The nature of work is changing—and some jobs are changing faster than others. Advancements in automation, digital platforms and other innovations are said to upend the global workforce. But that doesn’t mean machines will bring about the end of work—in fact, not even close.
By 2022, technology is expected to have displaced 75 million jobs globally, according to LinkedIn. Yet, within the same period, those forces will have created 133 million new ones. It is also no surprise that top 10 rising workplace skills in Asia Pacific are all related to technology.
As the new world takes shape, the ability for workers of the future to adapt their skills to the ever-changing needs of the workplace will be critical. Lifelong learning must become the norm—but now, the reality falls far short of the necessity.
So, what skills should we learn?
In today’s automated world, more companies and employers are looking for a combination of both hard and soft skills, with creativity topping the list of desired attributes. A report by the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report concluded that “human” skills like originality, initiative and critical thinking are likely to increase in value as technology and automation advances.
“Plus, the rise of Artificial Intelligence is only making soft skills increasingly important, as they are precisely the type of skills robots can’t automate.”
Here’s a list of future skills you need for the workplace of tomorrow:
Critical thinking skills is crucial
Although machines are getting better in at aspects of critical thinking, but they have not grasped all of them. Humans are still better in solving critical and complex-solving problems, especially in a world full of ambiguities and nuances.
At its core, a critical thinker will suggest innovative solutions and ideas and take on problems by using reasoning and logic. What matters most is that a strong analytical thinker relies on logical reasoning, collect the pros and cons of a situation and is open-minded to the best possible solution. In the age of machines, this skill gives people the edge to thrive in the future of work.
And the good news is anyone can train their minds to think critically.
2. Develop workplace collaboration skills
The future of work is here, and it is collaborative.
In today’s globally connected world, companies are on the fast track to expanding regionally or nationally—even globally today. With more teams scattered across time zones, this could only mean one thing: collaboration skills will be paramount.
In any workplace, collaborations are powerful. A collaborative environment helps teams produce quality ideas, work culture and increase employee satisfaction. Having the ability to understand and adapt to others who might have different ways of perceiving the world will not break down some walls in the company but is also likely to make a company’s products and services more inclusive and successful.
3. Emotional Intelligence will be in demand
Artificial intelligence will never have sentimental affection for humans—which makes Emotional Intelligence (EI) a highly sought-after competency in the new workforce.
A person who exhibits high EI have empathy, integrity, and self-awareness. And they work well with others.
The reason emotional intelligence is so widely valued is pretty simple: it plays a role in almost everything—from task performance, contextual performance, interactions with customers and peers. Simply put, it allows us to create relationships with others, in which only humans can provide.
While the demand for technological skills is gathering its pace, the increase in the need for social and emotional skills will similarly accelerate.
4. Digital and media literacy will be key
A big part of the new world of work is fuelled by technological innovations. This means that everyone will need a certain level of comfort around technology.
Business communications are now embracing text, chat, video, file sharing, and screen sharing in addition to email and phone communications at the workplace. At the most fundamental level, workers in most roles will be required to manage data and determine how to make decisions based on it.
This requires some digital literacy.
The question is: How much of the digital tools do you know and most importantly, can you use them without struggle?
Unsure of what skills you should be developing? Start asking questions, attend events and take relevant online courses to prepare yourself for the future.
5. Boost your creative intelligence skills
If there’s one thing robots and machines can’t quite catch up on, it will be human creativity.
The rise of machines and apps are driving changes in the workforce like never before. More and more, businesses across industries are learning to adapt the creativity and flexibility of the modern worker and workplace. So, to stay relevant, the ability to be inventive and think outside the box is key. In a bigger picture, encouraged creativity amongst employees could be building blocks of all types of company innovation, whether on products or business processes.
At the end of the day, anyone can drop a complaint into the suggestion box, but a truly great employee comes up with solutions to pressing problems.
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