COVID-19 brought many changes to how people work and how job applicants interview and integrate with new team members. The pandemic placed a greater reliance on video conferencing programs and remote work for weeks or months at a time, which can take a little time for employees to get used to being in the office environment again.
Here are 4 strategies to take advantage of during the pandemic and other uncertain time periods to improve your skills and increase your workplace productivity.
1. Be Flexible
COVID-19 has impacted how organizations go about their day-to-day tasks, such as by working remotely. It’s important for existing employees and job seekers to understand that this will continue to evolve over time. In order to best position themselves as valuable team assets, job candidates and employees should demonstrate being adaptable and flexible to workplace needs. Employers are looking to rely on employees who can respond to industry changes quickly and will help their companies stay agile when faced with uncertain times.
When looking for a job in a constantly changing work environment, it’s important to consider all types of positions, including temporary and contract jobs. These types of positions allow for versatility for job seekers looking to improve their skill sets and gain real-world experience at companies in desired fields, while also building connections and network relationships within the industry. Contract and temporary positions also allow skilled professionals to continue working within an uncertain or competitive hiring environment.
Related Reading: Job Application Strategies After the Pandemic Subsides
2. Focus on Reskilling
Employers frequently hire and retain staff members who have skills that can make their organization successful and promote their business objectives, especially during times of transition and change.
The quarantine period leading up to returning to the office is a great time to capitalize on the extra time you save from commuting and being stuck in traffic to focus on expanding your skills or reskilling yourself for the changing workforce. Consider spending some time reading books on your industry or learning a new skill or program related to your field so you can walk into the office with new expertise that can help further your career. Candidates and employees showing initiative and displaying a proactive attitude to improving their skills will be more favorable compared to those who don’t.
Here are top skill areas that today’s employers value most:
Digital and Technology Skills
COVID-19 has forced many workforces to go remote and use communication programs they may not have otherwise used. Job seekers and employees who stay on top of how to use the latest video conferencing applications and digital platforms will be more preferable because they will require less onboarding and will waste less time troubleshooting or getting up to speed. In demand digital technology skills worth looking into include data analytics, coding, web development, and artificial intelligence (AI).
No matter what industry you work in, businesses are continuing to embrace digital transformation, whether that’s through Internet of Things (IoT) devices, cloud-centric applications, or an increased presence through websites and online retailing. Employees and job applications who show an affinity for these hot topics in business innovation will stand out from those who don’t.
The ability to clearly and effectively communicate via writing, talking, and listening is a highly sought-after skill in team members and the skill becomes even more important during times of change. The business world quickly became accustomed to working remotely and using video conferencing applications and will likely transition back to having more in-office meetings. Workers transferring communication skills from being virtual to in-person and who promote teamwork and collaboration will be important as teams adjust back into the office to help address any problems that may arise as people get settled in again.
Problem Solving Skills
Problem solving is an essential skill for several jobs because it requires the employee to be able to critically think and determine how to overcome challenges and succeed. This skill is especially important during uncertain times because there may be more unexpected complications related to workplace transitioning, such as determining how to best align team members.
Related Reading: How to Reskill Administrative Experience for Work From Home Jobs
3. Work With A Staffing Agency
Staffing agencies frequently place job seekers in lucrative positions at leading companies. Since their recruiters are experienced in interviewing and onboarding new employees, they are able to help answer questions and provide recommendations on how to return to work safely and how to best integrate with new team members during times of change.
Looking for a new job during the quarantine? Sparks Group can help. Our expert hiring team has decades of experience in placing skilled professionals at companies that will build on their skill sets and promote future success. Visit our job portal for a list of available full-time, contract-to-hire and temporary positions at leading companies nationwide.