Most of us are facing the harsh realities of a lockdown: no work, low on income, uncertainty for the future. However, even in these troubled times, we need to find out the best way to help our future.
The future after lockdown, may not show us the same world, as we were in, when we get into it. Businesses are finding it hard to survive and recession is upon us. At this time, the best way to prepare for the future, is to upskill.
During recession time, only those people will be able to survive well, who are multi-skilled, and multi-talented. This is a good time to reflect on your set of skills and access, what more can you learn and grow.
And here by skills, I don’t mean long courses, but short courses and tools, that can help you get a job or survive better in the future. And all of these can be learned to a great extent online.
There can be two types of skills to work on:
1. Skills which can be used within your own industry and job, to get perfection in what you do. Or even better, to help your boss, do something more productive. Some examples can be:
a. Learn to write the professional emails.
b. Have you perfected the art of formatting a word document?
c. How to work on excel and make graphs and reports? Have you perfected it yet?
d. Email management, using outlook, Vs Gmail, etc.
e. Have you tried your hand on email marketing? Can you send newsletters for your business?
f. Have you tried your hand at graphic design? Some basics of making a poster maybe?
g. How to make cold calls for sales?
h. How to do project management?
2. Skills which can be used in a new industry.
With the changing job market, you should be ready with a skill set, that can be used for an alternate career or help in changing the industry you have worked in. Think of alternate careers for yourself, in a worst case scenario and prepare for them. Some examples can be:
a. Learn to invest. A lot of people may have panicked in March when the sharemarket crashed, but many investors also see it as an opportunity to buy while shares are cheap. Investment platform Hatch is running a 10-day online course teaching people how to invest. Link: https://www.hatchinvest.nz/
b. Learn a language: This can come handy, if you work in a multi-lingual environment. With so many different language-learning apps, it's easier than ever. And what better time to learn an official language of our country? Massey University offers an introductory course to te reo Māori which can be done online and for free over 10 hours. There are no assignments or exams connected with the course. Link: Learn Maori
c. Learn basics of bookkeeping on MYOB or Xero: If you have knowledge of basic accounting, you can learn how to operate the most popular software like MYOB or Xero. This can help you get some basic skills like making invoices, accepting payments, sending receipts, etc. best way is to go to their websites and self-learn from tutorials. Links: https://academy.myob.com/ ; https://tv.xero.com/
.. and the list can go on. I am giving below a list of some great online learning resources that you can explore and use as you find useful.
Try to come out of this lockdown with atleast ONE new skill.
Stay home. Upskill. Best of luck!
Some links for online learning:
· Linkedin Learning: Over 15,000 expert-led, online courses and video tutorials. Great resource for online learning for key skills. Taught in small videos. https://learning.linkedin.com/
· Khan Academy: You've probably heard of Khan Academy. The non-profit is totally free to people who want to learn and teach. Best part, it also provides a host of topics to learn for kids to grown ups. www.khanacademy.org/
· Skillshare: Based in the U.S., Skillshare is primarily for those who wished to learn through videos. While the courses are not accredited, the focus of these courses are on interaction. Students typically advance through the course by completing a project.
· Udemy: With over 100,000 courses in 50 different languages and 42,000 instructors, Udemy has become a staple for people looking to learn new things online. Majority of the content - a whopping 22 million minutes of video instructions - are created by colleges and universities.
· Pluralsight: If you're an IT professional and looking to enhance your skills in technology, Pluralsight is highly recommended. The online education company has a range of video training courses catered towards IT administrators, software developers, and creative folks. https://www.pluralsight.com/
· Stanford Online: This website, created as an initiative by Stanford University, has numerous free online courses including professional certificates and degree programs. Courses range from a diverse range of topics including economics, entrepreneurship, blockchain, nutrition, mathematics, and more.
Garry Gupta, Chair, Migrant Careers Support Trust