Not only have we nearly reached the new year, we’re also right on the doorstep of a new decade. The last decade saw a multitude of changes in the workplace. Remote working became easier with Smartphones and faster computers. Apps, such as Slack and Monday, connected us across the country and the world. And breakout areas replaced the humble lunchroom.
Predictions for the next 10 years include more emphasis on personal responsibility for career success and people working smarter, not harder. Whatever trends the twenties bring, there are some basic soft skills you must develop to ensure you don’t get left behind.
A willingness to learn
Having the willingness and ability to learn new things shows employers that you can handle new challenges. It also gives them the confidence that you can fill in any gaps missing in your background. If you possess this one particular skill, it’s easy to develop other soft skills.
Speed reading is not just about reading faster. Think of it as exercise. Like with your muscles, if you exercise them regularly, you will get stronger. If you exercise your brain, it will get stronger as well.
Note taking helps you learn new concepts, organise your thoughts, be creative, share important information with others and much more. Having great notes can reduce stress levels, keep you on task and make you more productive.
Data analysis is the collection and review of information to problem-solve and make decisions. No matter what department you work in, good data analysis skills will add more value to your team and the company.
Creativity is often viewed as a quality that a person either has or doesn’t have. Recently though, there has been a shift in this kind of thinking. New studies suggest that creativity is actually a skill that we can develop over time.
Written and oral communication
Whether you’re in a meeting, questioning a colleague on a project or emailing a client, good communication skills are vital. They can mean the difference between getting your view across or being misunderstood to building positive working relationships or facing conflict.
New technologies have opened up opportunities and created challenges that have profoundly transformed customer experiences in the workplace. As we move forward into the next decade, business strategies and processes will continue to evolve with technology.
Cultural awareness and sensitivity
As work environments become more diverse, cultural sensitivity is becoming more important. An unkind remark about a co-worker’s culture can generate resentment and distrust that might never go away. Learning to work with others whose culture is different to yours is key.
As the world continues to evolve, we need to as well if we’re going to keep pace with the changes. Skills are like gemstones. The more you possess, the more value you bring to the table.