Student Life

Top Ten Key Skills for Tomorrow’s Jobs

Andrea Piacquadio/

The World Economic Forum summarized the key competencies for 2020. And this raises many questions. First of all, it’s all about so-called “soft skills”, in other words psychological and behavioral skills. Secondly, these skills raise a major question: how can they be developed? And this is not so simple since it involves going beyond our usual functioning.

The job market and our global economy are changing. Digital is largely the source of this transformation, but it is now impacting uses, skills and behaviors. From an HR point of view, recruitment processes are no longer the same, tools have been digitized and hierarchical relationships have been standardized. So how do you identify the profiles of the future? What are the key competencies for tomorrow’s work? How do we recognize an employee’s potential?

1. Solving complex problems

Based on the study conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) among employees in 15 countries, the first key skill for tomorrow’s work is solving complex problems. These are only skills in the sense of know-how, not soft skills.

Having the ability to solve complex problems is a clear advantage for a company. The loss of time and money in a crisis situation is never positive for a company. For the employee, this skill implies an ability to take a step back, to analyze and to put things into perspective, which is not obvious, but which is valuable on a professional and even personal level.

Therefore, when companies are looking for someone who can solve problems, they are looking for someone who is both independent enough to be able to set up the problem and who can also draw on the company’s resources to provide solutions without having to refer to a supervisor at all times.

Today, we hear about companies that are looking to use the potential of their employees, and the companies that do so are bound to win the challenge. Indeed, many can contribute ideas. Already promoting contacts between employees is promising.

2. Critical thinking

Among the key competencies for tomorrow’s work, critical thinking plays an important role. What does this mean in practice? Critical thinking, or critical thinking, simply means having a definite opinion about what surrounds us. Beware, the meaning of the word “critical” is not pejorative here. Knowing how to criticize an idea, a project, means being able to identify its qualities and defects in order to make things move forward in the right direction as well as in the wrong. A project manager with critical thinking skills will be much more valuable in tomorrow’s working world than an indecisive employee who does not give an opinion.

3. Creativity

Creativity is often a skill associated with image professionals. To be a graphic designer, photographer, designer, you need creativity, it is undeniable, but it is a key skill for many other professions. Being creative is simply letting your ideas speak for themselves and trying to make the most of them. It’s not an exact science and in many cases it doesn’t lead to a finished project, but it’s the creation of the idea that’s important. For the workers of tomorrow, creativity will be particularly useful, because it will make it easier to renew oneself and not to stay on what one has learned for too long.

Indeed, being creative allows not only to find faster and more efficient solutions to problems, especially to the most complex ones, but also to have a certain creative vision of the future, and therefore to be a source of innovation.

If creativity is partly innate, it is always possible to work and develop this potential in order to put it at the service of one’s career. Creativity is now one of the “soft skills” so coveted by employers. It can make the difference, whether it is during an internal recruitment by allowing you to differentiate yourself from your colleagues, or during an application for a position outside your current company.

4. Team management

Knowing how to lead a team requires certain skills accompanied by a clever mix of behaviors and experiences. Certainly some people have an innate gift for managing, but it is also possible to learn how to become a good manager. Here are some of the skills required to lead a team.

Being a team leader, the manager has more power of influence than his collaborators. You will often be confronted with situations that require you to make important decisions for the future of your projects and for the good of your team.

When your roadmap is established, you will have to ensure that decisions are implemented and the objectives to be pursued are clear for each of your collaborators. Define the tasks to be accomplished and organize your team accordingly.

A good manager needs to build trust and respect among his employees to make them want to follow him. And this is not something that can be decreed but acquired over time.

5. Coordination

The fifth key competency in this list joins the previous one, as coordination and team management are two related elements. Where team management identifies the right subordination links and determines managerial profiles, coordination makes everyone’s work more fluid.

Faced with the multitude and complexity of the tasks to be accomplished, individual action quickly gives way to collective action. Collective action requires the establishment of an organization with a division of work. This division of work requires coordination to ensure that everyone’s actions are directed towards the common goal of the organization.

6. Emotional intelligence

Emotions generally tell us how well we are meeting our own needs and those of those around us. It is a very quick form of analysis, felt in the body. Several researches show that we have enough neurons in the heart and other viscera to consider that they embody a brain in themselves. Our emotions are therefore carriers of intuition and knowledge, and can help us to see more clearly, to show discernment in a given situation.

According to the American psychologist Daniel Goleman, who popularized the concept of emotional intelligence, leaders or managers who are equipped with it will not only detect when their employees are struggling with so-called destructive emotions, such as fear or anger, but they will also do everything they can to help them get out of it. To do so, these same managers will benefit from recognizing these emotions when they themselves are struggling with them.

 For example, an American company that had forbidden its employees to have coffee alone at the office and therefore obliged them to gather around the coffee machine. As a result, sales had increased by $15 million and the employee satisfaction index had also risen. Why? The company’s social capital, fueled by exchanges, had skyrocketed.

Currently, organizational situations are changing at a rapid rate. Organizations are facing unprecedented technological, economic and social challenges. Building on old habits to deal with new challenges is certainly not helping to achieve goals. Organizations are therefore called upon to move beyond them to adapt to today’s realities while transforming themselves on an ongoing basis. Emotional intelligence and an attentive presence make it possible to become aware of our habits of thought and to review them. An organization will therefore benefit from cultivating these capacities so that its actors recognize and go beyond the limits of their usual strategies in order to develop new, more adapted ones. In fact, our ability to learn and innovate depends on our capacity to welcome and investigate our experiences with benevolence, whether they are pleasant or not. And a true leader will help his team members recognize that while acting in a certain way may have been effective in the past, now the solution lies elsewhere. We are therefore entering an era where organizational players benefit from seeing each other as partners in learning and innovation.

7. Judgment and decision making

Decision-making is the most important act that an individual can take, in time and space, regardless of his or her social or hierarchical position in society.

Within the company, decision-making takes on an even more important dimension since it is based essentially on the information held by managers, which enables them to make decisions in line with the expected objectives. Every day, the busy company manager has to analyze many situations and make several decisions of varying importance.

Each decision is the result of a complex process that generally involves two ways of thinking: looking back to understand the past and looking forward to predict the future.

In fact, knowing how to make decisions is the guarantee of a successful life, whether it is private or professional. It is also the guarantee of quickly reaching the goals set. However, those who hesitate and procrastinate constantly waste a lot of time and energy to achieve very little in the end. These people have lost too much energy in hesitation and are exhausted when it comes time to act, hence the daily risk that less well-informed business leaders run of making bad decisions.

8. Concern for customer service

More than customer service, tomorrow’s key competence is the care of customer satisfaction. Being sincerely concerned about the well-being of its customers is a rare quality. All too often we worry about the economic viability of the company before thinking about the impact our products have on the end consumers. More than just an ethical issue, customer satisfaction is essential to the durability of a company, especially in the era of social networks where word of mouth has become global.

9. Negotiation

The skill most required by Purchase Managers is negotiation. Of all the skills mentioned in the classified announcements by Purchasing Managers, negotiation is the only one that appears in more than 30% of the cases. So if you’re looking for a job in Purchasing, check out the following tips.

Practice. Negotiation is an interactive and dynamic process. The best way to improve is actually to negotiate. When you do so, you need to define your goals before you start. Evaluate what you did well and what you did less well, and identify these points so you can learn from your mistakes.

Study other negotiators who can provide insight into techniques and approaches that you can adopt. Perhaps ask a colleague if you can attend their next negotiation.

Negotiation is a must. It is present everywhere and at different levels. It is present in our professional and personal lives.

And more concretely, it is very present in our lives as entrepreneurs. Knowing how to negotiate, or at least starting to learn how to negotiate, is an obligation for every entrepreneur.

10. Cognitive flexibility

Cognitive flexibility refers to the ability to move from one cognitive task to another, or from one behavior to another as required. It is also the ability to think about several possibilities at a given time to solve problems.

This is clearly a challenge of the beginning of the 21st century. Indeed, the simultaneity of information processing or speed of execution of tasks has become a quality at work.

The generation of Millennials undoubtedly has an important capacity of cognitive flexibility being trained from their childhood. At the same time, this quality can also develop throughout their lives, within the limits of their innate intellectual capacities.

Cognitive flexibility takes us away from our true self, since we do not respect the normal functioning of the brain. The main consequence of abuse is intellectual fatigue, which will slow us down later on in the performance of other tasks. It is therefore prudent to observe oneself before finding oneself in a situation of rupture. Finally, since it is all about training, everyone can progress.

About the author

Floyd Porter

I'm a writer and content creator, i also do freelance teaching, translation, and copywriting work, I love music, movies and video games, I'm passionate about social media and can't live without the internet, especially for all the interesting stories out there ;)

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