Australia’s economic future remains uncertain with a second coronavirus outbreak in Victoria and growing hotspots in other states.
The latest data from the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) shows the unemployment rate has jumped from 6.4 % to 7.1% in a month. Nearly a million Australians have now lost their jobs because of the pandemic. More will follow as a result of the harsh second wave restrictions that the Victorian Government has introduced.
If you want to stay employed (and employable) you may need new skills.
The benefits of acquiring new skills during a lockdown
There is a range of online courses you can take to upgrade your skills while you self-isolate.
Everyone’s got free time on our hands these days. There’s only so much Netflix you can binge on before you say: ‘Enough is enough’. Instead of vegetating on your couch, why not use the additional time to improve your mind and develop some skills that can help you become more employable? Engaging your mind keeps you productively occupied. You will have less time to indulge in worry and anxiety. When you complete the course, you will feel a sense of satisfaction, gain new knowledge, and develop confidence.
What to study online in a lockdown
In my line of work, I deal with employers all the time. Believe me when I say the pandemic has altered the way employers are choosing candidates today.
The top skills every employer is looking for now:
Employers want managers who can recognise and respond to change and still maintain a positive outlook that can motivate others to stay engaged and be productive in their roles. Do you fit that role?
Communication and Emotional Intelligence
Communication – COVID-19 work from home demands excellent communication skills in the digital sphere. Employers are looking for candidates who know how to use technology smartly. New skills in demand today include a good video presence and strong writing skills.
Candidates with good emotional intelligence are in high demand today. Remote working means staff are not physically in the office for managers to manage and control. The manager of the future must be able to demonstrate the ability to empathise with others’ behaviours and feelings. How strong are your communication skills? Do you look awkward on camera?
Adaptability and Flexibility
Employers are looking for staff who can easily adapt to change. A good candidate is someone who can pivot between office work and remote working from home if lockdowns become commonplace. Are you afraid of change? Can you multitask?
Changing working conditions mean employees must be organised with good time management skills. Remote working suits workers who can work independently with minimum supervision and those who can find the right balance between professional responsibilities and domestic commitments. Do you procrastinate? Are you productive?
There is nothing predictable about the coronavirus. Employers want candidates who can look at things from a different perspective and contribute innovative ideas and concepts that can help the business grow. Do you have ideas?
The ability to solve problems remotely is in demand during a pandemic crisis. Effective problem-solving skills mean a candidate can easily grasp a situation and produce strategies to solve problems. It is also about having an entrepreneurial spirit to identify opportunities in difficult situations. Do you like challenges? Can you think out of the box?