Spend your lockdown time productively by skilling up

To stop the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, you have been asked to stay home for a few weeks under ‘lockdown’. This might have interfered with your social life as well this Ramadan season. And you are clearly finding yourself plunging more and more into Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, OSN, ICFLIX, Shahid, or Starzplay Arabia etc.

You can choose to spend the next few days or weeks of lockdown in anxiety. Or you can go with a better idea we figured out for you! Its time to take control and do something constructive with your time. Picking up a new hobby is good but learning a new and relevant skill while in isolation could be even better!

Instead of metamorphosing into a couch potato, please pull up your socks and polish your technical skills. Treat Lockdown as the best time to upskill. It’s now or never! Put aside 30 minutes every single day for a fixed period of 2 weeks and trust us, you would emerge as a master in this particular technology or skill. Here’s a plan for you.

Table of Content

Week 1 of isolation: Microsoft Excel

Week 2 of isolation: Data Science

Week 3 of isolation: Copy Writing

Week 4 of isolation: QuickBooks

Week 5 of isolation: Video Editing

Week 6 of isolation: Foreign Languages!


Week 1 of isolation: Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a very important office program. Do you actually know it well? Can you use VBA to automate time-consuming tasks? If your answer is NO, now is the time to teach yourself how to get the most out of Excel. Advanced Excel skills can actually make you look like a geek! If you can develop Excel skills, you will also be able to start analyzing data quickly like professionals. So start by mastering topics like Pivot Tables, Flash Fill, Filters, Conditional Formatting, Charts, Slicers, Sparkline etc.

Week 1 of isolation: Data Science

Data Scientists are the most sought after professionals in Gulf off late. This is one of the top jobs globally as well for a good reason. Data Scientists get paid really well and they solve challenging problems every single day. If data is your thing and you love to crunch numbers and write queries, you have to master the technologies in this domain. Start by focusing on Microsoft Power BI, Python, MATLAB, and the like. Once you start having the knowledge of any skills related to this domain, you can start applying for data science jobs available for you.

Week 2 of isolation: Copy Writing

Are you an aspiring marketer? Also, is writing your thing? If so, undertake a full Copywriting course during lockdown. Copywriting is a very essential component in any digital marketing team. While in isolation, try and brush up your grammar with a book like Word power Made Easy by Norman Lewis or High school English grammar and Composition by Wren & Martin. Complete a copywriting course and also start crafting dummy sample copies that can sell. This exercise will help you create a career in Digital Marketing.

Week 3 of isolation: QuickBooks

The tax season has extended as of now. But how good are you with tax calculations and planning? Thanks to lockdown, you have some time to get your books in order. Currently, QuickBooks is a very popular bookkeeping and accounting software. Learn it and it will be a blessing for your personal finances and also for your entrepreneurship or family business goals. Use QuickBooks to keep your finances straight and make future tax seasons a breeze!

Week 4 of isolation: Video Editing

Can you edit photos and videos shot on your phone with classy effects? If not, you’ve got spare time now. Set aside a few hours this week to polish your creations and flaunt them before your family and friends! Start with video editing tools for beginners like After Effects, Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve. They come with free trial versions. You may also want to try Lightworks, Autodesk Smoke, and Sony Vegas, as these are highly capable alternatives. Choose whatever computer you want as long as it’s fast enough to save heavy files and allows fast rendering. Please note, your computer should have atleast 8GB RAM for video editing projects.

Week 5 of isolation: Foreign Languages!

Pick up a new language.Most user friendly apps put text in your chosen language side by side while giving you an audio reading of them. Follow the words audio-visually to reinforce faster learning. Try apps like Memrise, LingualLift, Beelinguapp and Duolingo etc. for this exercise.

Looks like there’s so much to learn and such little time at your disposal! As a fresher or an early-career professional, you must use this lockdown time to build the right skills and after leaning any of the above skills, You can look also into the active jobs during this covid-19 pandemic at NaukriGulf. So save yourself from wasting time working in domains that may soon become obsolete. The World Economic Forum has already estimated that 65% of children who are entering primary schools now will be doing jobs that do not currently exist! So in order to stay relevant as a working professional or even as a fresher, you need to be constantly learning in order to stay relevant in the Gulf work-force.

Also, being homebound is going to be your reality for the foreseeable future. However, this should not interfere with your income flow. The entire Gulf industry is now in the lookout for skilled people working remotely and helping businesses grow. If you foster fear around the stability of your income, you have a massive opportunity to upskill during this worldwide lockdown. Set yourself up for future success by upskilling now! Equip yourself to work more efficiently from home and apply these skills at work after lockdown is over!

Image Credits: Photo by Muhammad Haikal Sjukri on Unsplash

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Categories: Covid-19 and Careers

About Geetanjali Mukherjee

A true wordsmith — Not only is writing a way of sharing what I think, but it’s also a way to clear my mind and understand the world around me

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