The kind of jobs available in the market now might change rather than disappear completely. And to be prepared for those changes, the future workforce has to equip themselves with specific skills that cannot be replicated by machines. Fast-paced technological innovations mean that most of the prospective job seekers will soon share their workplaces with artificial intelligence and bots. Competing and collaborating with technology is imperative for future careers. So how to stay ahead of the curve? Begin by adopting a commitment to lifelong learning so you can acquire the skills required to compete and win in the developing place of work.
Can you think of competing against a machine in terms of speed, efficiency and accuracy? Anytime machine will beat humans’ hands down, though it is our own creation. It therefore becomes inevitable for our survival that we develop certain humans only skills which will enhance our performance and productivity at the work place.
Ten Essential Skills required for the Future Workforce:
1. Creativity, Originality & Initiative:
Human employees in the future will need to be original and creative to ensure their company stays ahead of the competition by developing an innovative business model. Robots have limitations and can’t compete with humans on creativity and initiative. So to find a place in the future workforce, students must develop creativity and be comfortable taking actions as per the demands of the situation.
2. Emotional intelligence (EQ):
EQ describes a person’s ability to be aware of, control, and express their emotions, as well as being aware of other’s feelings too. Your EQ will be considered high if you have empathy, integrity, and work well with others. A machine can’t replicate a human’s ability to connect with another human being, so those who have high EQs will be in high demand. EQ has now replaced IQ as one of the critical parameters for hiring.
3. Analytical thinking, Innovation & Problem solving
A person with essential skills of thinking can come up with innovative solutions and ideas, solve complex problems using reasoning and logic, and objectively appraise arguments. The primary step in critical thinking is to analyse without bias, the available information from multiple sources. A robust analytical thinker would use rational more than emotions to think through a situation, weigh the pros/cons of a, and be open to the best possible solution.
4.Active learning & learning strategies
Any prospective employee needs to consistently and actively keep learning to grow. A person with a progressive mindset understands that their abilities and intelligence can be developed over some time by putting enough effort into building skills, which will result in peak achievement. They will volunteer to take on challenges, learn from their experiences, and actively seek new knowledge.
Whenever adversity strikes, I have seen people reacting anxiously and making mistakes under stress. An individual who knows her strengths will be resilient, responds appropriately and bounces back swiftly. The basic rule of the game is to play according to our strengths. To know more about it talk to your mentor.
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5.Judgment and decision making
With the business world becoming more dynamic, human decision-making has become more complex and is increasingly coming under pressure. While machines can process massive data and information to provide expert insights that would be impossible for humans to do. But eventually, a human needs to make the decision recognizing the broader implications the decision might have on other areas of business. As technology releases humans from doing menial and mundane tasks, it is left to humans to make more complex and higher-level decisions impacting the industry.
6.Interpersonal communication skills & Teamwork
Social skills shall rule in the age of automation. The ability to exchange information, ideas, thoughts, and share emotions between people will be a vital skill during the fourth industrial revolution. Realizing the importance of communication skills, people should hone their skills to connect with other human beings effectively, so that they can say the right things, using the right tone of voice and body language, and convey their messages across. Collaborating with others on work and empathy will help in building a capable team at the workplace.
7.Effective Leadership skills
Leadership skills will perhaps become the most sought after by the corporates in the future workplace. There is already a saturation of business managers in the job market, and the corporate world is eagerly waiting for leaders to join them. Certain common traits of a leader like taking the initiative, being accountable for the outcomes, motivating the team to give their best, and decision-making abilities are imperative for the future workforce.
8.Diversity and cultural intelligence
As our world is increasingly getting globalized, we find workplaces becoming more diverse and open. Individuals must necessarily have the skill to understand, respect, and work with others despite differences in various factors like race, culture, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs. Being flexible and identifying with a diverse team and its goals are critical for the future workforce.
9.Competent in utilizing Emerging Technology
The 4th industrial revolution is powered by technological innovations such as artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality, blockchains, and more. The technological imprint is so strong that everyone will need a certain level of comfort around it and need to understand and learn how to utilize them in performing their jobs. For technical roles, the candidates need to develop competency in design and programming using new tools.
Resistance to change is inherent in human nature. But it is inevitable to get used to the rapid pace of change in the future workplace, due to technological innovations. The future workforce must be agile and able to embrace and celebrate change. Not only does our mindset need to be flexible, but we also have to be flexible enough to adjust to changing workplaces, expectations, and skill-sets. A vital skill during the 4th industrial revolution will be the ability to see change not as a burden but as an opportunity to grow and innovate.
The impact of the latest technological innovations is not just about technical/ hard skills whose lifespan in the job market is shrinking by the day. But now it’s time for the younger generation to begin acquiring soft skills that will make them valuable and productive resources in the future workplace.
“Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: workforce transition in a time of automation”; a research report by Mckinsey Global Institute states that: By 2030, 75 million to 375 million workers (3 to 14 percent of the global workforce) will need to switch occupational categories. Moreover, all workers will need to adapt, as their occupations evolve alongside increasingly capable machines.
The pace of the latest technological change is so rapid that many workers, unable to adjust to this pace, will become obsolete. Is there a cause for concern? Certainly yes, but not all is lost. There is hope if they realize that they need to be better prepared in terms of their mindset and skills.
According to research firm Gartner, more jobs will be created than lost by automation. The firm stated that though 1.8 million jobs will be eliminated by 2020, another 2.3 million new jobs will be created by then. As long as you can learn to use the latest tools, automation will be your friend. For example, when ATMs automated the tasks of bank tellers and when barcode scanners automated the work of cashiers, rather than contributing to unemployment, the number of opportunities in these occupations grew, improved human efficiency, and enhanced the quality of customer service.
Change is the only constant in this world, and some changes in the job market are happening due to the rapid pace of technological advancement. It’s on with the full force and can’t be checked or reversed by anyone. Therefore, it makes sense for the younger generation to equip themselves with the required skills and the right mindset. Be prepared and make the best of the emerging scenario, instead of being taken over by surprise when the storm hits you. Swim with the tide and reach your goal.