In a previous blog post I have written about the rise of Artificial Intelligence and how the workforce may have to pivot. I don’t believe the workforce will have less opportunity but technology has made some huge leaps in the past few years, things like self-manned checkouts, virtual-reality and even autonomous cars are becoming and will become much more commonplace. This in my view means we will be able to explore new and uncharted employment opportunities.
But it also means some of the jobs we know today will likely become obsolete as the rise of more manual jobs become replaced with automation. This together with the rising impact of the internet on the retail world means that the demand for jobs such as retail assistants, cashiers, and taxi drivers may become less.
The job market is going to be changing and as such so do the skills required to work alongside technology, adding the necessary value. With the computers doing more of the tech related work themselves there will be more of an emphasis on softer skills such as communication, empathy, problem solving and collaboration. If you want to be sure you have the best chance of future employability then I’d recommend working on the skills I’ve listed below.
Strong Social Skills
Good interpersonal skills and communication are usually a prerequisite for many jobs today. But they are usually not given much weight, they are more “nice to have” skills than essential ones.
In the future, as technology gets more and more commonplace things like Social Intelligence will be much more important. This is your ability to communicate with others in a much more intense way. Coordinating with others is something that robots and computers are unable to do so your ability to collaborate with colleagues is vital. Collaboration is now not purely a face to face skill. Virtual Collaboration or communication with peers through a technology platform will also become hugely important as teams become more remote and more global.
So, make sure you are a strong and effective communicator because it will be a big help when it comes to building a future career.
Negotiation Skills and Initiative
Technology can do a lot of things but it can’t negotiate, well not yet. Effective negotiation is always going to be in demand when it comes to many of the leading occupations. This also fits in with your ability to think outside of the box. Coming up with new and innovative ideas, adding the quality element to any process and being adaptable. More than ever, due to the speed of change you need to have the ability to evolve and not to get stuck “Doing it how it has always been done”. So, start working on your negotiation skills because they will come in handy.
This is clearly a skill that is in demand and useful in the current climate. However the ability to understand people’s feelings and adapt to them will become increasingly important. Technology and computers might be more commonplace in the future but they won’t be everywhere and you’ll still likely be working with people in your usual day to day activities. Which is why emotional intelligence is still a very important skill to have. It will help you work better with people, build stronger more effective working relationships and be a more effective manager or leader.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion” -Dale Carnegie
High-Level Problem Solving Skills
Many jobs require problem-solving skills, but in the future basic problem-solving skills won’t be enough to make you stand out from the crowd and get that dream job! You’ll need to develop and enhance your problem-solving skills for the more tech orientated job world of the future. Your understanding of data and the analysis of such data will be hugely important for you to make solid decisions.
Focus on improving your critical thinking, your adaptability and flexibility. When a problem comes up in the future it will likely be more complicated than the day to day issues many people face today. Whilst you can rely on tech for some decision making, those executive decisions will still fall down the human being. So, start expanding your knowledge so you’ll have the confidence to tackle these higher level technical problems.
Creativity is important in many job roles today and that will continue in the future. Creativity will only become more sought after by employers. As technology becomes more and more commonplace businesses will have to develop more innovative ways to offer services, develop products and operate. After all, much of the technology we see today was the result of high-level creative thinking. So, creativity is going to be more and more important in the future so start thinking outside the box becomes future employers will be looking for creative thinkers who can help expand their business.
“Creative geniuses redefine the desired solution. They don't just push the envelope; they create a whole new courier system.”
Strong Management and Leadership Skills
Management and leadership skills will always be in demand and needed in the workplace. However I feel, in fact, this importance will increase. Your ability to effectively manage, delegate and motivate people will be incredibly important. With what I have highlighted already in this blog one of the leadership key skills will be effectively identifying the skills other people have to ensure you have the right people in the right positions. This will be so true as you will have to draw out the skills people don't know they have in this ever changing working environment
So, that’s a look at some of the skills that will be important in the future! The good news for you is that many of these skills are important today so you should already have a great base to work from. The future workplace will be different but you can start developing the skills you need today to ensure you have the career you want ahead of you. As I am writing this my gut feel is to think that not much will change in my lifetime and I am writing this for the next generation. This time it would be a mistake to rely on my gut feel.