In this article, the Centro para el Desarrollo de Lenguas Extranjeras (CDLE) presents some skills to be successful in the post-pandemic world
It has been over a year since the first case of covid-19 was ever reported. After that, a point of no returning was set for humanity. Once more the world faced a new virus, and, consequently, new ways of living, new ways to stay healthy… But this challenge has become an opportunity for many: as the pandemic moved forward, people found new ways to reach out for others, to communicate, to study and, overall, to function with a set of unexpected limitations.
But perhaps one of the most relevant consequences of the pandemic is how it brought people and technology even closer. Nowadays it is natural for grandparents to stay in touch with their loved ones through video calls, text or social media platforms; for kids to spend even more time on their tablets or computers; and, of course, for teenagers and adults to do most of their activities through internet. Although, this online overexposure is a source of concern for psychologists and psychiatrists because it can make the individual lose touch with the present and the people who are around them. Also, consuming too much information (especially fake news) can produce anxiety and stress.
According to QS Top Universities, there is a set of skills which will be a basic requirement for any professional. Leadership, seen as being good and able to communicate your vision or ideas to your team. Flexibility and adaptability are also important; working from home (for example) has become a necessity over the past few months, and some workers might turn to this permanently. It also means the traditional performing well under pressure, adjusting to deadlines and prioritizing tasks. Adding on to the previous skills, being creative, emotionally intelligent, and a good communicator are highly recommended as well.
The two other skills listed in the article by QS Top Universities are critical thinking. “In an era where navigating fake news and contrasting data is a daily struggle, it’s critical that you’re able to think clearly and rationally as you objectively evaluate information in order to make informed decisions. This is something you’re already likely to be doing even without realizing.”, the article reads. Finally, having digital skills as a way to stand out from the rest is also important.
As for the CDLE, they have always rooted for languages as a fundamental skill everyone should have. English is not the most spoken tongue in the world, but it is the one many businesses use. Moreover, applications, software and certain books are also in English. Yet, this should not be the only language you speak. All languages are important and, besides the obvious, they offer both another way to understand a specific culture, and to think with a broader spectrum of elements and ideas.
What is the professional profile of someone right after the pandemic?
Again, being technological savvy is essential: depending on your area you might need specific programs or apps; however, part of the must-know apps are Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Canva, Photoshop, Whatsapp, social media platforms and the classic Microsoft Office.
Times are changing and, according to a Forbes Magazine article, all the skills we think of as useful today will have changed in the next five years. Therefore, people will have to be committed to a lifetime of learning. And right now, seems a good moment to start as universities and institutes all around the globe have switch their courses, diplomas, and postgraduate studies to online.
Perhaps undervalued, having emotional intelligence is actually important. How people control their emotions could have negative consequences on the task they are working on. Also, if dealing with clients or costumers, knowing how to respond is fundamental for a successful transaction. It also helps with communication, defuse conflict, and overcome challenges. Paying attention to feelings is positive in both personal and professional environment.
Even though times seem rough, there is still much to be learnt. Self-motivation is important and will help you achieve your goals faster. But that is something that is not necessarily stable, there’s when discipline comes into the picture. Establishing routines, schedules and other activities for the weekdays and weekends is important. And even if you don’t set up a grand goal, try learning about something you like, and about things you hate. Try learning a new language on your own. Join an open online course (MOOCs), participate on a talk, listen to podcasts, watch educational Youtube videos, but just do not stop working on yourself.
♦By Grace Lafontant, CDLE intern / Images: Freepik and Depor Play
*This article is available in Spanish. You can read it by clicking here: Habilidades profesionales a partir de 2021