The employment landscape continues to change. Over the past two decades, technology has become increasingly present in our every day and working lives – and that’s unlikely to change. As Industry 4.0 takes shape, advanced robotics, immersive technologies, smart manufacturing and artificial intelligence are becoming staples in the working world.
With technology’s continuing and rapid evolution, specific skills are more in demand now than ever before. Whether you’re in manufacturing, or you’re in a different industry entirely, these skills can serve you well as you look to fill a new role or excel at your current role. If you want to keep up with the changes that technology brings to the job market, these are the skills that you should have in your back pocket.
The Top Six Skills that Transcend Industries
Investigating data and finding solutions to problems quickly and efficiently is a skill that’s valuable regardless of what industry you’re in. Quantitative analysis will have you relying on data, but other forms of analysis will have you analyzing problems, situations, or even people to make informed decisions and take actions to further a project towards a goal.
Honing your analytical skills, both with data and in other situations, can help you become indispensable in any industry.
No matter what job you’re working, you can almost guarantee that your job will involve teamwork at some point. Collaboration is a highly valuable skill. If you can work with others productively and efficiently, you’ll be able to meet all kinds of goals, and learn new technology as it’s released.
The basis of collaboration is trust and positive rapport. If you can understand multiple viewpoints, meet expectations, manage team priorities, and keep everyone positively engaged, you can maintain a collaborative team. Keeping everyone on the same page and making sure that everyone has what they need to effectively work together, that’s valuable in every line of work.
Sometimes, the ways that you would traditionally solve a problem or approach a task simply don’t work. You need to be able to think outside the box to solve problems and address challenges. Being a creative thinker can help you, your team, and your organization to move in a more productive direction.
If you want to work on your creative thinking skills, there are a variety of ways that you can hone them. Try brain games like riddles, crossword puzzles, or number games, take on a new recreational hobby, or spend time shadowing a highly creative person.
4. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence allows you to evaluate and appropriately respond to both your emotions and the emotions of others. Some say that this is an innate skill, while others say that this skill is learned and can be strengthened.
In a workplace, emotional intelligence is vital, especially when considering the connections between coworkers. Maintaining healthy working relationships between coworkers demands a certain level of emotional intelligence. If you can provide that to your workplace, you have a highly in-demand skill.
5. People Management
If you’re a person who can easily build and maintain strong relationships, keep teams on track, and understand the needs of other people, you have strong people management skills.
People management is a mixture of hard and soft skills. You must be personable, manage stress well, communicate clearly, and show empathy. Beyond that, you must have the skills required of you for your job, and for leading a team under you.
If you want to dip your toe into management, start with developing your soft skills – work on clear communication and empathy. Try speaking up often in meetings or even ask to lead a small project. These can be good, small steps towards becoming a people manager.
Things change rapidly – and not just technology. It may be that your company grows quickly, or that your department merges with another department. You may be asked to take on a new role or have a new teammate come on board.
Adaptability is a key skill in the workplace. In fact, adaptability is a key skill for most workplace leaders as well.
To be successful, we must be willing to change and adapt to change as it happens. We must take on new technologies and processes, handle unusual situations, and make decisions based on our best judgment.
If you struggle with adaptability, you can practice by saying “yes” to new experiences or making decisions more often – even if the question is simply what you want for dinner.
These six skills will serve you well, regardless of what industry you work in. Especially if you’re looking towards a future working with rapidly changing technology (as we all are!), these skills will help you to stay competitive in the tech-centric job market.