Abhijit BhaduriGuest Author

Your Skills & Your Brand – Build These Two in 2022

By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist

2022 will move us a step further into the Skills and Reputation economy. Having the right skills matters. Once you have the skills, a strong personal brand gets you discovered.

Two numbers to remember: 255 million and 100 million

255 million people lost their jobs during the pandemic. 100 million people will have to discover different professions altogether before they can get back into the labour force. This calls for extraordinary focus on skilling and upskilling. Learning and Development is being looked as an investment by CEOs. It is a strategic choice with sharply defined outcomes.

Unequal impact of the pandemic


Technology and Finance sector saw a boom of opportunities. As businesses digitised and tried to move online ahead of their plans, they needed tech talent. Tech talent thrived during the pandemic.

Jobs grew at the top of the organisational pyramid. These are all jobs that need higher education, leadership skills and strong brands.

As businesses figured out how to reach customers, supply chain, logistics and last mile delivery needed more people. But not everyone jumped at these jobs. In parts of US and Europe, some workers refused to participate in low-wage, high-risk jobs. The employers are investing in robotics and other tech solutions to reduce their dependence on people.


Tourism, Retail and Construction made up many of the 255 million job losses. If 100 million people have to find different occupations, the governments and employers have to invest heavily in skilling at scale.

Closure of businesses, nurseries, schools and playgrounds meant considerable impact on parents. With stressed out parents trying to manage uncertainty and financial stress, there was lower stimulation at home and less interaction with the world outside for the kids. Worldwide, 1.6 billion children have been affected by school closures. The IQ scores of pandemic-era children dropped almost 22 points.

Skills matter but some skills matter more

2022 will be a time to rebuild the organisation. According to LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report for 2021, CEOs are viewing L&D as a strategic investment. The four areas of concentration are upskilling, reskilling, leadership skills and virtual onboarding to integrate the new hires.

The meaning of “Half Life of Skills”

The half life of a skill is shrinking. Half life of a skill is the time taken for a skill to reach half the value in the skill market. In other words if the market pays $100 for a skill, if after seven years, the market pays $50 for the skill, the half life of the skill is seven years. The half life of many skills is shrinking.

Look at the comparison of the half life of “soft skill” like Leadership and compare it to a “hard skill” like Machine Learning. The Data Analyst skills can be learned in 64 hours. Building resilience and adaptability takes longer to teach but the half life of such a skill is much more.

Ten Most Important Skills According to LinkedIn

As you draw up plans for the next year here is a handy list of marketable skills for you to build. These are the skills the employers and head hunters and talent acquisition teams are looking for. This is a handy chart for L&D teams as they build the 2022 plans. These are skills the market values.

Feel free to download this graphic and use it and share it with any one.

The employees’ assessment of opportunities for formal and informal learning is a vital criteria that leaders must evaluate their organisational culture against. Currently 75% of the learners spend less than 3 hours per week to upskill themselves.

Skill building is hard. Getting basic Sales skills needs only 38 hours and can be done online. Getting skills that the market values is easier than you think. Once you have the skills, the brand becomes important. Your reputation as an expert helps you get discovered. Building a personal brand is often neglected by professionals until they need to.

Build the Brand – that gets you discovered

Here are some suggestions for employers to think about

  1. Invest in upskilling the talent acquisition teams. They are the first experience of the employer brand.

  2. When candidates want to learn about your organisation, they search your social media posts and your website (ummm… when did you last update it?) and want to know what differentiates you from your competitors.

  3. Encourage the leaders to create content that attracts business. When employees post content about life as an employee it has credibility. I have enjoyed getting my clients to leverage LinkedIn as a place to build their employer brand or personal brand. Why LinkedIn? LinkedIn boasts over 740 million users in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe. That makes them the most powerful professional network. That is place for you to build your presence.

My clients are investing in building skills and also building the brand.

This is no prediction. It is just stuff that is inevitable.

Republished with permission and originally published at www.abhijitbhaduri.com

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