Could we say, the competition has only got the best of us? Perhaps yes! And on second thoughts, we are left deliberating what will be the skills in demand in the future? How will our generation next survive the rough weathers stirring revolution in the global workplace culture, thus fostering the creation of new workplace models? Are we prepped up to face the challenges head-on in the ever-competitive uncertain economy fuelled by rapid advancements in technology?
While at one end, technologists and technopreneurs are expanding bandwidth by harnessing technology to create new opportunities for skilled workforces, is the government making enough efforts to support the momentum of change? As the list of endless questions continue around the core issue of lack of skilled manpower crippling economic growth not just in Asia but across the globe, are we as organisations and responsible institutions investing enough time and efforts into training programs to prepare the workforce of tomorrow?
The fresh talent out of universities are on constant lookout for the right opportunities that will shape their careers to bring the best out of them, but most often they are unaware of what the employers seek. Chasing a blind dream, the intelligent lot of students secure positions with reputed MNCs through placement programs, however, the average and dropouts most often underestimate their potentials due to poor scores and are confused.
We advise to not set far-fetched goals and five-year plans when it comes to skill upgrading, as the times call for a continuous learner mindset. To put an end to the worrisome state of affairs prevailing amongst the amateur inexperienced grads and those in stages of the mid-career fix, we enlist some of the must-have skills needed to ace in your career in 2018.
- Get Your Hands-On Technology to Work Alongside Robots
With AI and robotic technology displacing workers in lower-end jobs to create new job roles in the near future, graduates and seasoned professionals should upgrade their technical capabilities to be able to work alongside machines.
While human intelligence can never be replaced by AI, robots will be used extensively by companies to deliver transparency, enhanced productivity and efficiency to customers. Be it interacting with wearables or machines in the factory to get work done faster, the oncoming age demands of workers to embrace technological changes, learn and adapt fast rather than eschewing them.
- Social Intelligence and Soft Skills
Master the soft skills. These are most in-demand for job roles across industries, irrespective of the geographies and business domains you work for. You need soft skills to ace the competition. While a lot of emphasis in the recent past has been on mastering hard skills, thus calling for debated arguments on soft skills vs. hard skills, what do employers seek? In the years ahead, employers are more keen on recruiting talent with leadership approach, soft skills, emotional and social intelligence to be able to attract the right audiences and make customers stay.
- Learn to Collaborate in New Ways
The rise in the gig economy has brought the world closer to provide a plethora of opportunities for the skilled talent to be able to work from almost anywhere, remotely. Collaboration is now the need of the hour and use of collaborative tools is required to help manage the contingent workforce.
A lot of productive time today is consumed in reading, writing and responding to emails, hence collaboration tools such as Slack and Yammer help teams collaborate effectively across time zones. They help store chat records in one central location to facilitate seamless communication across teams and transparency in workings.
Companies can also use video conferencing tools to monitor the daily workings of employees working from the convenience of their homes and keep a tab on project updates.
- Cognitive Analysis and Adaptive Mindset
In times of disruption, a report titled, “The Future of Jobs highlights the need for cognitive intelligence and adaptive mindset to be able to understand colleagues and interpret customer requirements across global markets. A higher understanding of cognitive behavioral sciences includes logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, in-depth analysis and emotional intelligence.
As the social networking age dawns and soon we embark on 2020, strong negotiation and clear communication skills (both oral and written) will be expected by all employees, irrespective of the job role and industry domain.
The challenge for millennials today is, how do you acquire the new holy grail of all these skills? Believe in the old adage, nothing beats persistent hard work. Continuous learning ability will give you the winning edge amidst tiff competition to secure new projects, job opportunities and ace in your career in 2018 and years ahead.