First, I must celebrate workers all over the world who have shaped our past, impacted our present and are continuing to influence the future. Of course, the medical front-line workers whose labour of love rank up there with the greatest sacrifices of all time are the real heroes. For many countries, they have been faced with the unenviable task of finding the delicate line of compromise between health and the economy. Anyone who tells you we are ever reverting to status quo ab initio is either being insincere, plain ignorant or overly optimistic.
Hopefully, a vaccine comes along sooner than later but know that this virus will not go away at the snap of Thanos’ fingers. Regardless of whether a lockdown is in play or eased – a new normal has been forever forged in the reality of our lives, businesses and governance. Tech has long been identified as the inevitable future and with the current circumstances, the question then becomes, “how disruption-proof are you or your business?”
Whether it is fire, pandemic, recession, policy, supply or a change in any other variable – will your ‘rug’ be taken from beneath you?
Certain skills will run the world and tech will strongly enable the post-pandemic world. Here are some you should invest in if you don’t already possess them. You don’t even have to quit your job o! Remote working will be a bigger vibe going forward, so you need to be online more than you have ever been. One of the fallout of this pandemic will be the loss of jobs so the safest way to predict your own future will be to create it! So you can add these to the skills you already possess.
Nothing will stop the demand for this. You can do a lot of things with this like copywriting, blogging, ghost-writing (my favourite), corporate communication, social media content, CV review, transcription, scripts, translation, hard cover or ebooks, freelance journalist, etc. You have loads of options but the major keys about writing is self-development and consistency. This is because writing only becomes a skill after much practice and you really begin to earn from it after you have shown a significant level of consistency.
Whilst the transitional businesses are consolidating their digital dominance, many traditional businesses are playing catch-up. This means that more websites will pop up and many more will need to be managed. A person with this skill will almost never run out of clients. Invest in data so you can attend the YOUniversity of YouTube because it’s a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) skill. However, you need to attend a professional class or take a course to sharpen your knowledge.
Gone are those days when public speaking was seen as a skill for top executives or ‘motivational speakers’. The ability to sell will be a veiled game-changer after the dust settles because brands will bombard the media with an avalanche of commercials in a daunting attempt to shift the consumer behaviour from its state of shock. You can develop audiobooks, skits, podcasts, music, webinars, voice-overs, tutorials, etc.
Video blogging (vlogging) is another way that your elocution can earn you income; you can talk about cooking, technology, fashion, relationships, movies, books etc. Brands may want to use your platform to reach a targeted audience and you will end up smiling to the bank.
Photography, Cinematography, Graphic Designing
These three skills deserve an honourable mention. Remember storytelling will assume a different dimension and they form the core of how that is achieved. Interestingly, all three are inter-related because they have overlapping roles. Plus, these activities will be in hot demand when this agoraphobia goes down and we are out of the woods regarding attending events.
Over-the-counter trade will take a hit because many people will understandably have a phobia of physical exchanges in public places. Also, the WHO once hinted that currency notes could contribute to the spread of the virus. So you either develop digital products or put in place a system that enables virtual transactions/payments. You can even help others sell online through digital marketing or affiliate marketing.
You can also sign up as a driver for cab/bike-hailing platforms because for those that can afford it, they don’t want to be in a crowded bus. Plus delivery business will take centre stage for obvious reasons. Or better still, sign up on e-marketplace platforms like Fiverr or Upwork where you can buy or sell skills/services. Amazon is making huge revenues because more people are buying and selling on their website during this pandemic more than they usually do.
Live Stream Set-up
On a personal level, we all go on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook Live when we want to transmit audio-visual experiences but in the post-pandemic era, this will be done at a very industrial level. Teleconferencing is also a thing now; many companies, religious bodies, government at different levels have now started embracing virtual meetings. Many schools are investing in online learning too because children are very vulnerable and schools won’t be open in a hurry.
So if you can help set up and manage this technology for these people, you will be making a killing. Physical distancing is a neo-culture and the need to manage risks by avoiding large gathering will continue for the foreseeable future.
An army of apps will emerge after this because companies want you to employ self-help as much as possible without physically visiting their office premises. For example, banks have, over the past few years, tilted towards this and going forward, they will invest more in virtual banking. Even tele-medical services are now on the rise. The knowledge of coding can help you develop this and more. Many transactions will be done via phones and other tech gadgets. Apps will be one of the ‘happening’ things in a post-pandemic era.
There are many other skills you can learn besides these ones I have highlighted here. You can read up my previous article where I meticulously addressed the methodologies, tools and other information regarding remote working/working from home.
I think it was Winston Churchill that admonished the leaders of Great Britain then about never allowing a good crisis go to waste. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself in times like this is that of perspective. The greater tragedy will be if you don’t learn and unlearn anything after this. Let go of the old guard and embrace these new paradigms.
For now, let’s continue with the recommended Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) like hand-washing, physical distancing, wearing of face masks while the government is using this lockdown to ramp up testing and contact-tracing. You should love yourself enough to adhere to these guidelines because they are preventive not curative.
I understand that this is a tough time for all of us; we didn’t see this coming. Staying at home is taking a toll on many people but to echo Thanos’ words, “the hardest choices require the strongest wills”. Remember to be your brother’s keeper as we comfort our hearts with the belief that this too shall pass!