September 22, 2020

Job Skills to Succeed in a Post-Coronavirus World

By Edwin Raagas, Associate Director, NYUSPS Wasserman Center for Career Development

As part of Virtual Career Week, the NYUSPS Wasserman Center for Career Development hosted a virtual event in September 2020 called, “Job Skills to Succeed in a Post-Coronavirus World.” Inspired by an article published in Forbes in April 2020, the event highlighted three specific skills that are most likely to be in high-demand in industries and sectors in the wake of COVID-19: creativity and innovation, adaptability and flexibility, and emotional intelligence and leadership.

Event Flyer

Watch the video recording or see highlights from the experts below, and find ways to apply key concepts to your own personal circumstances - whether at work, school, internship, or life.


Creativity and Innovation

Mark GarcÍa, Vice President and Creative Director, Majestyk

Not everything is precious. As a designer we have tendencies to be pixel perfect in design. Before putting our ideas or ourselves out in the world we constantly strive to present the best, most edited, perfect version of themselves. If you want to be an innovator, you need to be willing to put things out there and allow yourself to make mistakes. More importantly you have to learn from those mistakes and continuously work toward improving the process, shifting and pivoting your concept and working toward that big creative idea.

Strive for an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). An MVP, or minimum viable product, is the smallest thing that you can build that still delivers customer value. The concept behind it is to create a product that has the bare minimum feature set while still delivering an immediate impact. This type of thinking benefits you in two ways. By putting something out there faster, you’re able to get more feedback sooner and can help you determine if you’re on the right path or if you need to pivot. Another benefit is that it minimizes the number of wasted hours spent because you’re more focused on incremental deliveries versus a big bang delivery.

Overcome Imposter Syndrome. Imposter syndrome is a phenomenon when a person thinks that they did not deserve their success. According to an article published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, approximately 70% of people experience imposter feelings at some point in their lives. The pandemic offers a unique opportunity because everyone is trying to figure out what the future looks like so opportunities to think outside the box, to be creative in your thinking and proposing innovative or creative solutions is something everybody is looking for right now.

The “Do Something” Principle. Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, it’s also the cause of it. A lot of us can relate to the sentiment of waiting for inspiration to strike or feeling motivated, and oftentimes it leads to procrastination. If you have an idea, start small, take small actions and that will lead to more inspirational down the line.


In the classroom: Share your work and share it often. Whatever you might be working on, get feedback from anyone who is willing to give it. Your professor, your parents, your peers. Make educated choices and don’t wait for a big bang delivery

In your jobs & internships: Fake it until you make it. Before you’re able to be good at something, you’re probably going to be really bad at it at first. Don't let the fear of failure hold you back. Make mistakes and learn.

In your life: Just do it. Taking small actions now will have a compound effect in your future. The more you're able to accomplish and get down, no matter how small, will really pave the way for you. Taking that action will empower you and make you feel inspired.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Beth Wade, Consulting Manager (Talent & Organizations/Human Potential), Accenture

Make change happen for you, not to you.

  • Identify the causes of change resistance.

  • Create pathways for change success.

  • Reinforce sustainable positive change behaviors.


Progress toward Change Maturity.

  • Acknowledge positive and negative impacts

  • Reduce threats to basic needs

  • Reframe change to visualize various outcomes

  • Establish clear goals and milestones

  • Clearly connect actions to goals

  • Celebrate small wins to instill self-trust

  • Discourage old/unhelpful behaviors


Grow Confidently.

  • Careers are dynamic, not linear

  • Understand your change triggers and motivators

  • Trust in your capabilities to be successful in any context



Josh Tecchio, Senior Vice President (Transformative Leadership), AlixPartners

What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?

  • Self-awareness: The ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others

  • Self-regulation: The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods; the propensity to suspend judgment; to think before acting

  • Motivation: A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status; purpose; a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence

  • Empathy: The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people; skill in treating people according to their emotional needs

  • Social Skill: Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks; an ability to find common ground and build rapport


Ways to Develop and Apply your EQ


  • Engage in a high quality, normative 360-degree feedback exercise

  • Understand your thoughts, feelings, and emotional triggers and their impact on others

  • Working with a coach or trusted colleague to really understand how others see you



  • Stress management techniques, e.g., breathing, physical exercise

  • Daily meditation

  • Time management



  • Cultivate a positive attitude

  • Do what you enjoy; do what is meaningful for you

  • Delegate liberally



  • Put yourself in others’ shoes – professionally and personally

  • Make time for meaningful 1:1 conversations with employees

  • Pay attention to how you respond to others


Social skill

  • Practice and develop active listening skills

  • Pay attention to non-verbal behavior

  • Develop your persuasion and influencing skills

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