Since March 11th, 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, we should have known that our professional life will not be the same during and after these circumstances. Many businesses have been affected badly, some have been affected positively but, that’s a story for another time. However, in this blog series, I will talk about the effect of this pandemic on you as a professional and your career.

Check episode one: How to Start your Career during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

Check episode two: How to Seek a New Career during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

Sustain the current career

To sustain or grow a career during a pandemic, you simply need to improve yourself to keep up with the needs and demands of that career; more specifically, you need to improve your technical skills. Check article two to review the definition of  your technical skills.

You can easily upgrade your skills by creating a learning plan or PDP (personal development plan), preferable with the help of a mentor. Use the extra time you might have while you’re staying at home because of COVID-19 to shape your learning plan in the following way:

Skills/ Learning Objectives

Here, you need to write down all the skills you want to acquire. Make sure you work on only ONE SKILL AT A TIME in order to make sure you don’t distract or overwhelm yourself.

Priority

Here, you write the relative importance of the skills you need in order to determine which is the most important to start with. You can rate your skills from one to ten, high/medium/low or simply use TDD.

Resources

Once you have your skills in priority order, you’ll need to research and document the resources you will use to learn the skills from. The more targeted and professional the course and provider is the better. Here’s a list of online resources you can use to learn almost any new skill.

  • Coursera.com
    • Choose from over 1,500 online courses on machine learning, project management, data analysis, and other technical skills.
  • Udemy.com
    • Browse from over 35,000 online courses from teachers and experts around the world on web development, photography, business, and more.
  • Udacity.com
    • Earn nanodegrees in web development, building mobile apps, data science, and more.
  • Edx.com
    • Join over 5 million learners in highly actionable online classes backed by Harvard, MIT, and other prestigious universities & organizations from around the world.
  • Yale University Courses
    • Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.
  • Codeacademy.com
    • Learn to code for free, in HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby, and more.
  • MIT’s Open Courseware
    • Access all of the learning materials used in every MIT class, directly through their OpenCourseWare project.

Expected completion date

Here, you write the date for when you expect you will start learning each skill.Be realistic in your ability to finish on time and, again, remove all distractions that you can. The more realistic you are the better, especially if you’re someone who gets demotivated easily if they don’t achieve goals.

Checkpoint

It’s important to add a checkpoint date to make sure you’re on the schedule you created to learn this skill. Believe me, this will be handy if you’re learning a hard skill.

Actual end date

Here, you write when you have actually ended. If on-time, congratulations, reward yourself. If not, revisit the reason behind not adhering to the expected completion date.

Takeaway

As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail”. Having a strong plan for the skills you need to track your progress and removing distractions will help build your path to success. Every time you learn a new skill, make sure to update your resume and your online profiles. Again, regardless of the reason,, see the time COVID-19 is giving you and work on your career.

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