“The COVID-19 shutdown is affecting workers across the country differently, but there is one common thread running through our various work-related experiences: What do we do next? At some point, the pandemic — and its economic implications — will subside, so what can workers do to prepare for that day?
“Focus on gaining the skills that will be valuable when the economy starts rolling again. That is going to differ depending on the field you’re in, but online learning is probably going to be the way to go, whether you are looking to gain skills that will be needed in your industry or if you are looking to transition into another field,” says Matt Sigelman, CEO, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, Massachusetts. “Project management skills, for example, are going to come in handy whether you’re a hospitality worker affected by the downturn in travel, a construction worker whose project has been suspended, or a manufacturing worker whose plant is idle. Another way to track this is to look at job postings from leading-edge companies in your field: what skills have they been seeking as they hire? That’s a good indication of skills that will give you a competitive edge in regaining employment and moving up.”