The US workforce has changed dramatically in the past few decades and will continue to do so. A recent report from the US Census Bureau confirmed that the “worker shortage exists in one [key] area – highly skilled workers.”
With this shortage in mind, it is critical to assess what skills will be needed for Work 2.0, a new era of work. It is widely agreed that workplace of the future will require people to have the “right skills and knowledge to survive.”
Here are three essential skills every person should cultivate to make them more marketable for an array of future careers.
If there is one communication skill you should aim to master, then listening is it.
Listening is “the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process, and the key to all effective communication.”
By becoming active and engaged listeners, professionals can offer insights, propose solutions, and add value in times when others are going about business as usual. Listening also allows workers to to learn from others’ mistakes and triumphs.
Creative Problem Solving
Creative problem-solving is the “mental process of searching for a new and novel creative solution to a problem – a solution which is original and not obvious.”
By approaching problem solving creatively and working to train your mind to become better at it, you open up the possibility of spreading your knowledge across industries. Workers who approach the same old problem from a new vantage point set themselves up to become trusted and valuable resources.
Creative problem-solving will also help you when you face your own personal career challenges – from landing a promotion to launching a business with a partner.
“Autodidacticism or self-education is the act of self-directed learning about a subject or subjects in which one has had little to no formal education.”
In an ever-changing world, what’s hot today may not be hot tomorrow. From the most popular computer programming languages to degrees deemed most valuable, times are changing. The internet has made it remarkably simple to access knowledge that was once hard to attain.
Setting monthly/quarterly goals to continue to grow your knowledge base using low and no-cost methods is a simple yet powerful strategy. Partaking in self-directed learning will ensure that if your primary degree/skill is one day rendered outdated, you can remain marketable.
Collectively, the cultivation of these three skills – listening, creative problem solving, and being a self-directed learner – will bring an authentic awareness of your aptitudes, aspirations and abilities. But skills alone are not enough. Coupling these skills with strong personal characteristics will put workers in a position to be marketable in an ever changing work environment.