The Ten Skills You Need to Future Proof Your Career

ten skills future proof career

You know it, I know it. The future of work is already here. The new frontier of work is all about continuous learning and furthering your skill set. But how do you future-proof your career?

Do you take an online coding course?

Invest in an intensive social media program?

Study to enhance your current role or start prepping for the next?

According to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the world is becoming increasingly dominated by robots, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. This makes understanding the skills that employers are looking for in the future about as crucial as it gets. It’s interesting to note that more than 33% of the qualifications listed in the report are yet to be regarded as relevant by today’s employers. While these skills don’t light up their radar right now but rest assured they soon will.

“OK, Kate,’ I hear you say. ‘How about telling me the damn skills I need so I can remain employable?” According to the WEF Report, the Top 10 skills that will be desired by employers by 2020 will be:

1.    Cognitive flexibility

Described as the mental ability to switch between two different concepts simultaneously. Cognitive flexibility is how quickly you can swing, leap, back and forth between different systems of thought. It’s like a muscle, so the more that you use it – the easier it becomes!

2.    Negotiation skills

As robots and AI begin to enter the workplace, social skills are more vital than ever. Even people in technical roles (like data scientists or aerospace engineers) will be expected to display better interpersonal and negotiation skills to deal with colleagues, clients, team members and suppliers.

3.    Service Orientation

Service orientation is the ability to anticipate, recognise and meet others’ needs, sometimes before they are articulated. Stepping into the minds of your users and thinking about what they value, fear, like and dislike allows you to develop new products or adapt services now rather than later.

4.    Judgement and decision making

Being able to judge and make sense of the numbers, create actionable insights and make decisions concerning them is high ranking in terms of desirable skills.

5.    Emotional Intelligence

Social skills such as persuasion, emotional intelligence and being able to teach others will be highly desirable. Co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry explains emotional intelligence as ‘the other kind of smart.’

6.    Coordinating with others

Collaboration is crucial in any workplace and something that humans are still better at than robots!

7.    People management

Despite so many jobs being automated or using artificial intelligence, employees will still be the most valuable resource in an organisation. It’s therefore vital that managers know how to motivate their teams, maximise staff productivity and provide support.

8.    Creativity

Creativity is now one of the top three skills employers will seek. Why? Because as we’re bombarded by new technologies, employers want creative people who can apply that tech to new products and services.

9.    Critical thinking

Critical thinking involves being able to use logic and reasoning to investigate problems and interrogate various solutions to help weigh up the pros and cons of each approach.

While IBM’s Watson and its legal-savvy companion, ROSS Intelligence are giving humans a run for their money in the critical thinking department, organisations in 2020 will still see critical thinkers as highly employable.

10.    Complex problem solving

Technology makes life easier in many aspects, but it can also make things more complicated. According to the WEF report, 36% of all jobs across all industries will require complex problem-solving abilities as a core skill.

In the next blog post, we’ll share how you can start to acquire each of these skills which are critical to the future of work.

If you want help with future proofing your career, take the first step now and book a call today!

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