COVID-19 has changed the way we work. Not only has it accelerated the shift to remote work, but it’s also pushed workplaces to adopt more digital processes. According to the Future of Jobs Report 2020 by the World Economic Forum, 50% of employees who stay in their jobs will need to reskill within the next five years.  

So, what skills will we need to succeed during – and after – the pandemic? Will we need to reassess our leadership skills and our critical thinking skills? Or should we focus on learning something entirely new?  


Consider what skills you already have  

Whether you’re looking for work, or want to stay relevant in your current roleit’s important to look at the skills you already have.  

  • What am I good at now? How have I demonstrated these skills? 
  • What skills are considered essential to my career – do I have any of these? 
  • What skills are recruiters looking for in a potential candidate – if I were to be rehired, would I have all these skills? 

It’s a great idea to keep up with job listings in your field. Even if you’re not ready to apply for work, you’ll be able to pick out the key skills employers are looking for nowAnd who knows – they might be things you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.  


Skills for remote work 

According to the Future of Jobs Report, 84% of employers will rapidly digitize their processes at work – and (potentially) move 44% of the employees to remote jobs 

If you work in an office, you’ve likely already felt this changeand know remote work requires a whole range of important skills 

For example, most people need to know how to use collaboration tools like: 

  • Google Docs or SharePoint 
  • Notion, Trello or Airtable 
  • Zoom or Google Meet 
  • Slack  

It’s also important to highlight your emotional intelligence skills.  

According to the report, about one-third of all employers expect to also take steps to create a sense of community, connection and belonging among employees through digital tools.”  

So, how can you show employers you’re on boardShow them you can empathize with others, communicate effectively and be a positive team player while working from afar.  


Soft skills 

Communication skills, organizational skills, and leadership skills are all known as “soft skills.” These are different from technical skills – or hard skills – because they aren’t essential to do your job. But soft skills do increase your chances of getting hiredThey’re also important to do your job well.  

According to the Future of Jobs Report, the top skills for 2025 are: 

  • Analytical thinking and innovation 
  • Active learning  
  • Complex problem solving 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Creativity, being original, and taking initiative 
  • Leadership and having social influence 

You can look at the whole list in the report here 

The report also breaks down the top skills by country – including the UK, US, China, Singapore, and India. This is great resource if you’re planning to study or get hired abroad.


Hard skills 

Technology is changing quickly, which means hard skills are important, too. Data and AI, cloud computing, and content marketing are all industries that’ll be key going forward, and they need specialized knowledge.  

The Future of Jobs report lists the top “cross-cutting” skills for the future – meaning they’re skills that can be used in lots of different roles. They are:  

  • Product marketing 
  • Digital marketing 
  • Software development life cycle 
  • Business management 
  • Advertising 
  • Human-computer interaction 

You can see the full list here 


How to reskill 

While some workplaces might offer in-house trainingit’s always a good idea to learn new skills on your own. Whether you go to a webinar hosted by an expert or try an online learning platform like Skillshare or LinkedIn Learning, there are lots of ways to improve your soft skills at home. 

It’s a great idea to explore massive open online courses (MOOC), too. These are distance-learning courses available for anyone to attend – and better yet, they’re usually free. You can check out a whole range of courses at MOOC Listthere are courses available right now on leadership, management skills, problem-solving, resilience, and more.  


Moving abroad and looking for work? 

English is an essential skill too! And at PTE Academic, we’re here to help. Our unbiased English test is accepted by universities and governments around the world as proof of language proficiency for immigration and study purposes.  

Learn more about our English test 


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