8 Side Skills To Learn While In Quarantine

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Online skill-building (Source: 123RF.com)

Lives have changed drastically over the past couple of months. The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has  bounded us in our homes with grocery store run-ins feeling like a luxury. With external stimuli like the outdoors, gym, malls out of reach, many have resorted to creative ways to kill their time and stagnation. And while not all of us can be a part of a distanced quarantine party with our neighbors, what we can do is take this time to pick up certain things we always said we didn’t have time for. Yes, what’s your excuse now?

People downplay the benefits of side skills, be it your advanced expertise in excel or your skills in the kitchen learning a side skill results in psychological, physiological and professional growth as well. Now, with online platforms, often free being an expert and picking up any skill is not out of bounds even when you are at home. 

So, bored during this quarantine? Here are a few side skills that can keep you entertained:  

Learn digital marketing and growth-hacking 

One of the most sought after professions out there, digital marketing is a skill that benefits entrepreneurs, fresh graduates and even seasoned professionals. Knowing ways to hack through the digital space, gives your company great leverage and competitive advantage. With online certifications spanning no more than a couple weeks, this is a skill that will provide you long term benefits for little investment. 

Get technical

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Technical skills can fast track your personal growth (Graphics by Graphicmaker)

While you are at it, pick up something technical! As mentioned before, there are certain skills that can quickly improve your career graph such as learning a new coding language. If you are looking for a career change or simply want to improve your understanding of the tech industry then nothing helps more than learning a coding language. For example, basic structured query language will help you understand important concepts like business intelligence and data warehousing much faster. While this may sound a little bit intimidating, there are numerous tools online to guide you through this.

Brush up on your soft skills 

As most of us are stuck with our awkward zoom interactions at this time, this quarantine gives you a perfect opportunity to perfect your soft skills. Effective communication skills shine through online and offline and there are multiple tips and tricks that can help you with it. Learning about language cues, improving emotional intelligence and bettering listening skills all play part in boosting your soft skills. Read up on high powered leaders, shadow their behavior to  pick up on these skills faster.

Pick a hobby and turn it into a side-hustle 

While being a photographer or a painter may not be your ultimate professional goal, it can help you earn a little bit of side income. This quarantine picks up a hobby that can potentially help you churn in some extra money, search for on demand side skills like writing or designing and use your free time post pandemic to get in some side income from them. Online job portals have many gigs that demand these skills, so what are you waiting for?

Protip: Choose a hobby that is more time fluid and can be done on a contract or freelance basis, this will give you freedom when doing it in the future. Where and how do I find these? Join online seminars, follow industry leaders, watch free online platforms like YouTube for tutorials.

Personal brand-building

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Build your personal brand. (Graphic from Graphicmaker)

While everyone knows how social media works, very few are able to use it to capitalize on its benefits. Having a strong personal brand online can be one of the most rewarding things for individuals. Having a strong brand presence online through platforms like LinkedIn can boost your credibility, opening up new opportunities. Your network is your net worth in the digital space and being Googleable is a huge asset for anyone. It is worth mentioning, personal branding is as relevant for notable experts and newbies to the industry, everyone can harness the power of the internet and boost their presence online. And with everyone online now, it’s even more urgent to  time tap into this opportunity. Get creative with your branding, while online courses assist, free & premium tools by Designs.ai can present your ideas in a more powerful manner.

Check out tools like  free tools like Graphicmaker that allows you to batch color graphics and use for your creatives!

Side skills that help you emotionally 

The Super Mario effect coined by Mark Rober explains how the fear of failing can be the downfall for most people. According to Mark, in order to keep on improving and learning we have to learn to not see failure in a negative light. This theory explains what most of us unconsciously do, leave hobbies, childhood passions due to the fear of not being good enough. 

But, if you are tired of living this way and need a mental makeover that it is time to start attaining those skills that help you grow both emotionally and psychologically.  

Start your childhood hobbies again 

A lot of the greats artists and performers are what they are today because they never let go of their childhood hobbies, no one at the age 3 says they want to be a famous artist. We too may have had such hobbies that we chugged, it is time to pick them now. The intention may not be to become world famous but picking childhood hobbies allows you to take life more lightly. It is a great stress reliever as you brush up your skills and relive a bit of your childhood. 

Learn to adult 

Before this how much money did you spend on take-out? Be honest. With distractions of social gatherings, excuses of long commutes out of the day, now is the perfect time to build habits and cement a strong foundation to become a better adult, whatever that means. Sharpen your cooking skills, try recipes and perfect your meals, improve yourself with nutritious food. Figure out a routine that works for you, start budgeting! 

Establish healthy habits

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Maintain healthy habits. (Graphic from Graphicmaker)

While you start your work on becoming better at adulting, it is imperative you do not overlook your mental health. Your mental health can make or break you, especially in a time like now. With no external stimuli to distract it is time to practice and work on establishing strong mental habits. Learn great meditation techniques, figure out the antics of journaling or relaxation techniques and give your mind a much needed break.  

This quarantine although needed has been a big adjustment. In difficult circumstances such as these, skill building activities can be a great way to channel energy and move your life out of stagnation. 


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About the author

Ayushree creates content for blogs & podcasts. She is on her way to getting Masters degree in Business Information Systems. Her interests include writing, salsa dancing and learning about other cultures.