What are the eight eternal career skills you’ll need for the future?

As we continue to move more into the digitally disruptive age, several of  your career skills will stand the test of time.  What are they, and how can you maintain and improve them to help future-proof your employability? 

1.  Teach, Coach & Mentor: these three skills work “hand in glove” together, and when combined as one, are highly sought after by forward thinking and growing employers.

Can you demonstrate a track record where you have learnt new skills; then taught, coached and mentored other people? 

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand – Confucius.  

2. Marketing and Sales:  these two skills are not just for people employed in sales or marketing focused roles.  Great marketing leads to increased sales.  Every employee, in every department, plays a role either directly or indirectly marketing and selling their employers products and services to the market.

How have you helped your employer market and sell to their customers?  

3.  Business process improvement: demonstrating a skill of continually looking at ways for your employer to do things better, smarter and more effectively Is a highly sought after skill and always in hot demand when companies are hiring.

How have you improved processes that have helped your employer operate more efficiently and effectively in the past?

4.  Data/Information Analysis:  as more and more things move digital and just about everything seems connected to the internet, algorithms  have created data of mind-blowing portions.  Business intelligence (BI), big data, internet of things, artificial intelligence (AI), data custodian and big data scientists for example, are just some of the jargon words you’ll hear more of in the future.  Your ability however to analyse old and “new” data to make quality decisions will be key to your long-term employability.

How would you rate your core analysis skills? Can you provide some good examples as evidence? 

5.  Teamwork and Collaboration:  teamwork is a given, but in the digital age, “collaboration” is the critical extension of this for the future. Technology has helped make the world flat (i.e. no geographic boundaries), fast (speed of change) and free (it’s turned business revenue models upside down and sideways and many businesses are still working out the best revenue model!).

Can you use various technology collaboration tools to get things done with disparate teams from various background and ethnicities?

6.  Decision-Making: In order to achieve results at work, you need to make decisions with a range of (limited) resources available.  All employers want to hire employees who can demonstrate a track record of good decision-making.

Can your resume support your effective and timely decision-making skills, particularly in challenging situations?

There is no such thing as a bad decision – procrastinating and not making a decision is.  If you make a wrong decision, it’s okay.  You can always change it later for the better…

7.  The 3R’s (Reading, Writing, Arithmetic): Remember when your Mum and Dad rammed home the eternal value of reading, writing and arithmetic (maths)?.  Technology may have had an impact in these three areas, but if your maths is below par, or you can’t write a cohesive sentence, or you don’t understand what you’re reading for example; it will be detrimental to your long-term career prospects.  You must have a solid “3R’s” foundation.

How are your three R’s?  It’s never too late to learn and improve to help future-proof your employability.

8.  Communication + Social Media: Lastly, but probably most importantly is communication skills.  Plus now we have “social media”.  Human beings are a social and communicative species.  Getting things done through people, being able to communicate our ideas, thoughts, values etc remains a key job skill, regardless of the current and future impact of technology.  AI, automation, robots will certainly change the traditional workplace as we know it, but one of our fundamental needs is being able to communicate with each other, being heard and understood.  Taking this further, your ability to effectively use a combination of current and future social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, YouTube, Tumblr, WhatsApp etc) to communicate will be key to your future employment success.  You need to understand which social media channel/s are the most appropriate to communicate with your stakeholder/s.

When was the last time you had your communication skills assessed? Do you understand social media, and “get” how it can add an ROI to your employer? 

If you can strengthen (perhaps even work towards mastering) these 8 skills, you will be well on your way to helping future-proof your employability in the digital age…

If you would like more specific information about this blog or how you can Recruit, Retain and Retrain A-Player employees, please get in touch.