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Coronavirus Offers New Opportunities for Career and Professional Development

Professional business skills, soft skills, emotional intelligence, career development, and leadership training are more important now than ever. It is a perfect opportunity to take the necessary time to increase your knowledge and current skill set. It’s safe to say at this point that you have likely heard of Coronavirus. We are not here to state anything besides the obvious; it has caused a lot of problems with the economy, especially in Southeast Asia. The side effect from the Coronavirus outbreak has sent many industries into chaos, from tourism, hospitality, sports to education, finance and banking, and so on. The job market is being hit hard as more and more people are being knocked off.

“We will see an effect on jobs from the coronavirus, and it could be pretty large in leisure and hospitality,” said Pollak, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter. “The first thing we’ll see is a reduction in hours. We hear many reports of employers canceling staff everywhere except in healthcare.” This has certainly been the case and it is not a nice work climate to be in.

The 21st-century economy (especially now) is bringing so many new challenges and changes that many professionals simply are not ready for! The World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report suggested that by 2020, the most valuable skills in the workplace will be: critical thinking, emotional intelligence, complex problem-solving, creativity, people and team management, and communications.

LinkedIn has rated the top 5 soft skills to be: creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management. Some other notable skills are data mining, digital marketing, sales, and computer programming. The interesting thing is, today's workforce is significantly under-skilled relative to the demands of modern and upcoming employers. There is a serious deficit in soft skills, particularly in Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, and other Southeast Asian nations. Study after study also shows that industries everywhere are demanding their new hires have more competency in the above areas.

Let’s try to look at it on the positive side. Given that so many of us are now isolated, stuck at home, not working, etc., we can and should take the time for personal and professional development. We are blessed with the internet as a medium for learning, information, and in many new contexts, connection. There are lots of business training courses, employee development training, and leadership training courses. We have always taken a strong stance when it comes to coaching our clients to take responsibility; that is the essence of executive coaching. As one of my favorite mentors says, ‘responsibility breeds empowerment.’

So, for those who want to take the time to improve their careers, professional skills, gain personal insights, build their resume, and grow as a person here are some great ideas to kick start your online learning. hey are accessible, easy to use, and relatively cheap!

Coursera is an awesome platform to learn a variety of University level subjects. Some of the courses are small and self-contained. Others are components of full degree programs that include interactive and challenge capstone projects. Whether it’s computer science, business, math, artificial intelligence, economics, humanities, psychology, or science, Coursera does offer great quality programs from a range of highly esteemed universities.

Udemy is kind of a one-stop-shop for all kinds of skills and personal development training. Some of the best courses I have ever taken I found on here. They have courses about life coaching, emotional intelligence, leadership development, business skills training, persuasion, negotiations, sales and so many more! They also have coverage of the major hard skills topics like computer programming, computer science, data mining, and many more. Udemy is relatively cheap and I have always found the courses to be informative and useful. As a bonus, all of their courses include a certificate of completion so you can polish your resume or LinkedIn with your new skills and talent.

Mindvalley is a newer platform that predominantly has courses about career development, influence, mind and spirit, lifestyle and productivity, health and fitness, and love and relationships. All of us could use some up-skilling in those areas and the programs are highly reviewed. Although more on the expensive side, Mindvalley still offers FREE online masterclass events that you can sign up for. They are great as stand-alone learning but also allow attendees to take the follow-up course at a discounted price. I have NEVER been disappointed by anything that Mindvalley offers and if it’s within your budget, I say go for it!

Google Digital Garage. This is another awesome platform that has a variety of very practical courses. They are free and involve everything from digital marketing, well being, communications skills, soft skills, logical and critical thinking, business skills, leadership, emotional intelligence, increasing productivity and so many more! Some of them are longer (and harder than others) but they are of great value.

LinkedIn Learning Courses. This is a surprisingly useful platform with a great combination of professional skills development courses. There are leadership and management, software development, Wordpress coding, and so many more. This is an ideal platform for those you already use LinkedIn as it can be a go-to place for your professional networking and online training. Also, they are great courses to add to your LinkedIn profile.

All of these sources are easily available and we can personally vouch for all of them! Given the current times, we are also learning digital marketing, online course development, webinar delivery, content marketing, and SEO. As career coaches, executive coaches, and professional trainers we often practice what we preach. We need to! Now more than ever is a time of action. We are being called upon as a race to stand in solidarity and work together. Take the opportunity, while you have it to improve your professional skills and be ready for a great career when the economy springs back to normal. Giving yourself more options now will have a tremendous pay off soon and in years to come. Invest in yourself, you are worth it.

Good luck friends!

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1 Comment

Gary Reed
Gary Reed
Mar 18, 2020

Yes, now is the time to hone in on those skills required in this virtual world.

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