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KT for Good: Upskilling is as Covid-proof investment

Staff Reporter/Dubai
Filed on July 25, 2020 | Last updated on July 25, 2020 at 01.43 am

(Alamy)

Learning new skills and rediscovering one's potential is the safest investment many have made this year.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of it - the phrase may sound like a cliché, but for many UAE residents whose life and livelihood are disrupted by the Covid crisis, the maxim lends new meaning and purpose.

Learning new skills and rediscovering one's potential is the safest investment many have made this year when faced with layoffs and pay cuts.

Manoj Nair, a project engineer who was made redundant four months ago, has taken up computer programming course to upskill himself. "I am looking for new opportunities. But it is hard to come by. Meanwhile, I don't want to waste time stressing and worrying about not having a steady income. Instead, I am learning programming.

"I will not be making any money. One thing my father has taught me was that money is not the only saving one can make. Knowledge and skills are better assets. I am learning programming so that I am more employable when the job market opens up again," said Nair, who moved to Dubai from India seven years ago.

Ivanna, a hospitality professional from Ukraine has been on unpaid leave since March. The 25-year-old has taken up Arabic lessons to enhance her employability. "It is a hard time for all of us, especially those working in hotels and restaurants. But it important to make the best out of my free time. Hence, I have signed up for online Arabic classes," said Ivanna.

She believes if she is fluent in conversational Arabic, can draw 30 per cent more salary in future. "Learning Arabic is like saving for a rainy day. I will definitely find better opportunities by learning a new language."

There are different ways to turn adversities into opportunities and many people are doing it by rediscovering their creative talents. Nada Maher, a Lebanese housewife said she decided to do pottery and jewellery design to beat the stress as well as to supplement her husband's income.

"My husband's job is safe. We have a comfortable life and I have never thought of working. But coronavirus has taught us many lessons and the most important being how to plan for the worst. I am an artist and I know I can market my designs. So, Why would I not use that opportunity?" asked Nada.

Whether it is taking up a new hobby, learning a language or a skill, investing in oneself is as important as having a pandemic-proof financial budget.

Ideas to learn new skills

- Learn Arabic and be more acceptable to jobs in the region

- Try learning about makeup and fashion

- Learn how to code online

- Be a pro in digital marketing by mastering graphic designing

- Enrol in a creative writing course

- Polish your photography skills with a professional course

- Play the guitar with guidance from YouTube

- Learn to paint, craft or stictching classes

- Take cooking classes online

anjana@khaleejtimes.com


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