In this rapidly changing and unpredictable world, it’s getting harder and harder to keep the lights on. However, it’s hard for those who do not possess essential skills. In this article, not only will you find out which soft skills will keep your power on, but also allow you to boost earnings in almost any field.
To form a skill, you need to acquire knowledge and work it out in practice. Knowledge is information that we receive and remember for ourselves. There are many sources of knowledge: books, articles, lectures, personal communication, and advice from a mentor.
Let's take driving a car as an example. The study of the structure of the car, traffic rules, and the theory of driving is knowledge.
The application of knowledge in practice is a skill. Take for example the skill of driving around the city. We start by accepting that the skill is not yet formed.
The skill will be formed when the ability reaches automatism. Thus, we learn to perform the task well, regardless of changes in external conditions. Confident driving regardless of the weather, emergency situations, and other external factors is a skill.
In modern management theory, skills are divided into hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills help you perform specific tasks with a verifiable measurable result: driving a car, programming in Java, or knowing Spanish. Soft skills are flexible, they help to solve life and professional tasks with a result that is difficult to track and verify. For example, communication with colleagues, time or project management. Most educational programs emphasize hard skills. Flexibility complements them and gives additional qualities.
We’ve covered specific hard skills for high-demand tech jobs in our recent blog post, while in this one we will focus on soft ones.
Despite the changing formats of interaction due to the pandemic, communication has been and remains one of the most important skills and part of relationships - both personal and professional. In 2022 and beyond, you need to bet on the skill of online communication.
The skill of communication in alignment with persuasion is the ability to not only to get your point across in a way that will be accepted but rather to choose arguments in such a way as to encourage others to act in the interests of the project.
This soft skill is valuable for both employees and employers. To develop it, you first have to gain confidence in yourself and what you are doing.
To get theoretical knowledge of the art of effective communication, start with books like “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade” by R. Cialdini or “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury.
After theory, move on to practicing and honing the skill in real-life situations. Every time you have to negotiate or convince someone, use the techniques from the books.
The only non-renewable resource is Time. Its transience makes time even more valuable, and, accordingly, the skill of time-management – an essential for success.
Time management allows you to complete tasks without having to work overtime. Moreover, it helps to do more than the norm in order to stand out from the rest. Good time management also reduces the stress of work, gives focus, calmness, and a sense of control.
The pandemic has also made an impact: on the one hand, remote work required us to have great skills in organizing our time, on the other hand, many, having left the offices, lost their “controllers” from the outside and were able to organize their work in the way that suits them.
The main thing to remember is that a person who really has the skill of time management never puts off things for later - he just correctly prioritizes.
Must-read time-management books are D. Allen’s “Getting Things Done” and “Deep Work” by Cal Newport.
This is a very difficult skill, but no less important for career and life success. Teams need visionaries who can make decisions, support, and lead them. The leader directs and "infects" the team with an idea. Leaders in 2022 will face the increasing need to learn how to find a balance between a strategic assessment of the situation and risks, as well as the ability to negotiate with the team and resolve conflicts.
To be a leader, you need to take responsibility: offer your ideas or act on behalf of the entire team. The leader does not have to be a manager: informal leaders often manage employees much more effectively.
If you want to learn more about leadership and develop the qualities you need, read Simon Sinek's book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” or watch his speech on TED Talks.
Perhaps 2020 made you think that you are not in control of the situation, but in fact changes always occur independent of our actions - the only question is how appropriately and quickly we respond to them. This is what adaptability is all about.
In the current format of work, employees often meet online, communicate with colleagues in correspondence, and adapt to the multinational characteristics of colleagues. Acceptance of the situation and the ability to adapt to it will be more useful than ever. The pace of change will only increase.
Experts say the best way to develop this skill is to let go of the situation, accept that change is a constant, and overcome the fear of the unknown.
To master this skill, pay attention to books “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by D. Kahneman and “Lean Change Management: Innovative Practices For Managing Organizational Change” by J. Little.
The development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is rushing at breakneck speed, and the world will never be the same. It carries numerous benefits, such as technological advancements and increased efficiency of modern business solutions. Yet due to AI and increased automation, many types of jobs will disappear in the foreseeable future.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution reshapes the future of work, people should be prepared for the new world that lies ahead. This often means an increased focus on continual learning, upskilling to new types of jobs, and a commitment to diversity. Here’s exactly where the skill of learning quickly comes in handy!
A quick learner possesses the type of thinking and practical skills that allow them to constantly develop, grow and use new strategies to solve increasingly complex problems.
The willingness to invest time in self-development is the key to success. This will help you stay one step ahead of others. And also find new ideas that will make you a more valuable employee.