4 New Skills to Learn to Future-proof Your Career

The job market in 2018 is far removed from what previous generations have encountered. With new ideas, companies, products, and industries popping up all the time, millennials and younger professionals are aware that the position they are currently in may not be where they will stay forever.

While this may be due to personal reasons or changing interests, there is also the fact that the entire generation of current employees could potentially be replaced as their work begins to get outsourced or allotted to automation software.

This can be a terrifying prospect for both those who are currently seeking jobs and those who are in a position that they don’t want to lose. None of us know what the future will bring, but you can prepare for the changes and increase the likelihood that you remain employed by focusing on developing specific skills that will stand the test of time.

If you want to make sure that you are able to continue receiving a steady paycheck, here are four new skills to learn to future-proof your career.

1. How to continue to learn

The fact of the matter is that significant changes are coming to the global market, and so the learning curve is never going to be finished. You need to make a commitment to yourself and your future career that states that you will continue to pursue further education.

What you choose to learn will depend on the niche you operate in and the career path you are looking to walk down, but make sure that you are studying and building your cognitive and problem-solving skills.

There are many ways to keep learning after you leave university. You can subscribe to podcasts that are relevant to your interests, your career, or just something that you are curious about. Alternatively, you can make use of library resources, online workshops, or public training courses. By attending an expert-led training course and program, you can magnify your expertise and advance your career.

Not only does continuing your education provide you with the necessary skills and more in-depth insight into your role, but it also demonstrates a high level of commitment to your employer and others in the industry.

2. How to think in a multi-faceted way

At this point, technology is not able to think in the intricate, multi-faceted way that humans do. For this reason, it is essential that you increase your ability to think in a multi-faceted approach. This means being equipped with the tools necessary to shift from one perspective or one concept to another quickly, and to analyze various outlooks/ideas concurrently.

Being able to think in a multi-faceted way also requires a global mindset and a commitment to communicating with others respectfully and beneficially. Engaging with other people — whether they are clients, customers, or co-workers — will always be the prevailing form of communication in business.

Therefore, you must be able to think quickly on your feet, understand what the other side is saying, and work hard to find solutions. The more open you are to learning about how people work internationally, the more convenient it will be for you to operate successfully in the global marketplace.

3. How to negotiate

The art of negotiating is a skill that will always be in demand. Not everyone has the ability to communicate and think in a way that ensures they are shaking on a deal that is the most beneficial to the company. Developing your negotiating skills takes time as you have to master how to merge negotiating tactics with psychology while retaining your objective.

If you are looking to boost your negotiating skills, keep these two tactics in mind:

  • Listening to the other thoroughly is critical

Too many people forget that in order to be a great negotiator, you need to be fully aware of what the other party wants and is willing to give up. How are you going to do that if you don’t give them the time and space to speak?

  • You have to leave your inhibitions outside the meeting room  

Being a tough negotiator means knowing when it is right to ask for more, to back off, and to be honest and turn down the offer on the table. You always have to keep your core company values and desires in mind and never stray too far away from what you want. To facilitate diplomatic negotiations, you have to be precise in knowing where your limits are.

4. How to brand yourself

In our modern-day society, we are all in charge of creating our own brand. Repeat after me: We are all brands. There is no point running from it; if you want to stay ahead in your career, you need to recognize and work on branding yourself in the most effective manner possible.

Branding is more than just social media postings; branding is the manner through which you quickly communicate who you are, where your values lie, and what you represent. Branding yourself means pinpointing what is unique about you and then finding a way to express that in a manner that produces an emotional response and gets others to sit up and pay attention to you.

In other words, you need to learn how to sell yourself and the product or service that your company provides. Talented salespersons will always be in demand.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In every aspect of life, change is the only constant, and nowhere is that more apparent than in our global market. Generally, it is believed that those who will be most affected by the increasing use of machines are construction workers, factory line workers and mechanics. And, those who are in professions involving creativity, problem-solving, healthcare, management, technical staff or engineers will be less affected.

However, regardless of whether you think that your job is in jeopardy or not, you should still focus on developing the above skills to ensure you can maintain a stable career where you and your skills are continually in need. Think a little ahead of the curve and you will do great!

What skills do you think are necessary for those who want to future-proof their career? Let us know in the comments below!

AUTHOR BIO

With over 20 years of experience in B2B marketing, Annick Nuyens first worked in the hospitality service industry and then moved to the knowledge industry. She currently works for Informa in the Dubai office, where she oversees marketing for public and inhouse training courses, conferences, exhibitions and managed events across the Middle East and Africa.

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