Essential Skills You Need for the Future of Work

In 2020, the World Economic Forum said that 50% of workers will need to learn new skills by 2025, and the pace of change isn’t expected to slow.

That means everyone has to commit to ongoing learning, upskilling, and gaining new skills. While it’s impossible to know every single skill that will be needed in the workplace of the future, some trends make it clear what to work on today.

What are the skills you should prioritise so that you’re ready to excel at work for years to come? Here are several to consider.

A Growth Mindset and Continuous Learning

This skill is a prerequisite for all the ones that follow. It’s easy to get settled and comfortable in what you already know and stop learning — or worse, see learning as a threat to your competence. 

A growth mindset recognises that you never stop improving and learning and that making mistakes is part of the process of getting better. With a growth mindset, you won’t fear failures and you’ll embrace new challenges, which makes you resilient and better prepared for the inevitable changes in the workplace.

To cultivate a growth mindset, work on embracing imperfection, seek out new challenges, and give yourself the grace to learn over time instead of expecting yourself to be perfect immediately. 

Collaborating In a Digital Environment

Today’s workforce is largely remote or works a hybrid schedule where several days are away from the office. That means everyone needs to get better at communicating and collaborating using technology, such as Slack, Zoom, and even email.

One of the things to keep in mind is that even though you’re working remotely and using technology like video conferencing to meet with colleagues, it’s still important to be professional and maintain your focus on the meeting. Dressing sloppily or being distracted is disrespectful to your coworkers.

There are also a variety of tools that can make working remotely on projects easier, including project management software and tools like virtual whiteboards. Using these solutions helps your team stay on the same page, take notes on what’s shared, and update projects with important information. 

Knowing how to use technology to communicate and work with others no matter where they are in the world will help you prepare for a future of remote and hybrid workplaces.

Understanding New Technologies

Learning how to use new technologies like AI and operating in the metaverse is another part of preparing for the future of work. While some worry that these technologies will replace human workers, the truth is that technology still needs humans to operate it, fact-check, and more. 

Discovering how AI tools like ChatGPT or other AI programmes can make you more productive and efficient can not only prove your value within your organisation but can also help you understand the shortcomings of technology and how you, as a human creative mind, add value to the process. 

Exploring the metaverse and how it might impact work in the future is another important learning opportunity. Many organisations already have metaverse training programmes and other virtual reality applications that help them onboard new employees, build team camaraderie, and work together in a virtual space without needing to be in the same room.

Technology will always transform work, and embracing these advances will help you stay relevant and capable as you move forward.

Building Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a collection of skills related to perceiving emotions, interpreting them, and responding appropriately. EI helps you build and maintain relationships, even as work becomes more remote and technology-focused. 

Someone who has high emotional intelligence is able to feel empathy and concern for others, manage emotions in tough situations, show sensitivity and understanding, and accept responsibility for mistakes and limitations. 

How can you improve your emotional intelligence? Take time to actively listen to others rather than preparing to respond. This can help you notice how they feel, especially when you pay attention to body language. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes also helps you build empathy, especially with those who are different from you.

Reflecting on emotional situations and how you might have responded differently is also key. Over time, you can start to understand both your emotions and how others feel, empathise without judgment, and respond in the most appropriate way.

Persuading and Inspiring Others

One final skill that is essential no matter what technologies transform work in the future is the ability to persuade and inspire. All leaders need to inspire their teams to do their best, and there are many situations where you’ll need to persuade a boss, employee, or stakeholder to see things your way.

The ability to help others see a vision of something better is a key attribute of great leadership, and it requires both persuasion and inspiration. To build these skills, work on understanding what motivates others. Then, ask questions to see how your plan fits into their needs. From there, point out the connections between their goals and your plan.

When you can persuade and inspire, you can advance your career by winning new roles, inspire your team to do their best, and persuade leaders in your organisation to take new paths in the industry.

Prepare For the Future of Work Today

Work is changing quickly, and it’s up to each worker to prepare themselves with the skills of the future. Knowing how to communicate and collaborate in a digital environment, use new technologies, and develop emotional and leadership skills are essential.

When you prepare for the future today, you’ll continue to thrive in the new world of work.

Indiana Lee

Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors on a regular basis. Indiana loves experiencing new things and sharing with others what she learns through her writing. You can chat with Indiana on twitter @IndianaLee3