In February 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel COVID-19 a global health emergency which, by other measures, has caused damaging effects on global economies. It would appear that the world has finally adjusted to new realities and is managing different levels of impact. Still, concerns around job security, total business operational recovery and other crucial aspects of enterprises are quickly descending into fear and panic. There have been reports of vandalisation and burglary in parts of Lagos State, Nigeria due to massive shortages of food and essential supplies; yet this, to many, represents a small fraction of what may obtain on a larger economic scale in the country.
Many professionals have pulled themselves into the airwaves to remain constantly informed on the developing impact of the lethal coronavirus on businesses and their novel strategies towards survival mid and post-COVID era. Questions as to what happens to a professional during and after these times arise. More than ever, professionals are reconsidering their skill sets and value-offerings and, to say the least, thinking of ways to turn COVID-19 realities into new vantage points. Still, these thoughts beg further questions as to whether all efforts to remain relevant in the pursuit of total job security will be just enough.
Here are three (3) outside-of-the-box ways to remain relevant as a professional:
Make Yourself Indispensable
It is presumed that once companies restart, there will be hiring freezes and downsizings, as management may not have clarity on the next steps to the future of its business prospects. However, as a professional, one of the key ways to remain relevant in the wake of COVID-19 is to make yourself indispensable. Develop innovative approaches and competencies that will enable you to stay in close touch with your boss and other leaders at your company to determine what they need to succeed and how you can make their lives easier. Also, carve out a niche for yourself in your industry by getting things done effectively. In doing so, you become the go-to person when there’s a problem.
Furthermore, be conspicuous. Let your company’s leadership know that you’re the person who takes decisive actions and makes things happen. It’s an aggressive approach, but tough times always call for daring actions.
Embrace Remote Working
One of the positive consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is that companies have recognized that people can effectively work from home. The chief financial officers realize that the company can save a fortune on pricey office space rent. The human resources professionals understand the benefits of having happy workers who are required to work effectively and efficiently from home. To remain relevant as a professional, a willingness to develop key competencies in using appropriate technologies for the alternative work model will be of utmost importance. Start searching for online courses that can build your skills and competencies in remote working. It is the first step in closing the gap. In these times of accelerated remote working, Phillips Consulting (pcl.) offers thousands of self-development courses, curated videos, books etc. on digital agility. We provide this service in partnership with Skillsoft – the global leader in corporate learning.
Pivot / Reinvent Yourself
In reinventing yourself as a professional, you must bring into perspective the fact that COVID-19 crises have surreptitiously changed the world overnight and some careers may be irrevocably damaged in the cause of flattening the curve. Admittedly, some careers renowned as “hot cake” may become obsolete overnight. However, to make the leap and remain relevant as a professional in these challenging times, it becomes necessary to learn new skills and obtain relevant certifications.
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused damaging effects across many organisations in the world. At the same time, many organisations have seized the moment to be recognised as formidable and resolute players. However, for a professional, the keys to navigating the new post-COVID-19 world are:
- Working hard to show your value (making yourself indispensable) so that you remain relevant.
- Reinventing yourself, pivoting to another career (if need be), and most importantly
- Mastering the skills of working remotely as many companies firm-up on their compliance with the alternative work model.