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Soft Skills = Future Success

You will need more than technical skills to succeed in the future world of work.

 

We are living in a Skills Revolution. It’s a world where technical skills, digital skills and soft skills all play a critical role in your career. Do your skills match up? Do you have what it takes to flourish in the future? The questions are real and you need to figure out how you can set yourself up for success.

Clearly, the world of work is changing; technology is transforming the way companies do business and the way employees work. Increased digitization, automation and new technologies are seeping into the workplace every day with no signs of stopping.

As the world changes, you need to be prepared to keep up. According to a recent report from ManpowerGroup, titled Skills Revolution 2.0, the key to workplace success will come in the form of human strengths. Human strengths are defined as skills that will augment technology and reduce the threat of replacement by automation. While the term “human strengths” sounds like something straight out of a comic book or sci-fi movie; we are talking about soft skills.

Soft skills are not new, but the way we use them in the future will be more important than ever. It is no longer enough to simply possess the actual technical skills needed to perform a job; employees will need more to stay relevant in their roles. They will have to have the right combination of soft skills, technical and digital skills to succeed. Here are the top soft skills considered to be the hardest to find and most valued for future employment:

  • Communication: Both written and verbal communication skills are included in this top skill category. As we move further into the digital age you should know how to effectively convey information in a variety of styles and formats, e.g. in a one-on-one setting, in a team meeting, over the phone, on social media, and via email. These skills are especially critical when working across teams. Bad communication skills can lead to mistakes, misunderstandings, missed deadlines and mistrust. Continually work on these skills by having people review what you write and asking co-workers for constructive feedback on your communication skills.
  • Customer Service: Everyone expects more. The bar on customer service has been rising for years, and will not stop as we continue to move toward a digital world. People expect you to move faster, smarter and to go above and beyond to resolve any issue or assignment. There is a low tolerance for poor customer service. You need to know you are always on the front lines, even if you aren’t specifically in what is considered a customer service job. Everyone has to show that they can handle situations with professionalism and grace.
  • Problem Solving: How you approach a problem, process the situation, generate ideas and implement solutions will be critical to your career success. This skill requires a real discipline for process and dedication; you have to be tenacious and results-focused. Anyone can identify a problem, but the ones who can reach efficient solutions will be able to build a reputation as a go-to person.

In addition to these top 3 soft skills, other highly valued soft skills included collaboration, organization, leadership and management.

What else can you do to stay ahead of the robots? Keep learning. Gain new experience and experiences whenever possible. Consider ongoing training, volunteer work or online classes. Keep evolving.

For more information on the changing world of work, check out the Skills Revolution 2.0 report