The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the lives of many as well as the way businesses are carried out. Though I am stating the obvious, the details of how certain things have changed can amuse you. Take, for example, the most common trait you are expected to possess to get a job—an excellent team player. Don’t we all have this in our resumes? But now, ‘team players’ are no more sought after. Work from home (WFH) scenes call for something different, i.e. managing your tasks independently—being your own boss (BYOB). The soft skills recruiters are looking for in a candidate have drastically changed, all thanks to the pandemic.
There have been several job cuts since the lockdown commenced. Nonetheless, there have been numerous hirings as well, done after interviewing the candidates virtually. The main criteria recruiters are looking for in job seekers are their ability to work from home and connect with virtual teams. This criterion seems very much relevant in these times as nobody can gauge when the world gets back to normal, given the COVID-19 spread.
Bringing oneself to work, even if it is just turning on your laptops from the bed and completing the day’s tasks, is not easy for everyone due to mental stress. You need to be independent and competent enough to complete the tasks on your own. You can’t just turn to your colleagues or managers for help as quickly as you could do in a physical office. This situation calls for self-motivation, critical thinking, emotional quotient, communication skills, and majorly the ability to work without distractions.
Traditionally, candidates who live nearby the office premise or those who can move in nearby were preferred. The times have changed now! No matter where you reside, your chances of being hired can go up to 95% only if you succeed in convincing the recruiter that you are fit for the role and can manage your work by yourself.
People from different walks of life, such as those with family commitments and retired people can also put their skills to use. There are all possibilities now that your team can be spread out across the world, even if you are not working with an MNC. Even if full-scale remote employment may not be opted post-pandemic, there sure will be people working from different geographic locations as a result of choice made during the pandemic.
When you happen to work with such a diverse group of people, the most important attributes you will need to have is empathy, hybrid schedules management skills, relearning collaboration, and building good connections. There are several online education institutes which have come up with courses that can teach you skills, such as discipline, communication, schedule management, and mental/emotional well-being.
Self-motivation is considered the key for comfortably working from home. When there is self-motivation, there is no need for micromanagement. Prior work from home experience and the way you manage time are looked upon as preferred skill. Again, working from home does not mean you are always at home and can work for the entire day. Your ability to balance work and life while at home also acts as a significant factor.
On the whole, companies are looking for those who can effectively communicate and get along with the new team, take the initiative and ownership to collaborate virtually, stay disciplined, and show high productivity. You need to possess all these traits, along with sound technical knowledge. Also, you must be able to speak up about the challenges you are facing to seek help in a remote environment. Being your own boss is the need of the hour for all those who have been working from home!
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