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8/16/2020 - Shoot for the Moon – What Skills Will Really Boost Your Employability?

by Laura Butler

With the employment environment constantly changing, we are likely to see the emergence of new professions as well as the disappearance of many outdated ones within the following decade. The so-called ‘growth mindset’ has become a prerequisite for all of us rather than something only relevant for top performers. Shooting for the moon seems to be the only option as uncertainty becomes the only certain thing about the future labor market in many industries. Below we will analyze the skills that will boost your employability in 2020

Soft Skills
If your professionalism has reached the point above the ‘industry average’, emotional intelligence, and soft skills become a must for your future advancement. The most basic one of them is networking or the capability to build networks of trusted contacts allowing you to realize major projects, find new orders or pursue professional development goals. Team-building and communication skills are equally beneficial for both regular employees and managers having to improve the performance and cohesion within their subordinate units. Finally, cross-cultural awareness is becoming critical for modern companies operating across multiple time zones and relying on teams including remote workers from all over the world.

Learning and Team Building Skills
This name is used by many professional coaches to designate the skills that are highly useful for multiple areas of your professional operations. Learning capabilities may be a good example of this category since most well-paid professions are rapidly developing and require frequent ‘rehashing’ of what we already know. The 4C model includes communicating, creative thinking, critical thinking, and collaborating elements. They are responsible for the capability to acquire and structure new information, use creativity, and communicate ideas within established media to facilitate the learning of others. Being able to learn new skills, delegate important tasks, and brainstorm the developed concepts is critical for almost any profession of your choice. You also have to be able to teach and coordinate others if you want to use the powerful leverage of a well-built team to reach your professional goals faster.

Personal Branding Skills
In the modern world, people need to be aware of your achievements in order to employ your services or promote your career. Maintaining your online portfolio is a must for freelancers surviving in a gig economy but is equally critical for fully-employed professionals in the highly turbulent labour market. It is preferable to maintain your own website to be independent of any technical problems of third-party platforms. Another good option is writing articles for professional blogs, moderating professional forums or engaging in online discussions related to your spheres of competence. If you are well-known for your expertise and regularly receive job offers from multiple sources, your employment stability is securely protected.

Basic HTML and Coding Skills
Let us face it, almost everyone can learn how to make a basic website after 3 months of training. The significance of coding skills and digital expertise has been promoted in recent years by such unexpected proponents as Will.i.am, one of the founders of the Black Eyed Peas band. There is no way around whether you want to develop a personal blog, become more versatile as a freelance designer or simply ensure that you always have alternative career paths if your industry segment collapses due to some digital disruption trend. This also ties in with the ‘complex problem-solving’ requirement posed by multiple employers since being aware of the functional elements of modern projects allows you to better understand their technical limitations and the best ways to manage them.

Hard and Soft Digital Skills
The development of big data solutions is expected to fully change the ways decisions are made in most industries within the following several years. A modern manager, marketer or software developer cannot accurately predict future trends and customer needs without exploring the vast arrays of information that cannot be processed by a single person anymore. If you belong to one of these professions, you may want to start exploring the current trends and popular solutions in cloud computing and data analytics right now to start building your awareness and competence.

Time Management
The gig economy is here. While it may not be blatantly obvious for most full-time employees yet, corporations are starting to use more and more freelance workforce from multiple time zones to address demand fluctuations and allocate workloads more effectively. In just several years, many talented professionals may become freelancers with multiple employers and a complex schedule of intermediary submissions, project coordination milestones, and conference calls at 4 A.M. Time management is another meta-skill allowing you to manage your work/life balance and ensure that you can reasonably ‘squeeze in’ more tasks within a limited time span.

Leadership Skills
Last but not least, your development as a professional may be hindered by the need to build a qualified team of subordinate specialists or organize your own company to realize your strategic vision. In all of these cases, you will have to understand complex personal motivations, find ways to increase staff engagement, and effectively delegate some tasks. While leadership skills may be highly complex to develop, they can open new horizons for your professional growth.

A recent IBM study identified that up to 120 million workers will require re-training or career adjustments in the nearest future due to the emergence of modern technologies, automation, and AI development. As no one can predict how these disruptions will change various industries, your best course is to become self-guided in your personal development. Make sure that you allocate sufficient time to build your own personal brand and spend at least one hour on a daily basis developing alternative skills and soft skills. You can also use popular free business resources for entrepreneurs or career-driven individuals to assist you in remedying knowledge deficiencies in your areas of choice. Keep in mind that the occurring changes may be both a burden and a window of opportunity since new challenges can only be faced by a minor share of specialists with good foresight. Hence, investing time and resources in the development of such competencies can make you a highly demanded professional in your sphere of competence in just several years.

Laura Butler is co-owner at Outreach Lab, who specializes in providing content writing and SEO services to businesses around the world. Having worked in multiple start-ups over the years, she has experience in building businesses from the ground up. Laura enjoys writing content on a variety of topics, from business strategy, sustainability, to marketing, and SEO.

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