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Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

5 Job Skills You Need to Develop Post-Covid-19


By Aazean Aida Mujahid | June 12, 2020

The extraordinary hit of Covid-19 has undoubtedly changed the state of the job market, bringing almost the entire global economy to a standstill. There are plenty of uncertainties in regards to just how a post-coronavirus world would look like in the face of unemployment, pay cut and layoff threats.

In Malaysia, the Department of Statistics noted that the country’s unemployment rate is now the highest in a decade, with a projected increase to possibly 5.5 per cent this year. Global pandemic aside, reskilling and upskilling to meet evolving talent demands is now more crucial than ever to expand job prospects. Whether you are thinking to start a new career or looking to stay competitive in the job market, these are the top five essential job skills you need to thrive in a post-coronavirus landscape.

 

1) TECH SAVVINESS

One of the biggest impacts of Covid-19 on the workforce was its call to fast-track the digital transformation of companies.

From a shift to working from home, virtual meetings and utilising social media tools to connect professionally to the market, you need to be comfortable with these tech tools to be able to work with them effectively.

The reality is that emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics are set for our near-future. Anyone with digital and social media marketing skills will be an asset to their company in being more resilient to future pandemics. Therefore, knowledge in search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), email campaigns, or building webpages will be very attractive to employers.

 

2) ADAPTABILITY TO CHANGE

There exists a Japanese term ‘Kaizen’, meaning ‘change for the better’ or ‘continuous improvement’. A technique to create culture where employees actively engage with improving productivity, this global business philosophy is adopted by major corporations from Nestlé to Ford and Lockheed Martin.

Change has already begun, and it is up to us to adapt to the new ways offices function. With the ever-evolving workplace, flexibility and adaptability to react to change are skills high in demand.

 

3) CRITICAL THINKING

Nearly three in four employers say they have a hard time finding graduates with the soft skills their companies need. Critical thinking skill was among the top missing soft skills in graduates according to employers in a 2018 Cengage/Morning Consult survey.

Employers value workers who know how to think critically. Critical thinkers bring creative solutions to the table to solve business problems. If you are able to objectively evaluate information to make informed decisions while facing disruptions, you will have a much better chance to impress an employer.

 

4) CREATIVITY

MYDIN introduced a drive-through shopping service (Photo courtesy of EC Insider)

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how businesses operate everywhere. With the help of creativity and innovation, pivoting to a new direction could be the only way for many companies to stay alive.

While the world stayed in lockdown, stores expanded digital ordering, fitness companies moved workouts online, and retailers shifted to roadside pickups. It is precisely this uniquely human skill to think creatively on ways to invent in a pre and post-coronavirus world which will be essential to a company.

 

5) EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EQ)

The aptitude for emotional intelligence or EQ forms the very attribute which helps us navigate through the uncertainty of this crisis, and the Covid-19 is proving to be possibly the greatest test of EQ in a generation. Thankfully like most other skills, EQ is a learnable skill and one which will be highly sought-after by organisations.

EQ forms a show of strength in stressful situations where you own the ability to manage your emotions better while being aware of the emotions of others. Under the strain of a crisis, possessing EQ allows you to act with composure and exceptional self-control, a quality coveted for leaders in any organisation.