. The job market doesn’t adjust to people’s skill level during difficult times. Instead, people have to adjust to the adjusted demand of the job market. So what are some of the job skills that will be in high demand after this pandemic? That’s what you will learn from this article.
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1. Tech Literacy
In the current world, you couldn’t survive without being able to read and write; this was what literacy was all about. Today, you need more than language literacy to navigate the changing world. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a post-coronavirus-world is to acquire technology skills. The COVID-19 pandemic is fast-tracking digital transformations in companies as they are trying to become more resilient to future outbreaks and disruptions. The reality is that technologies such as digital media, artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, and robotics will make businesses more resilient to a future crisis like this, and anyone that can help companies exploit these technologies will be in a great position.
Whether you work as a dispatch rider or as an accounting office in a post-pandemic world, you need to be comfortable with productive tech tools as well as be able to work with them effectively.
2. Data Literacy
Data is the fuel of the 4th Industrial Revolution. And the ability to collect, analyze and interpret data has become a critical component for every business and organization. With the right data, companies are able to better predict the impact of future business disruptions and are better able to serve customers with the right products and services during or after the health or economic crisis. However, data is useless to a company unless there is data literacy; that is people with skills to understand the data and make better decisions because of it. Data literate professionals will be more appealing to prospective employers than ever before.
3. Critical Thinking
Another skill that will be essential as the global economy rebuilds from the damage done by COVID-19 is critical thinking. During the lockdown due to the pandemic, we saw a spike in fake news and misrepresentations of data and studies, as leaders, businesses, and governments were trying to shift blame and divert attention and proper scrutiny. People who can objectively evaluate information from diverse sources to determine what is credible will be valued. Not all information should be trusted, but organizations will need to rely on critical thinking to understand what information should inform decision-making.
We all learned new concepts during this period; like social distancing. People were focused to stay home and work if they could. This has given the gig economy a boost where a lot of remote working will become a part of the working culture. More people at all levels of an organization will be in a position where they lead others. The gig economy is only going to grow post corona virus, and people will be working in more fluent teams where they are taking the lead at different times. Professionals with strong leadership skills, including how to bring out the best and inspire teams as well as encourage collaboration, will be in demand.
Another leadership skill that is even more important in uncertain and challenging times is Emotional Intelligence; the ability to be aware of, express, and control our emotions and be aware of others’ emotions. At times when people might feel uncertain about their job and the future of their business, it is key to connect with people on an emotional level. Individuals with strong EQ will be coveted by organizations of all sizes and in all industries.
5. Learnability and Adaptability
According to Manpower Group, the one skill that will secure your future career is your learnability skill; that is your ability to learn, unlearn and relearn in a changing world. In the rapidly changing workplace, it’s not what you already know that matters. What is important is how quickly you can learn what you need to know. The world was already changing rapidly, but the pandemic accelerated it. Anyone that is going to succeed in a post-pandemic-world will need to be able to adapt to ever-evolving workplaces and have the ability to continuously update and refresh their skills.
6. Creativity & Innovation
During this pandemic, we saw the importance of creativity and innovation. Some businesses were able to quickly come up with ways to continue delivering services or shift to new products. Some passenger airlines converted to freight services; automobile companies switched to manufacturing ventilators; restaurants switched to home delivery. Businesses that are creative and innovative tend to survive through tough times than their contemporary. In a post-pandemic world, companies will need human ingenuity to innovate new products, marketing strategies and ways of working.
7. Digital and Coding Skills
Zoom, a digital-enabled business, which is only 9 years old is now worth more than the top 7 airlines in the United States combined. Pause on that for a moment; the company that owns a simple video conferencing app, worth more than 7 largest airlines in the biggest economy in the world. Digital and coding skills have already been in high demand before the corona virus pandemic. But the shock from the corona virus pandemic will push more businesses and organizations to embrace digital transformation. Also because digital-enabled businesses have proven to be pandemic resistant compared to non-digital businesses, more businesses will adopt digital technology. Professionals with digital skills, including coding, web development, and digital marketing, will become even more important than they’ve been.
When faced with a tough job market, professionals with advanced and expert job skills will still be in demand and will likely struggle less to find employment. The good news is that improving your skills has never been easier. Today, it doesn’t require years of study or high cost to build up your skill-set to be prepared for a post-pandemic world. Free and open online courses abound to help you improve your knowledge and skills; there is Coursera, edX, Udacity, FutureLearn and more of them.
In summary, businesses are going to invest more in technology and high skills after the economic crisis causes by the corona virus pandemic. If you want to stay valuable and get better jobs, start now to identify and develop these need skills.
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