How can you advance your skillset during the pandemic?

Mike Folinas - Manager of Research Administration, University of Toronto


Working from home comes with many challenges, especially since we have been in a lockdown for nearly 2 months (in Ontario). From homeschooling and online learning for our kids to tackling the ever-growing list of work tasks that need to be completed, we are very busy.  However, these challenges do also bring some opportunities depending on your level of optimism.  We asked our members what steps they have taken to advance their skills during this time.  Here are some of their suggestions:

- Enroll in the Research Administration Certificate

- Take a continuing education course: Suggestions include Project Management, Analytics, etc. Visit

- Practice meditation/mindfulness

- Use a 5-minute meditation YouTube video daily to help with stress

- Learn a new language: Suggestions include Italian, French, Spanish, Mandarin or sign language.

- Learn to play an instrument: Suggestions include piano, guitar and the harmonica

- Learn to cook: Whether it is new recipes, cooking to eat healthier or cooking Micheline star dishes, new recipes are always tasty

- Learn to sew: Repair some of your old clothes, a zipper or even a button

- Learn to code: Java, C++, Python are some suggestions. Visit

- Learn calligraphy: Revive the dying art of writing and start writing a journal

- Update your resume/CV: Add your new skills to your resume or CV and make sure that you identify which skills are transferable

While this has been a challenging year, we have been given the gift of time.  Many of us are not commuting and have an opportunity to further develop our skillset.  How will you make the most of it?