Coffee-fuelled cars, firefighting drones, wifi from space. I’m not describing a Scene from Star Wars here - these are some possible realities of our future - and the future is just around the corner. So what skills will be in demand in this new future?
The World Economics Forum says that we are on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution, and you don’t need to be working for NASA to know that it is going to be a big one.
The next few decades are going to bring technological and biological advancements like we’ve never seen before. Meaning that industry 4.0 will be mind boggling for us all to say the least.
So as we prepare use our brain waves as computer passwords, we should probably also be wondering — what are some skills of today, that are likely to become sought-after skills of the future?
Here are five skills we think will be in high demand:
Being able to think on your toes will get you a long way in a future full of curveballs. Imagine your brain following a gymnast going through a floor routine at the Olympics; swinging on bars, jumping through rings, balancing on a bean. The better you can adapt to a change of equipment, the easier you’ll be able to swing, jump and balance between different ways of thinking.
Tips for flexing your neurons? Always be on the lookout for new things to learn, take a short course in customer service or take up a hobby like painting.
When your boss is a robot with his emails on auto pilot, social skills will be more important to have than ever.
Robots are great for a lot of things. Especially getting you through the supermarket queue after work at peak shopping hour. But they will probably never be able to interact socially in the way humans do.
Social interactions are probably the most ‘human’ experience there is. Brushing up on your ability to negotiate with your co-workers, and actively listen to your clients needs will have recruitment officers knocking at your door—if they haven’t been replaced by robots by then!
3. Judgement and decision-making for conflict
Being able to read the room is going to become your best asset when we live in a society full of screens.
Many of us spend way too much time on our phones, making superficial connections without any kind of emotional exchange, meaning that nowadays we have less personal awareness and emotional intelligence.
Learning how to use positive conflict management strategies and collect ‘social data’ to reduce anger, stress and conflict, for yourself and others in the workplace will increase your better judgement and give you an advantage when it comes to decision-making.
4. Emotional Intelligence
When all of the technical skills are covered by algorithms and operating systems, qualities such as persuasiveness, emotional intelligence, and the ability help others learn will be in high demand for new industries to come.
New approaches in the workplaces of the future are going to be needed to get the best out of people, and that is where this soft skill comes in.
Emotional intelligence means having the ability to adapt ourselves to situations based on what is happening around us.
5. Coordinating with others
Being able to work as part of a team is the most important ability to have in this digital day-and-age. When have you ever seen a group of robots work together? Try replacing ‘robots’ in that sentence with ‘iPhones’, ‘computers’, ‘self-service checkouts’ - you get what I mean!