10 Must Have Skills for Breezing Through the Pandemic

A decade ago, I have written a couple of articles predicting the rise of online trade and the slow death of most brick and mortar businesses. The convenience and cost-efficiency of the online platforms were slowly gaining traction in the world stage and it was just a matter of time before cyberspace was expected to take over the traditional business model. But then, the Covid 19 pandemic happened. A “new normal” was born and online dominance came earlier than expected.

The devastation was unprecedented and utterly horrifying for many businesses, big and small. Employment rate went down the drain along with retirement plans and years of savings. While hope dims with every lockdown and stay-at-home orders, some people embraced the gloom and opted to find light amid the ashes. It didn’t matter if it meant lifestyle, career, or business line change. The goal is to survive and somehow regain what was lost. Life required a simple algorithm and that is to adapt to a new normal as the world we once knew slips away.

One way or another, the Pandemic taught us lots of important lessons despite the horrors it brought. Here are 10 life skills one should harness to ensure a pandemic-proof existence:

1. Adaptability - Your comfort zone is not permanent. Plan for contingencies and be ready to accept change. Treat every challenge in life as a precursor to something more sinister. As we all cling to hope, we must also accept the reality of the present and the only way to move forward is to blend in- to go with the flow, so to speak.

2. Flexibility – Never resist change. Do not commit the mistake of waiting around for things to normalize because chances are, most of the Pandemic’s offshoots are here to stay long before the crisis ends.  Find opportunity in the chaos and capitalize on it. The more you resist, the more you easily break against the strong current.

3. Tech savviness – We sometimes brag about how we do things the "old school" way and mock the millennials for their dependence on technology. While we may have a good point, perhaps it’s time to accept technology as an ally rather than a doomsday device. In this pandemic, many people got by with the help of the internet. Human interaction and most economic enterprises are now done online and those who saw this as a goldmine are on the road to financial stability.

4. Creativity – Our resilience is anchored on our ability to think outside the box. The human mind is designed to house unlimited ideas and toying from one idea to another helps us find opportunities. The market is full of demands- from products, services, to talents. Sell your talent. Sell your services. Sell products. You can earn in the comfort of your own home. There are lots of online platforms you can use such as Facebook and other merchant sites. There is no shame in selling and in marketing what you do best besides your day job.

5. Innovation – Even pandemics can be a catalyst for new ideas and promising new paths. Start-up apps thrived in this pandemic from food delivery apps to logistic services app. The idea is to provide solutions to everyday problems and not necessarily focusing on big world problems. Bus lines that weren’t able to ferry passengers extended cargo transport services instead. Restaurants extended their services to include food take away. Those with motorcycles started errand services and in the process ended up earning more than their previous jobs. Those with products to sell went selling on Facebook live.

6. Data literacy – Apart from being able to read trends in the market, the ability to internalize authentic statistics about everything that is going on will give you the necessary edge over competitors. In a country such as ours where everybody tries to be a copy-cat, there is tremendous need for more trend setters. Read the market. Find a gap. Study what consumers want and integrate them into your strategies.

7. Critical thinking – In times of crisis, critical thinking separates the winners from the losers. The ability to analyze and evaluate risks and potentials is a must for survival and success. Again, being able to adapt by thinking of solutions, no matter how small, is the stepping stone for resiliency. Whining and complaining about limitations and alleged government mishandling of the situation without doing anything to help ease your own burden only makes matters more unpleasant than it already is.

8. Leadership – Be a leader in everything you chose to venture into. Never settle for just being an echo for the bigger fish. Try to be the alpha. By encouraging others to move forward, you are strengthening your resolve to build a better situation for yourself. The more sense of hope you show unto others, the more you are challenged to bring that hope to life.

9. Emotional intelligence- Statistics show that the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on people’s mental health. Incidents of suicide and depression have risen to an extraordinary scale. A well- balanced emotional standing ensures a healthy mental state. Be on guard against thoughts of hopelessness. A recent study suggests that 85% of what we worry about don’t actually happen. As long as life persists, better days are in the offing. Put that in your mindset.

10. Commitment to lifetime learning- With things happening so fast, we need to continue learning. Learn how to use technology and the internet to your advantage. There are more than a thousand ways to do so. Read materials and publications from notable sources. Information is king in today’s world. Keep yourself informed of trends while learning new skills. Trust me; you have more skills in that body of yours than you know. You just need to discover and harness them.


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