Upskilling in Times of Crisis

Just because a pandemic or recession (or both) have been forced on us does not mean that we should just give up and laze about. Use the time to train and upskill instead.
 Sarah Si Yan Ying
Sarah Si
Editor

You’re cooped up at home, companies you’ve applied to have not come back to you yet, and rampant coverage of the global pandemic is leaving you in a bit of a panic.

Instead of floating through each day in a haze of hope and fear, focus on boosting or picking up new skills. There’s literally no better time – events are going digital and many resources are now online, often for free.

 

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Webinars

Usually hosted by industry experts, webinars help you learn more about a specific topic or interest, often in 60 minutes or less. Because these sessions are held in real-time, you can ask questions while networking from the comfort of your own home.

Eventbrite is a great website to begin your search for a webinar you would like to attend.

 

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Go virtual

Because events normally held physically are being held up indefinitely by the virus, many of them have gone virtual instead. Although some still charge a fee, other big events are free of charge, like the Adobe Summit. Singapore’s MySkillsFuture has joined the trend too.

And Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the most out of every event you attend. Instead:

  • Make your presence felt virtually by posting your attendance on social media with the event hashtag
  • Find out what events you’re interested in are coming up and create a schedule for yourself
  • Network with other attendees.

 

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Sign up for digital courses

Because so many resources have been made available online, it has never been easier to pursue further education. Thanks to COVID-19 keeping you home, you can now turn your attention to completing courses at Skillshare for free, or Udemy at a discounted rate.

 

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Consider pursuing certifications

If webinars, virtual events, and courses don’t interest you, why not work towards new certifications instead? Here are some platforms where you can look for certifications that interest you:

  • Google Garage – Majority of the courses are free with courses span from how to promote a business online to understanding the basics of machine learning.
  • HubSpot – Expand their knowledge and skills in sales, marketing, and customer service for free.
  • General Assembly  – Offers short physical classes and workshops in Singapore ranging from coding, design, data, and marketing. 
  • Equinet Academy  – Take up digital marketing courses such as social media marketing and marketing strategy courses. Walk away with a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist (CDMS) certificate after completing the Certified Digital Marketing Strategist programme.
  • Coursera –  Offers a very wide range of certifications from AI Engineering to Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages (TESOL). The courses there aren't free, though, and you'll have to shell out US$39 a month (approximately $55).
  • BitDegree – Offers a wide range of courses from Marketing to Programming. Certifications offered on BitDegree are free, though you have to either pay for the courses or find a sponsor. 

Employers do show a preference of sorts for applicants who either have already earned certifications or are in the midst of completing one for a number of reasons – it shows a candidate's initiative and willingness to learn throughout his or her career, for one, and can prove useful when you're looking to prove your mastery in a certain area, for another.

 

Due to the amount of time spent indoors and most things moving at a snail’s pace, take the chance to beef up your resume by picking up new skills that can either open new doors for you or help you sharpen present skill sets.

When you land a job, don’t be afraid to leverage these new skills. But even if these skills have no place in the position you’ve been offered, you can at least point to them to show off your initiative and unwillingness to sit still for too long. Your prospective employer will definitely be impressed.