Future-proof your career with these skills

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Think of your career or work life as a lifelong marathon with different obstacles at every corner. Although we don’t know what the workplace will look like in a few years, you can boost your long-term prospects with these tips.

Your employability is the measure at which you are likely to be hired. And according to stats by Korn Ferry, a global organisational consulting firm, come 2030, there will be a worldwide human-talent shortage of more than 85 million people. Here are the soft skills (character traits and personality) and hard skills (learned abilities that are practised and perfected) you should master to improve your employability measure.

Soft skills for success

Written and verbal communication skills are important because they help you to clearly express yourself in the workplace. You’ll be able to grasp expectations from your manager and gain a better understanding of your tasks. Communications skills also provide you with the tools to build better relationships with co-workers and clients.

Top tip: You could do short writing or communication courses, or join organisations that offer public-speaking training, such as Toastmasters.

Things don’t always go as planned, so being adaptable helps you to be more resilient and flexible. Due to technological advancement, every industry is experiencing rapid and dramatic change. Most companies value employees who are agile and keen to stay relevant. For example, keeping up to date with the latest software in your industry demonstrates your level of adaptability.

Top tip: Sign up for newsletters to keep up with industry trends, and enquire about courses or training sessions too. Share any relevant skills with your co-workers.

Conflict resolution
Maintaining healthy work relationships is essential as it facilitates teamwork. It also allows for a more collaborative workplace. A big part of this is being able to resolve conflict between co-workers.

Top tip: When an issue arises between you and a co-worker, address it delicately but directly.

Hard skills for success

Data analysis and interpretation
From digital ads to improving industry processes, products or content, data is everywhere. Some common skills that are in demand include proficiency in Microsoft Excel, being able to analyse web or customer analytics and data visualisation (e.g graphs and charts). Tech skills such as software development, testing and coding are also beneficial.

Top tip: Do online courses and shadow a colleague who has a strong set of data skills.

UX design
User experience (UX) is the process of creating a meaningful experience for a user. It may involve design, branding, usability and function. Take, for example, an app. From design to functionality, the UX designer takes the user’s experience of using the app into consideration. Critical thinking and empathy, and writing, coding, visual and analytical skills are key for UX designers. 

Top tip: Besides online courses, try to gain the skills needed for UX such as those listed above.

Artificial intelligence (AI)
From machine learning to data analysis, many regard AI as the future, as it provides ‘extra hands’ to support employees at a company. This skill is expected to play a role across industries, but it’s especially useful for interacting with customers (e.g. smart email suggestions or automated service tips), business analysis and predictive algorithms (the use of data to predict events or actions of a user).

Top tip: AI may seem overwhelming, but a good place to start is data analysis. For basic data analysis and AI skills, there are many online courses on Udemy and Coursera.

For more career and workplace-related advice, read these helpful articles:

The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a professional. E&OE.


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