Now more than ever, changes are happening in the workplace when it comes to skills. The skills needed to succeed in business, regardless of industry, are constantly evolving to keep up with the ever-changing global landscape, which means that the skills required to secure a fantastic job in 2018 are not the same skills needed to succeed in 2020 and beyond.
With a steely eye on the future and in preparation for the potential challenges ahead of you – here’s our take on the skills you will need to have in your arsenal.
1. COMPLEX PROBLEM SOLVING
According to the World Economic Forum, complex problem solving makes the list for both 2020 and 2015. In fact, it’s at the top of the list. Employees in a variety of industries will need to be able to handle significant problems and challenges, figure out how to handle common issues, and approach those concerns without breaking a sweat.
2. CRITICAL THINKING
It’s not just about moving through complex problems, it’s about approaching new technology critically and being able to adapt to it; being able to think effectively through the challenges presented each day. Critical thinkers think ahead to handle potential challenges. Several ways to increase critical thinking include:
• Ask basic questions
• Question basic assumptions
• Be aware of your mental process
• Try reversing things
• Evaluate the existing evidence
• Remember to think for yourself
• Understand that no one thinks critically 100% of the time
Do you think creatively? Do you come up with ideas that could work? Do you know how to handle unique situations to problems? Creativity remains increasingly important in various circles and industries. Ways to build creative thinking include:
• Build inspirational rituals
• Try and create something every day
• Take a break and find creative inspirations
• Ask the right questions
• Have fun with colleagues or friends
• Build a network
• Take risks
4. PEOPLE MANAGEMENT
This is a new skill that made the list for 2020 (but did not appear in 2015) and is becoming increasingly important. Do you get along well with people? Do you know how to manage a team or division effectively? With the right skills, you can quickly climb the ladder of success because people are needed to handle straightforward management tasks.
5. COORDINATING WITH OTHERS
Do you work well with others? Some people are naturally good at working with people while others struggle to coordinate their actions with those of their teammates. By developing your ability to work with other people, you can substantially improve your ability to get hired in 2020.
6. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Emotional intelligence appears on the list of Top 10 Skills for employees for the first time in 2020. A high level of emotional intelligence means you are able to judge your own moods and needs effectively as well as being responsive to the needs of others around you. This makes for better team members and increases your chances of promotion or a step up the career ladder. Ways to build emotional intelligence include:
• Ability to reduce negative emotions
• Stay cool and manage stress
• Be assertive and express difficult emotions when necessary
• Ability to stay productive, not reactive, when faced with a difficult person
• Bounce-back ability
7. JUDGMENT & DECISION MAKING
In order to hold a significant position within most companies, being able to exercise good judgment and make solid decisions is important. And you need to be confident in those decisions. Do you bring solid decision-making skills to the table? If yes, this will increase your odds of being well employed.
8. SERVICE ORIENTATION
Most businesses are now looking for people who are focused on providing high levels of customer service. And customers expect that service.
The difference between a favourite business and one they’ll never return to can be as simple as how the employees deal with customer needs.
Service-oriented employees are seen as a top priority by many of today’s employers.
Do you know how to negotiate? Do you know how to suggest a compromise and bring about a solution that works for all parties? Negotiation helps you deal with customers, colleagues and can assist you with salary increases – the list goes on. The experts say that the qualities of a good negotiator include:
• Preparation and planning
• Subject matter knowledge
• Ability to think clearly and rapidly under pressure
• Ability to express thought clearly
• Listening skill
• Ability to persuade others
10. COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY
Cognitive flexibility has been described as the mental ability to face new and unexpected conditions in the environment; to switch between thinking from one task and respond to another or think about multiple concepts at the same time.
With today’s jobs changing at a rapid pace, employers need employees who can adapt to these changes. Whether it’s a new system or technology or a new approach to the industry, fast adaptation is essential. Hints on developing increased cognitive ability include:
• Alter your everyday routine
• Seek out new experiences
• Practice thinking creatively
• Don’t always take the easy way
With these key skills in your arsenal, you are making yourself more employable and increase the odds of securing the perfect job for you. Why not take time to investigate the above and work on your soft skills because these are becoming highly prized skills in the workforce today.
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