Most of us are forced into the confines of our home because of the deadly Coronavirus. The common question that arises in one’s mind is “What should I do all day entrapped in my room?” Interestingly, there are many things we can do to learn new skills and simultaneously, surpass our boredom. Being creative in this quarantine period, instead of binging and scrolling, would certainly help in developing a higher intellect and consequently, building job-relevant skills. It is a small step towards pragmatically changing ourselves.

In a short survey, the most common skills that people are learning were found to be programming, cooking, MS Office, dancing, trading, drawing, meditation, and field-specific software. This list is not an exhaustive one, but it gives us an idea of what other people are indulging in whilst staying at home. Rakesh, a 22-year-old bachelor’s student, completed learning STAAD PRO, a structural designing software, in 6 weeks. He was always interested in the field of the structural design of buildings and wanted to learn this software, but he could never gather sufficient time. In the pandemic, he took a step forward and acted on his goal. Now, owing to the software’s high demand in the field, he is attracting more job opportunities; the software has helped him in expeditiously addressing design calculations.

Harshil, a civil engineer from Ahmedabad, learnt trading and investing skills in this pandemic out of his boredom. One day sitting with his dad and brother, he overheard their conversation regarding their profits in the stock market; he decided to learn the investing skills to multiply his money. He recalls a quote by Albert Einstein saying “Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world”, and this has inspired him to further explore the world of trading. His main sources for learning were paper trading applications and a website named “Investopedia”. Needless to mention, he has now started applying his technical analysis skills in selecting stocks, which has helped him earn good returns.

Furthermore, research by LinkedIn in 2020 suggests that employers are giving as much preference to soft skills as hard skills. The top-most required soft skill was “creativity”. Creativity is a subjective quality that one can learn oneself only, unlike hard skills. In an article by Kendra Cherry (, the recommended ways to improve creativity is to meditate, rewarding self for creativity, daydreaming, re-conceptualising problem, etc. In my opinion, self-motivation is of paramount importance to enhance creativity; for this, we should pursue the objectives which interest us. It is a well-known fact that our productivity is highest when doing things that interest us; however, we should challenge ourselves with new and higher goals to be creative. Additionally, communication skills are the basic skills that are required everywhere, and excellent communication skills can elevate your personality. It must be understood that communication skill is not the same as learning English. It is a developable skill that requires practice and endurance.

Several platforms (e.g. Coursera, edX, Udemy, etc.) are providing online courses (MOOCs) in a vast range of fields. It is a great way to challenge ourselves and learn new hard skills. Besides, they provide us an opportunity to explore different topics and choose the one that we find interesting. It indeed feels like an achievement to learn a new skill at home offered by world-class universities. Even the Ministry of Education had launched SWAYAM in 2017, an online course platform under the ‘Digital India’ initiative. It offers free access to everyone and provides courses in the ambit of 9th grade to post-graduate level. These courses are recognised by the Government of India and their certificates are acceptable for academic credits.

Building new and interesting skills whilst sitting at home all day is a rewarding way to kill boredom. It is essential to recognise the necessary skills which are required in your field of interest before finding ways to learn them. Creativity is the key attribute that can be enhanced to find new opportunities in life.

Authored by: Keval Vyas

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