From virtual workplaces to gig work to robots, the past decade has seen major shifts in the world of work. With these shifts, the skills employers once valued in their employees have also evolved.
While education and training continue to play a critical role in helping job seekers land their dream jobs, most recent research shows that hard skills may not be the primary skills needed to help you land or keep a job in this new decade. In fact, a recent LinkedIn survey shares that 92% of talent professionals and hiring managers believe strong soft skills can help you stand out from the crowd (see our post, 7 Essential Soft-Skills for Getting and Keeping a Job).
No matter whether you’re in a job you love or currently pursuing new opportunities, here are 9 essential job skills that will help you excel in 2020:
Creativity – Every day new technologies and ideas emerge that allow employers to deliver new products and services. Employers want people who can take these new things and come up with creative ways to help increase productivity and profitability.
Flexibility – Today’s employers deeply value employees’ willingness to quickly shift and try new ideas and ways of doing things. With rapid advancements and constant access to information, strategies and systems that work one day may not work the next day. Employees who succeed are able and willing to shift focus and learn new skills swiftly and without complaint.
Critical Thinking – With access to so much information, successful employees must be able to make logical, well-thought out judgements. Rather than accepting everything you see or hear, it’s important to ask questions and think through arguments before developing conclusions about any work-related matters.
Leadership Ability – Leadership doesn’t just apply to high-level executives. Employers want employees that take initiative and make decisions that benefit others. Whether it’s motivating your team, supporting co-workers, being a role model, or even displaying self-confidence, consider your leadership ability and seek out opportunities to strengthen areas where you need to grow.
Problem-Solving – Technology can’t resolve every problem. In fact, for the many problems that technology solves, often even greater needs for solutions arise. This means employers need employees that can help them think through issues and come up with ways to address them.
Cultural Intelligence – More and more employers are making diversity and inclusion a top priority in their hiring strategies. This means employees must be willing to embrace differences regarding race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation and disability.
Collaboration (includes Virtual Collaboration) – Today’s workplace requires employees to interact and work together consistently. Also, with continual transitions to virtual workspaces, employers are looking for people who can not only work together in-person in physical offices, but who can also be productive and engage with others as a member of a virtual team.
Tech Savviness – These days, there are very few jobs that don’t require technical skills. Job seekers and employees must not only be aware of existing technology, but must also be continually open to learning how to use new equipment and systems.
New Media Literacy – In addition to knowing about technology overall, employers also value employees’ ability to assess and develop content that can be used across existing and emerging media forms (i.e. social media). They want employees that can create content that drives positive business outcomes, which includes increasing profits.
If you’re a job seeker with a disability, it’s likely that you employ a lot of the job skills mentioned more often than you think. Consider how you manage your day-to-day experiences and how these can be presented as forms of creativity, flexibility, problem-solving and more to potential employers.