Over the past month, in the United States alone, 15 million people — 10% of the labor market — have lost their jobs due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Since the beginning of this crisis, more than 26 million people have applied for unemployment benefits. A huge number that is expected to only grow. Millions of people now face financial hardships while paying their bills and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
While meeting basic needs is paramount, laid-off workers should use this forced “hiatus” in their careers to develop new skills. This knowledge will help them significantly differentiate themselves from others when new opportunities arise.
Even before the crisis, the labor market was undergoing a “digital transformation”. Technologies like automation and artificial intelligence have changed the way people work and their skills.
A recent poll of opinion leaders found that while 91% of employers believe they should provide opportunities to improve their skills or learn new technologies, only one in five companies actually did it. They were hampered by productivity demands and time constraints.
Of course, the prospect of further learning something can be daunting for many. Most of the most in-demand skills are in technical areas such as artificial intelligence and data analytics, but there are opportunities for humanities to improve their skills as well. In recent years, there has been a “fashion” for the so-called soft skills. This term can be translated as the skill of working with people.
- ▶️ Communication — good oral and written communication skills;
- ▶️ Empathize and empathize with others;
- ▶️ Ability to cooperate and negotiate;
- ▶️ Willingness to solve problems;
- ▶️ Knowledge in the field of conflict resolution.
In particular, competencies such as emotional intelligence and excellent communication skills cannot be taught to a robot or AI. At least in the near future. In addition, resources such as Skillshare, Simplilearn, edX, Coursera, Codeacademy, and Udemy offer zero-cost or low-cost learning options to gain knowledge across multiple disciplines.
While learning new skills is likely not a top priority for unemployed people, actively taking online courses can significantly increase the chances of returning to work after a pandemic.
❗❕❗ ️️If you want to become more in demand in the labor market — pay attention to the following 5 points:
👉 1. Artificial intelligence
World Economic Forum participants conducted research and determined that AI specialists would be in demand. This profession will lead the data business. According to the educational website LinkedIn Learning, artificial intelligence will be the most promising job market in 2020.
👉 2. Problem-solving. Critical thinking
A study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 37% of employers cited “problem-solving” and “critical thinking” as their most important skills. And they are often not enough for candidates. Jobseekers who can prove they can think critically and find solutions to business problems are much more likely to receive a positive answer in the interview.
👉 3. Data analysis
Today in America the work related to information analysis and machine learning is the most in-demand. Experts in this area will be of great importance to companies. Because technology is providing them with more information than ever, it’s important to process it correctly.
👉 4. Emotional intelligence
Firms are looking for employees who have a developed ability to identify and manage their emotions, as well as the emotions of others.
A McKinsey study found that demand for this ability across all industries in the US will grow 26% between 2016 and 2030. This soft skill allows workers to connect with others. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, they understand the company’s customers. This allows for a deeper connection with consumers, which makes people with high emotional intelligence a valuable resource for employers.
👉 5. Social media marketing
Experts in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are in high demand. Candidates with marketing and digital knowledge who can help companies increase their brand awareness will be highly sought after by employers in the coming years.
The months ahead will not be easy for millions of people. And continuing education through online courses may not be the top priority. But, as unemployed people begin to consider returning to work after a period of self-isolation, they should consider assessing their current skills and use online courses to learn new ones.
While companies will have a large selection of job seekers after the pandemic ends, candidates should do their best to become as attractive to employers as possible again.
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