This morning I was leafing through the Brazilian entrepreneurship magazine Você S/A ( and mind you, it was the paper edition of September 2019) and came across a list of five components for the digital survival of professionals in any industry. They will, most certainly, also apply to language teachers either employed at a school or university or self-employed just like little me.
The five components for the development of digital skills for now and the future as a self-employed professional are as follows (loosely adapted from the infographic in the magazine):
1. Business Vision – understand what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and most importantly, WHY you’re doing it (stress on the WHY as emphasized by my HR expert student Livia S. Sant’ana)
2. Adaptability – Be flexible and curious – always be open to new methods and approaches – use face-to-face classes and online classes. Explore pre-recorded and live sessions, for example.
3. Cultural & Social Understanding – Empathy for what do your clients think they need, learn to listen to them and build bridges. Don’t see others as mere competitors or potential clients – view others as human beings with their own needs and goals.
4. Cooperation – Create a network of colleagues – there will always be those who you can help and also grow with. And let us not deceive ourselves. Colleagues can help you expand your circle of influence.
5. Systemic Thinking – aka in non-Academic circles as Pattern Thinking – it is a simple technique for making sense of challenging situations and developing simple interventions for transforming them.
Like it or not, the more you take charge of your future the better prepared you will be to face it.