With virtual learning and remote work turning into the new norm, we often associate the word Zoom with a big sigh. However, looking on the bright side of things, every experience offers its own value. We can count the cons of working online, but let’s try pulling out some of the pros.
Here are 10 invaluable skills you can gain from virtual work that will make you more qualified for the future
1. Seeking opportunities
Didn’t think you were #QUALIFIED enough to hold two jobs at the same time and still remain successful in them? Think again. Now with things online, flexible schedules can benefit everyone. “I’ve been able to work on side hustles such as day trading due to having more time,” University of Central Florida junior Bryan Iriarte said. Whether you always wanted to turn your hobby into a job, or whether you feel ready to take on a side hustle, working remotely now allows you to do just that. “I have time to babysit twice a week which is beneficial to me financially,” University of Florida junior Leacy Burton said. Now that classes typically run on a more free schedule, you can get geared up for taking on that job or internship you never found the time for.
2. Honing in those time-management skills
Now that everything takes place online, the pressure falls on you to stay productive. But not to panic, since this doesn’t need to be seen as a bad thing. “One thing I’m able to do now that I did not do previously was have a schedule,” University of Central Florida junior Christian Matos said. “With managing four different courses where assignments are due on different days, it is very easy to fall behind. To not go down that path, I create a set schedule including start times for the work and studying that needs to be completed during each week.” Virtual learning makes the prime time to really sit down and plan each week. Since virtual work doesn’t always follow a strict schedule, creating your own schedule allows you to stay on task in your own way.
3. Making time for yourself
Shifting online took a lot of adjustment. Now, with a less demanding schedule time-wise, you can take the time to focus on your mental health. We often fail to incorporate “me time” into our schedules. Perhaps moving online will allow you to focus on yourself. “I feel like with remote learning it has provided me the opportunity to customize my schedule to benefit my personal needs,” University of Central Florida junior Lauren Luteran said. “I have made self-care and my mental health more of a priority throughout this time and it has improved my performance in my academic studies.” With more one-on-one time with yourself, you can channel what you want to succeed and you can also find the time to prioritize your needs.
4. Enhancing methods of communication
Trying to step up to the next level in terms of career goals? Those Zoom lectures and meetings may seem draining over time but think about the communication skills you can acquire. Whether one-on-one in an interview or in a breakout room for discussion, Zoom provides another way of cultivating verbal communication skills. The fact of the matter is, there’s no hiding behind a screen (unless you turn your camera off, which you shouldn’t). It is live and happening at that moment. As opposed to emailing or talking on the phone, or even being in person where you can space off, on Zoom you need to remain attentive to who you are on the call with.
5. Expanding your mind and mastering independent work
Now, although you still learn under a professor or boss’ guidance, virtual work allows you to increase your self-learning skills. “Through virtual learning, I feel as if I have gained the ability to teach myself information more effectively,” Matos said. As you approach things at your own pace, you find ways in which you learn best. With online classes, you get more flexibility with not only when to study, but also how to study. Ultimately, you get the opportunity to decide how much time you put towards studying for one thing versus another.
6.Adapting to new technology
So often we hear people saying “I can’t wait to go back to normal.” However, focus on the present. Unfortunately, we don’t know what the future holds and this could fall as our new normal. So, get used to it. Because so many businesses found new methods of work, remote work could potentially make its way into a healthier future. Hone in on these technological skills now because you never know; you might end up with a job across the country where Zoom is the only way you can attend a conference meeting! Technology continues to grow and expand, so might as well get used to the latest trends.
7. Mastering it before moving on
Also pertaining to a more flexible schedule, you can really take the time to focus on mastering a skill or subject. “I have learned how to focus my time in one area and accomplish everything in that class,” University of Central Florida junior Amanda Roberts said. Sometimes we move at such a fast pace, and we forget to take things one at a time. Dividing your time accordingly, and placing more time on something specific will allow you to perfect a hobby you love or get the grade you strive for.
8. Adapting quickly in pressure-filled situations
We’ve all had that gut-wrenching feeling of having to say something intellectual within five seconds of your professors asking a question. Take a step back and notice how Zoom is actually a great learning opportunity for you. With virtual learning, you cultivate a skill that comes in handy. In future board meetings, you will think quickly on your feet. So often we get caught up by sitting back in lectures and relying on a room filled with people to answer the professor’s questions. These Zoom lectures don’t leave room for hiding. But because you’re able to see everyone, you really need to pay attention and contribute more to lectures and discussions. This allows you to acquaint yourself with speaking more and gaining more confidence when participating in class or in a meeting.
In the age of technology, social media platforms serve as extremely useful ways of getting connected. Now you can set up an interview with just a few clicks. You can join a meeting with people across the nation or even across the world. If meeting up never seemed to fit your schedule, or if you did not own the means to attend a job interview, moving online works to your advantage. Take this time to attend information sessions, workshops, job interviews and classes to enhance your connections and expand your resume. If all it takes is a couple of clicks, there’s plenty of time to do that.
10. Making use of all your time
We love a good walk to class on our beautiful campuses. But sometimes, we get caught up in traffic or stuck waiting for the bus. Time is valuable and doing things virtually allows you the opportunity to make use of all your time. “I like being able to attend all my lectures from home especially when I cannot make it to class due to traffic, weather, being late or another other reason,” Howard University senior Neal Mohit said. “Not having a commute saves me much time from having to get up earlier to get prepared to go to campus.” Now, you can optimize your time to its fullest. How you spend it remains up to you, but take advantage of the moments we never got back from our morning commutes.