How To Build A Solid Skill-Set & Face 2022 With Confidence
The tide of COVID-19 has not subsided just yet, with the rise of the Omicron variant, talks of quarantine have become hot once more. Depending on the decision of your local government, you might once more have to face your agoraphobic demons.
A disaster, even for the sanest minds!
But if you’re going to stay locked up in your place for some time in 2022, why not tune things up?
There is so much that we can all work on to improve ourselves professionally and to be able to pursue our life-long goals with a bit more preparation. Change is inevitable, the pandemic made that brutally clear, and we must gather our will to accept the oncoming changes with confidence.
Here are some ideas I thought I’d share with you:
Building Strong Communication Skills
Have you ever felt that the email you just sent to your client or boss didn’t feel the way you wanted it to be?
Communication is an art. The goal is to get your message across as clearly as possible and to deliver it in the tone you intended to use. This applies to both in-person communication and online (email, text, DM, etc.), but the real challenge is to get the tone right only with words.
Communicating via email is not the same as talking face-to-face.
The choice of words, the pitch, the tone, and the expressions you employ may drastically alter the gist of the message. Even while writing, it is important to know when to address someone formally and when to use an informal tone.
Just explore the general tones, the effects of certain words, or their placement — experiment a bit and use tools like Grammarly to help you come across the way you intended in the first place.
Using Social Media More Effectively
Social media is a powerful tool, yes a tool — much like the rest of your professional ensemble.
It is not, as many often assume, a place to goof off. Platforms like LinkedIn are excellent to showcase your experiences and expertise, if you put yourself to it, you can shine out as a professional here.
Got small ideas to share, why not post them on Twitter or Facebook?
This should not come in the way of you socializing and having fun on social media but just think of your time here as a way to showcase your expertise and potential.
PS, the first thing you might want to change is that goofy profile picture.
Learning To Use MS Office
Digital literacy is imperative for success in the modern workplace.
Unless you adapt, survival is impossible!
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are the big three here; and things go beyond putting in data or making minor edits. You can get detailed tutorials online, for free, to help you get started at any stage.
If you feel lost, however, joining an online class for your pursuits will set you straight.
Using Google — Not Just The Search Engine
Yes! Using Google is a skill, understanding how to get the search results you need will help you cut a lot of time when researching for topics, assignments, presentations, and so on. For instance, if you only want search results that have certain keywords in them (and not synonyms), search for them in inverted commas.
Someone looking for a guest blogging opportunity may type in something like this:
“niche” + “guest post” OR “write for us” OR “contribute”
This and many other tricks of this sort can help you cut down your time spent on researching
But it goes beyond this: there is so much more to Google than just browsing the net.
There are myriads of tools, such as Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Maps, and Meet that require minimal effort to learn but can take a ton of load from your shoulders. Instead of having to manually record people’s input for a survey of yours, why not create a Google Form and analyze the results?
It will even sort the responses in any way you want.
Google is the face of the internet today, familiarize yourself with it now!
Reading For A Moral Transformation
We can always work on personal development, even when the world is gripped with fear in the wake of the Omicron outbreak. Self-help books are the usual lane to turn to, but stories can help too. Storytelling is natural for human beings, we’ve been doing so for millennia.
There’s much to be learned from titles like:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: The story revolves around the concept of personal quest and the pursuit of one’s dreams. A young Andalusian Shepherd takes the center stage as he embarks on an epic quest seeking a treasure he envisioned in a dream. His journey leads him to lessons and experiences to be told as a legend in later times; and yes, there’s a treasure too.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: Set in post-Cold War Afghanistan under the Taliban regime, A Thousand Splendid Suns explores the story of two women who struggle to pursue happiness. Caught in loveless marriages, to the same abusive husband, they bear the misery until it is unbearable. But to break free would require an ultimate sacrifice, and only true love can make that leap.
Inferno by Dan Brown: Since we are talking about pandemics then why not throw this masterpiece in the lot too? As the fourth entry in the Robert Langdon series, the novel follows the professor’s quest for stopping a madman from “purging” the world with a plague designed to wipe out a fraction of all humankind. As Robert races through Europe, unraveling a web of mystery inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, the danger of a global viral outbreak (wait a minute…) becomes progressively imminent.
Divergent & Insurgent (Duology) by Veronic Roth: Set in a fictionalized futuristic society divided into several factions, each specialized for its task, the novel explores humankind’s inclination towards violence. The story is told from the perspective of an unwary girl, Tris, who struggles for acceptance in one such group, constantly faced with the looming threat of everything coming crashing down on her. The readers also get to explore her journey of self-exploration that eventually leads us to understand why she and most in her position would never fit in such a strictly defined system.
Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid: An irresistible masterpiece from a Pakistani author, Moth Smoke is all about status and money. The novel reveals the dark truths about social stratification, injustice, and materialism, and how certain behaviors cannot be “afforded” by all.
Lastly, Dealing With Specific Skills
In case you’re planning to take a certain “big step” in life but don’t have the necessary skills, now’s the time to pull up your socks and do something about it. Research a bit about what your goals or dream job demand, and then match the required skill-set with your own.
Don’t nitpick, even if you feel like you can “sort-of” do something, it pays to learn the process thoroughly. A decade back, overhauling your skillset would’ve been much harder. The only thing you need is commitment, and you can master the craft sooner than you think.