According to a recent study, 135 Million people could potentially find themselves unemployed in India because of the pandemic. As the future of the economy grows increasingly uncertain, the way we work is also shifting. 

Companies are having to pivot quickly in order to keep up with the drastically changed conditions. From a wine tasting company that has started offering wine tastings to people in the comfort of their homes to fitness companies offering workouts over videos, the word on the street, (apart from ‘go home’), is ‘Pivot or Perish’.

With companies having to shift tracks, adapt to the new changes and make significantly different decisions, what are the implications for individuals? 

Companies are hiring differently, and individuals need to respond to that. 

Take my case, for example. I am a young entrepreneur and I run a digital platform that helps women to build careers they love. Because of the lockdown, I was forced to take a new approach. I pivoted our strategy to prioritise setting up a marketplace for independent women professionals to find work. With that shift arose a need to change the way we hire. Now we need people who have multiple skill sets, so that they can execute and deliver independently when needed. 

The post-pandemic world will need more people who can be agile, adaptive and multi-skilled. With the demand for freelancers likely to rise post-pandemic, as companies decide it is better to hire temp workers rather than full time staff, people who can execute end-to-end on projects and tasks will be in high demand. 

Upskilling cross-functionally is necessary whether you go back to work or not.

For those who might head back to work, roles, responsibilities and work in general will look incredibly different than what we’re used to now. Returning back to work might mean that employees will be subjected to a higher demand of being able to perform multiple roles and pick up on the leftover slack too. Therefore, survival in both of these scenarios will be heavily dependent on the ability to learn and upskill. 

So if you find yourselves at crossroads, unsure of which way to go, try your hand at developing different skills. It is highly likely that you will be called upon to demonstrate many of them in the post-pandemic world. 

In a nutshell, cross-functionality is the ability to do and engage with more than just your area of expertise. So try to develop a basic working knowledge of all areas of business—the roles, goals and demands of different verticals, while having an in-depth expertise in one of those areas. 

Here are some ways to upskill:

1. Prioritise a career driven approach

Train yourself on in-demand industry skills through remote learning methods available to you right now. This approach will most certainly set you up for a sustainable career in the long run. 

2. Digital competency is key for remote work

Every vertical has moved much of their previous face to face work to online platforms. Count digital competency as a definite fundamental skill, see what areas you lack in, and train in those.  

3. Upskilling looks different for self employed professionals

Diving into solopreneurship means that you need to pick up a lot more work that you usually would either delegate or have another team member do for you. Right from cash flow management to project management, you will need to be a jack of all trades, master of some.

4. Give soft skills a chance

Creativity, innovation, the ability to communicate effectively and work in a team—all these are soft skills which are even more important given that remote working seems to be a certain possibility. Don’t overlook them! 

There may be a lot of uncertainty right now. But if there’s one thing that’s certain is that the face of work and business will change. And all we can do about it, is to learn to adapt and grow with it.


  • Vanshika Goenka

    CEO & Founder

    Kool Kanya

    Vanshika Goenka is the CEO & Founder of Kool Kanya, an online career community for women where they can be part of a mutually supportive ecosystem that helps them learn from each other and grow in their careers. Vanshika graduated in 2016 from Brown University -  Bachelors in Political Science with Magna Cum Laude, Pi Sigma Alpha and Pi beta Kapha.   Vanshika started her career at a tech start-up that worked on creating an augmented reality textile toy. Post that she worked with a sanitary pad company which was when she noticed the disparity between men and women in the workplace. Understanding the gender disparity at work, she wanted to come up with a product solely for women, and thus Kool Kanya was formed in 2019. The words she strongly associates the platform with are-  trust, a safe space, success and guidance.   Vanshika's vision is to create a one stop destination for everything to do with a woman’s career, create a platform that women find genuinely helpful and provide them with the tools, resources and support needed in order to succeed. The issues that Kool Kanya wants to help resolve include providing a space to ask questions, fostering connections with people in similar fields, giving access to tools to help deal with legal and financial aspects, finding mentors and finding opportunities for collaborations. Over the last year Kool Kanya has successfully seen a reach of over a 1M users and are looking to launch their Marketplace soon.   In her view, Vanshika foresees the platform to grow and help more women in the future as women are increasingly looking up to take up freelancing and work from home opportunities as well. As per Kool Kanya’s observations, approximately 5.2 million women are looking for jobs in India. While more women are turning to freelancing as a career option, many of them are unsure about how to start, deal with legal  and financial nuances or run an independent business, which is where Kool Kanya comes in.   Vanshika looks up to her mother as a role model and has always sought advice and support from her. Vanshika likes reading autobiographies/biographies, dancing, working out and loves to unwind by curling up with a book and a cup of tea. She is very passionate about travelling, enjoys getting out of her comfort zone and loves to explore new cultures.