Many of us have found ourselves pulled from a routine of having a steady income, a place to go, and a team to collaborate with into a new reality. Our U.S. economy went from “White-Hot” to “Not” quickly due to the Covid-19 economic shutdown. Unemployment rates went from 4.4% to 14.7% in one month. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Control the Controllable.
Many of us feel helpless as each day goes with no set schedule and a cycle of applying online with usually no responses. But there is one thing we always have control over, our attitude.
For myself, in order to stay positive (and not go stir crazy) I have to plan and execute. This gives me a sense of movement towards a solution. I listen to many podcasts and follow many leadership teachings. One of my favorites is Ken Coleman. From this Zety Blog, he gave some categories of self-improvement to develop or improve while waiting for the right job opportunity. So what skills are potential employers looking for?
- Problem-Solving. How are you with puzzles? What’s your patience level? Do you read “How To” books?
- Communication Skills. A few great resources I have read are Conflict without casualties, by Nate Regier, Winning with People by John Maxwell, and Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss.
- Adaptability. Sometimes we can all be resistant to change, but to grow is to change, and if we’re not growing, we’re dying!
- Collaboration. Working together as a team is the only path to success. This is a key ingredient Jocko Willink and Leif Babin teaches in their leadership book, Extreme Ownership.
- Time Management. Create a schedule for yourself. Go to bed early and get up early. Set goals to get tasks done by a certain time. Create your own routine for Monday through Friday, then treat the weekends like weekends.
- Organizational Skills. Practice grouping things together. Clean up your home. Learn how to use online calendars and set reminders and tasks. Start a journal or a diary. Google has many organizational tools available for free.
- Technical Proficiency. How well can you type? Are comfortable with computers? Cloud-based software. There are many free resources to learn new skills, and being unemployed gives us the time to explore them.
- Information (Research). Are you in a habit of reading? What are you watching or listening to? Is it useful information?
- Likeability (Personality). Do you have a positive attitude? Do you have a winning attitude? Everyone is drawn to those with a positive outlook on life. Make connections. Connections are the keys to unlock possibilities.
- HAVE FUN! (This one is my own personal add-in). And finally, have some fun. Find free (or really cheap) things to do, take walks, go biking, exercise, go camping! Having a lot of free time can be either a curse or a blessing. This depends on how you choose to spend it.
The important thing to remember is that this will not last forever, it’s just a situation, not a sentence. The economy will come back, it’s up to us to prepare ourselves in the meantime. Focus Forward, don’t dwell on the past.
Thanks for reading! For a more complete list and detail on this subject, check out Zety Blog, Employability Skills.