With the emergence of a highly inter-connected world and new trends that characterize the workplace landscape, there is a dynamic shift from the much laid emphasis on hard skills to soft skills. According to a survey by the World Economic Forum, the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution – characterized by an exponential increase in various digital and cyber technologies – will be in full swing. The rise of smart machines and systems, our computational world, new media ecology, superstructure organizations and evolving global trends, are all key factors driving this era. Now, as young people striving to find ourselves in the midst of all the seemingly radical change, one starts to wonder how we can lead this change rather than being led by it.
The question thus goes; Are you developing a skill set aligned with the trends of the emerging global space?
In the next couple of years, soft skills would be in high demand as employers of the future would rather prefer a unique blend of dynamic soft skills to achieve faster results as opposed to specific redundant hard skills.
To help, here’s a bullet list of some top 10 skills young people need to have by 2025 in order to thrive both in the workplace and personal endeavors.
- Social intelligence skills: Employers value this skill today and will value it even more in the years to come. Social intelligence deals with the ability to adapt your behavior to accommodate different styles of communication, different strengths and weaknesses, and a plethora of personalities. This is a core skill required for leadership both in and out of the workplace
- Emotional Intelligence: The concept of emotional intelligence might not be new to us but this can never be over-emphasized. Currently regarded as one of the core skills to develop in the coming years, emotional intelligence stands to set an individual apart and sets the tone for relationships and collaboration in and out of the workplace. Developing a high EQ (Emotional Quotient) is now regarded as more important as having a high IQ (Intelligent Quotient).
- Adaptability: Rather than paying lip service to what should rather be done, one of the most important skills that would set us apart is in fact the willingness to accept and embrace change, being adaptive to new workplace structures that combine internal and external resources and a commitment to acquiring new knowledge.
- People Management: How well do you work with people? Are you able to effectively work in teams (whether small or large) to achieve results? Are you able to handle crises that arise during interactions with other people? What do you think other people think of you and your personality?
- Critical Thinking /Analytical skills: The world is moving at a fast pace and only those who can keep up with the speed would be able to better understand the trends and proffer solution to complex problems that arise as a result of the ever evolving dynamics of the world system.
- Creativity: Regardless of whatever career path you have chosen it is very important infuse elements of creativity in all that you do to remain employable. You just have to keep learning and evolving because to build originality, you have bring your creative genius to bear to structure your ideas from scratch.
- New Media Literacy: In the past, the word ‘literacy’ was frequently used as the ability to read and write. While it remains a commonly used term today, it seems that media literacy has taken its place. This type of skill is considered to be essential for the 21st Century workforce and refers to the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media – or, simply put, content that can communicate to an audience through persuasion.
- Negotiation: With robots infiltrating the workplace, social skills will be more important than ever. Negotiating is something that only us humans do – and do well! Some occupations, though, have allowed introverts to climb into their shell and step away from these interpersonal skills. However, even people in technical jobs will be expected to negotiate with clients, colleagues and managers.
- Effective Communication: Clear communication isn’t just a matter of proper use of language and grammar. In many ways, communicating clearly is an extension of thinking clearly. Can you present your argument persuasively? Can you inspire others with passion? Can you concisely capture the highlights of what you are trying to say? Can you promote yourself or a product? Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has famously said “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.” Like many, he has noted it is a skill that can be learned and consequently used to open many opportunities.
- Collaboration and Leadership: We should learn that leadership has gone beyond instructing people on what to do or barking orders at members of your team; rather leadership now deals with finding the most appropriate person on the team to perform a task, and empowering him/her to do so. Leading by example – which I often times call “getting one’s hands dirty- and collaboration in and out of the workplace has proven countless times to be one critical skill that defines the nature of outcomes. To get ahead, hone your leadership skills!
There are a plethora of other skills that would be relevant to one’s professional and personal growth; but it is important to keep the above listed in mind and make intentional efforts to develop and hone new/existing skills respectively. Above all, BE INTENTIONAL. Growth does not happen by chance.