Steps Towards Productive Isolation

As the lockdown is extending day by day, all of us have been getting more idle time to discover our interests and new hobbies. In this new 'normal' era, we are on a hunt to find new activities to come out of boredom and make the most of the situation.

Life may have slowed down, comparatively from earlier, but it definitely has gotten busier. Now, one has little room between school’s online classes, zoom catch-ups, professional meets, eating, completing and coping with the many household chores etcetera. So, in between all these things, if you do find some time to think about your interest and skills which you want to focus on and which will help you in your career path as well – don’t ignore it. There's never a bad time to learn anything new you think it will support you in engaging your time. Here are some common learning outcomes that can help you to be more productive during these unprecedented times. 

During this point in time when the world is moving so fast technologically, people around the globe have learned the ways to live digitally. In that case, opting for a new digital skill will be a great add-on to an otherwise mundane life. And one thing our posterity has already learnt is - how to catch up with technology. For example, students and teachers both have now adapted ways to teach and learn online.  

1. Creativity: In all areas of life and business, being able to connect ideas, come up with unique solutions, and generate original concepts is foremost. A creative problem-solving course might just be the thing to help you flex your creative muscles during the lockdown. There are many colleges who are now offering such courses online. A good example is Creative Problem Solving – This course deals directly with your ability for creativity which is critical for any field. To understand the role of creativity and innovation in your own work or even while managing your homes is a great asset.   

2.Persuasion: If you compromise, directing a squad, working with customers, or some other company activity, to convince people around you is a very desired ability to have. Communication abilities are usually valuable, but none more so than being persuasive or being able to persuade people around you. A quick course on reasoning and persuasion may help you in convincingly negotiating your next job or your with your 5-year-old who refuses to eat anything but fast food. 

3. Adaptability: Modern life's fast-paced and sometimes erratic existence ensures adaptability as an important factor to workplace flourishing. The capacity to shift course on the fly and yet produce outcomes is a soft skill which will be frequently pursued by employers. With the whole family home 24x7 in these times, co-existence has taken a new term. We are all adapting to this new “normal”   

4. Artificial Intelligence: At times AI used to be the sci-fiction vision. And now, it is becoming an easy reality for the young generation and old ones. Robots and AI may add to and increase the way we work and live our lives. Anyone with an awareness of artificial intelligence, big data, and other similar subjects in the future will get lots of possibilities and opportunities. While this may not be a quick short term course, but more for freshers who have this time at hand and can prepare for what the very near future will demand.  

5. Digital Marketing (Affiliate Marketing or Performance Marketing): Nowadays, companies pay huge amounts to experienced and skilled digital marketeers who can increase their online presence and sales. Even amidst pandemic – there is a huge increase in competition from digital marketeers. The explanation is simple! – Businesses who were operating part of their operations online will now be thinking seriously of taking the majority (if not all) of it online. To do that, they'll need a qualified professional who can set up a website, do SEO, and support social networking, etc. Also, social networking and influencers are starting to seize away from mainstream ads. Whether it's social selling, leveraging industry experts, or promoting the products of other companies, affiliate marketing is one of the hot new skills companies are looking for.  

6. Project Management: Project Management is in almost constant demand as companies strive to be leaner and more effective. That demand will only go up after this downturn in the economy. Project Management course will train you for excellent qualification tests in Agile, PMP, Scrum, Six Sigma and the likes.  

7. Game Development: Playing video games has become a 'hobby' for many us in the last 3 odd months of the lockdown. With that in mind, it may be a good time now to make that hobby into something that may turn out to be a fully paid job. For your lockdown learning project, a course in game development might just be the thing to take on. Both Apple and Google, leaders in mobile OS development have continuous opportunities for budding game developers.  

8. Communication: Throughout our lives, the capacity to interact successfully with our mates, family, co-workers, and others is sometimes understated. Yet this is what binds us closer and helps us to appreciate one another. You can learn why communication is so valuable with courses available such as this one on intercultural communication and how you can improve your own skills.   

9. Language: In my 15 years of being in the education industry, whenever a student asks me that they have 6 months before their course in the US begins and so what should they do in this time? – My answer has invariably been – Learn another language – any language – Spanish, German, French, Japanese – any language – It is going to be a big asset! It can help you to connect with new people, give you an advantage in your career, enhance your cognitive abilities amongst many other advantages.

10. Business Analysts: As companies are generating more and more data, there is a need for individuals who can identify the business needs arising from such data. Business consultants in an organization' are like problem-solvers.

So you see, while as boring and monotonous this lockdown, stay-at-home situation maybe with many of us, we may still be able to utilize some of the free time that we get to add-on and gear up for when this all is behind us. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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