Whether you’re already working for the past year(s) or or you’re the graduates of the year of 2021, it’s likely you’ll be wondering how to put yourself up for success in the ‘new normal’.
There are a lot of unknowns about what the world will look like post-coronavirus, but one thing is certain – life won’t return to how we once knew it. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
As novel job opportunities begin to emerge, what can you do to make sure you’re a strong candidate when navigating the competitive job market? A report by Deloitte Access Economics considers two-thirds of all jobs by 2030 will be made up of soft-skill-intensive occupations, so developing and enhancing these is key.
Flexibility and adaptability
Being flexible and adaptable is something we’ve all had to get used to over the last one year. But it’s also a crucial skill that every employer will be keeping an eye out for.
As we see a stark rise in the number of employees being able to work from home, it’s likely this new way of working will last after the pandemic passes.
While being flexible in work was once aligned with geographic mobility, it is now about having an open mindset, being able to work well under pressure, adjusting to new and unexpected deadlines, prioritizing tasks and, in some instances taking on additional responsibilities.
According to the latest survey, 41 percent of Malaysian employers considered problem-solving and critical thinking among the top soft skills candidates lacked.
In an era where navigating fake news and contrasting data is a daily struggle, it’s critical that you’re able to think clearly and rationally as you objectively evaluate information in order to make informed decisions. This is something you’re already likely to be doing even without realizing.
Good critical thinkers ask questions that can help them dig a little deeper. Questions such as: “what’s happening?”, “why is this important?”, “who is being affected?”, “where did the information come from?”, “can I be sure about the source?”.
Don’t believe that only managers should have the leadership skills – anyone can demonstrate good leadership.
Having good leadership skills is not strictly about supervising or managing others. Instead, it’s about communicating your strategy and vision while encouraging others and embracing feedback from colleagues and superiors. Being self-aware and holding yourself accountable is particularly important during these challenging times.
Even before coronavirus the growing digital skills gap was apparent across business worldwide. In fact, 82 percent of job vacancies now require digital skills of some kind.
However, the pandemic has accelerated the desperate need for specialist digital skillsets to help businesses become more aligned with today’s myriad technologies and platforms.
Although it’s unlikely that you’ll need to know every system or platform, demonstrating a solid working knowledge of data literacy, computer programming, big data, the Cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and more, will help catapult your profile above the rest.
Creativity and innovation
While we’ve seen machines and digital technologies take on roles in analytics and business operations, human beings are still unique in being able to think outside the box.
Creativity is not only associated with typically creative professions either – it is essential across every industry and sector. In the coming years, the business landscape is going to need to evolve and adapt rapidly – for example, anyone aspiring to work in business will need to be able to tap into their creative mindset in order to steer a business through challenges and opportunities that it faces.
Communication and emotional intelligence
Communication and social intelligence go hand-in-hand and there is still a need for genuine human connection and understanding in every job role.
To have good emotional intelligence is to be aware of, and demonstrate empathy for, others’ emotions and behaviors which is crucial, especially when people are feeling uneasy. And this is also where good communication skills are critical; as many of us continue to work from home, clarity in emails and at virtual meetings is a must to cement trust and retain high productivity levels.