Upskilling in Times of Economic Uncertainty

The workspace is rapidly changing. The first time in recorded history, a good number of people are trying to work, study and lead their whole life just from the vicinity of their home.

Millions of people getting trapped inside households, sick, scared and suffocating, takes a big toll on the global economy. And it has already taken a hit at our economy, it will hit us harder still. So, Let’s talk about it.

And no, we are not going to talk about rationing toilet paper.

We are talking about rationing your knowledge and skills. “How?”, one might ask. The simple answer is – Upskilling.

Upskilling for an industry as well as upskilling for an individual, both can be of dire value given the current situation.

Looking at it from a statistic and scientific angle, any major disease breakout ends up in a decrease in the life expectancy of any demographic area that was affected which in this case is the whole world. This is something none of us have ever experienced before. The huge amount of death tolls and health complications would automatically impact the regular workforce. By the time this is over, there will be lesser people to work our hours. This immediately shifts the value to skills. A skilled worker can outdo a pair of unskilled people in the same amount of time. Right now, we are nothing but our skills and knowledge.

In low or middle earning counties such as ours, most of the workforce remains unskilled and has no option but to settle for low-wage jobs with limited growth potential in any field.

Now, think of that skill limitation and imagine that for yourself. That’s absolutely correct. Even if you are a working professional, you can not steer ahead with a stagnant set of skills.

In the coming months, an economic downturn is expected, even predicted. A good number of people are going to lose their jobs. Now, my goal is not to scare you but it is true that most of the companies that we know and love today might just have to shut down from that huge financial blowback.

Now, where does that put you? Back in the job market, but now it’s about ten times harder.

We have seen this before with the 2007 recession, to cope up with their finances companies start laying off employees, cutting corners. A big focus shifts towards automation as well. The workspace gets gradually more demanding. With more and more companies shutting down, it would create a big pool of skilled but unemployed people in the job market. Employers try to upskill their workforce, throughout and after any economic hit by specifying qualities for new job openings. Most job requirements would go up significantly.  And we can positively expect this trend to be in practice even after the dust has settled. 

To come back from an economic downturn, most companies would hire a specialist in their fields, focusing on their skillset while more flexible and smaller firms would look to quickly hire and build a workforce around new niches left open by the potential recession. 

Don’t be surprised when you see someone in an advanced position despite not having a traditional set of skills or years of experience. The new hot topic would be advanced cognitive and analytical skills. 

This is the time to learn new skills, the time to hone down on the existing ones.

However, it would weigh in, what field your skills actually are focused in. There are ample opportunities for growth in technology, education, business, development, planning, etc. You want to make sure that you are utilizing every single opportunity you receive.

No matter where you are, what you do, the best advice I can give you right now is to train, train and train harder. For better or for worse, UPSKILL LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, because at this point, it really does.

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