| 7 Ways You Can Make Yourself More Employable After COVID | The pandemic has not stopped the Philippines’ job creation activities. While some industries have slowed down or frozen their hiring, others have stepped up to the challenge making life better in the era of COVID-19.

COVID-19 will eventually be defeated, either through the eventual development of a vaccine or a gradual and painful process of herd immunity. This does not mean that things will go back to the way they were in 2019. While many things will stay the same. the job market will certainly be different in a few ways.

If you’re planning to jumpstart your career in a post-COVID world, here are seven things you should consider doing:

1.) Commit to a specific set of self-improvement goals

Ever wonder how anyone becomes great at using things like Excel and PowerPoint or at finding qualified sales leads or at memorizing customer service scripts? None of those things are easy to master the first time you try them, yet to some people, they seem as easy as breathing. 

The fact is, having a “natural knack” for any skill is a myth. Chances are, those people you admire painstakingly built their mastery of those skills over time. They probably spent hundreds of hours getting good at it.

You too can improve on the skills you want. The key is to commit and to be specific.

It’s much harder to improve yourself if you don’t have a specific, actionable goal to work for. Commit to a goal or a specific set of goals and create a plan of what you need to do as well as a timeline in which to do it. By making a plan, you can drastically cut down on the time it takes to become good at what you want.

2.) Consider taking online courses and certification

You certainly can learn by yourself. But without a clear direction, you will waste a lot of time making basic mistakes that you may have otherwise avoided. Online courses are a great way to remove some of the trial and error on your way to mastering the employable skills you need.

One drawback of many online courses, though, is that you may need to actively commit to completing them. Look for the courses that hold you accountable so that you remain more committed to learning or improving your needed skills. Some of these courses may ask you to discuss topics with other students or make presentations, both of which are great ways to internalize your learnings as well.

3.) Expand your knowledge of collaborative tools

Both employers and workers should consider methods of minimizing physical contact in the world after COVID-19. One of the most straightforward ways is to make better use of available collaborative tools. 

The Google Drive services, such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and others, are perhaps the most popular collab tools in the Philippine setting. But it also pays to know how to use other popular tools, such as Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and Flowdock, among many others. While you don’t need to master all these tools, familiarizing yourself with basic concepts can go a long way into making yourself a more attractive applicant in the post-pandemic job market.

4.) Try learning a new language

If you can make the time, learning a language that makes you more employable can go a long way into making your resume more attractive than it already is. 

Among the best languages to learn for business are Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, and Japanese. Except for Japanese, all these languages are used by millions of people in multiple countries, many of the major economic hubs, trading partners with the Philippines, or potential markets as well. Being fluent enough to do business in these languages can give your career a major leg up and open opportunities that would have otherwise been closed off to you.

5.) Develop your soft skills

Non-technical “soft skills” are often key to advancing your career. Intangible skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, the ability to take initiative, and the ability to understand and connect problems are some of the so-called soft skills that separate followers from leaders. 

Taking online courses in soft skills that you find yourself to be lacking in can be an excellent way to not only make yourself more employable, but they can lay the foundation for a stable career as well.

6.) Clean up your social media presence

As much as we believe our social media posts are personal and just for our own amusement, many employers do not see it that way. As far as they’re concerned, it’s a window into your personality, and a way to find out if you’re a good fit for their organization’s culture. 

Even third party recruiters and HR professionals today are now extremely keen to learn more about applicants by stalking their social media profiles. Given that face-to-face meetings with applicants are now actively discouraged due to health reasons, this trend in social media snooping will only accelerate.

It’s important to make sure that what you post on your public social media profiles can not be misinterpreted into something that might turn off your employers. Take some time to change your privacy settings and to check your post history for shares and pictures that you may regret in the future.

7.) Invest in a better home internet connection

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only reason more people will be working from home in the future. The deterioration of the traffic situation in Metro Manila, Cebu, and other major urban centers in the Philippines has resulted in billions of pesos in losses for employers. Work from home setups are also now widely understood by Filipino businesses to be a benefit for themselves as well, due to the cost savings involved with limiting the number of people in the worksite.

If you don’t have any frontline responsibilities, you may find yourself working from home at least a couple of days a month, if not permanently. Unfortunately, basic home internet connections in the Philippines are mostly inadequate for serious work-from-home arrangements, especially if they involve regular video calls or the use of multiple collaboration tools.

If the internet connection in your home is still slow, consider upgrading to something that doesn’t hold you back. While there are very few guarantees on the service levels of local ISPs, paying a little more than the minimum is usually a good idea for being productive in the post-COVID world.

As bad as things might seem, we can and will survive COVID-19 together. Remember to keep yourself safe and informed, and take time to work towards making yourself more employable in the world of tomorrow. Good luck and good hunting!