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Skills of the future worker

driver less dump truck

We are part of an era being likened to the industrial revolution in how much change will occur in the workplace, to roles, to industry and how we all work.

A lot has been written about the skills required to have a successful career in the future and the emphasis in these articles has been about changes to the education system, to ensure the next generation is ready for the challenges ahead.

Changing the education system won’t assist the people like you and I who are already working, and with these new skills not yet implemented, they won’t assist the students in high schools across the country.

At the same time, retirement ages are being constantly pushed out and many people will be working till they are 70.

We’ve seen some jobs slowly head down the path to near extinction – travel agents, telephone operators, photo lab technicians and typists. Then there are the jobs that 20 years ago were unheard of in day to day business. App Developer, Social Media Manager, Online Marketing Analysts, Network Engineers, Web Designers & Blog Writers. And 20 years ago, who would have thought a computer game would have to be invented to get people outside again?

Many of you will have already experienced change in your working lives, with the addition of automated haulage, remote controlled boggers, process control systems, the list is endless. Outside of work, my favourites, robotic vacuums and self-serve checkouts.

The key thing to remember here is the people in these ‘new roles’ didn’t necessarily graduate university or leave high school with the skills and qualifications needed for these roles. Many will have learnt new skills on the job, completed training and adapted their skill set to be able to take on a new role.

Here are the top 10 skills identified at World Economic Forum as required to thrive in the future.

In 2020

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People Management
  5. Coordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7. Judgement and decision making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility

In 2015

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Coordinating with others
  3. People management
  4. Critical thinking
  5. Negotiation
  6. Quality control
  7. Service Orientation
  8. Judgement and decision making
  9. Active listening
  10. Creativity

If you are interested, here is the full article.  

Some people will look at this list and believe they are set, others will wonder where they sit in the list, and what areas they need to improve. Key to remember is everyone can develop and improve their capabilities in each of these 10 skills. This can be as simple as raising the subject during your next review, during a catch up with colleagues or even friends and family. Ask what they think of your abilities in each of the skills on this list. It can be confronting, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to develop yourself with the aim of being employed / employable well past 2020.

‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor, the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.’ Charles Darwin