Coronavirus is not the end of your Profession:
The first order of business is making sure your skills are evolving with the needs of your company. These days, that’s the ability to charm a client over Zoom or keep projects on schedule as your team straddles time zones with fragmented working hours. If you’re in an industry directly hit by the virus, think about how your experience would be applicable to fields that have solid long-term prospects, like cybersecurity, robotics, and artificial intelligence. These sectors aren’t just for coders and engineers; they need accountants, compliance officers, HR managers, and communications teams.
With companies in triage mode, it’s up to you – not your boss – to identify what those must-have skills are. Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a Florida-based career coach at SixFigureStart, says the employers she works within travel, financial services, and technology can’t see more than 60 days ahead. Traditional on-the-job training was one of the first things to go as the outbreak intensified, according to a recent report by McKinsey & Co.
Making an effort to understand your company better is a good place to start. “I know too many senior people who don’t read [their employer’s] annual reports," said Ceniza-Levine. You should know what the financial outlook is, which parts of the business are still making money and whether resources are shifting.
The good news is that “re-skilling" is getting easier. Last month, Coursera Inc. said it will offer unemployed workers free access to 3,800 online courses. E-learning is relevant for people who’ve kept their jobs, too. Herminia Ibarra, a professor at London Business School, teaches a webinar on career reinvention. She recently asked participants in an online poll to describe their response to the coronavirus: 50% of the 2,000 people who wrote in said the outbreak had given them “opportunities to try new things or learn new skills." In some cases, this new expertise is directly related to working remotely, Ibarra wrote in Harvard Business Review.
Remember, too, that industries from pharmaceuticals and Big Tech to pizza delivery and drug stores are actually adding headcount. Amazon.com Inc. brought on at least 175,000 people in March and April alone. Other businesses are moving people around internally or starting to prepare for events later in the year. Facebook Inc. said it will hire more than 10,000 people in its product and engineering teams ahead of the U.S. election.
If you do start a new job in this environment, prepare to be flexible. Last month, Ethan Than joined a biotech startup in San Francisco. His employer is generating revenue, and recently closed a funding round backed by some top-tier institutional investors. So while he didn’t necessarily worry his offer would evaporate, Than did have to consider how the nature of his job would change. Normally, someone in his role would spend a lot of time at conferences trying to bring in business. How do you build relationships over Zoom?
But overall, This is the only time to think about us and make some good contact for the future.
@ Live Mint