Skills of the future: find out what they are and how to prepare

When we look back at previous generations, we see that it was very conceivable, and even usual, for individuals to complete their schooling to a certain degree, acquire a job, and stay there until retirement, with little problems or the need to change skills to accomplish their work. activities.

Clearly, the scenario has changed. Technological advances happen daily and the way we work is constantly transforming as we develop new possibilities in automation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and remote work.

We know that keeping up with all these changes and developments can be a difficult task, but there is no doubt that it is necessary. Just as several professions from a few decades ago no longer exist, many others will cease to exist or will be radically transformed in the coming years, opening up possibilities for new occupations based on new needs that have been emerging and will still emerge.

This scenario of profound and rapid transformations brings to light discussions about what skills the professionals of the future must develop to remain in demand and meet market demands.

The speed that the pandemic brought to the digital transformation of companies intensified our perceptions regarding these necessary skills, which are described in the report “The Future of Professions”, released in October 2020 by the World Economic Forum. Read below to find out what these capabilities are and how to prepare!

What are the skills of future professionals?

After interviewing more than 290 companies around the world, together totaling more than 7.5 million employees, the report presented the main trends and transformations in the market worldwide. Thus, a list of 15 essential skills for the professional of the future was established:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation
  2. Problem solving
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Creativity
  5. Leadership
  6. Use, monitoring and control of technologies
  7. Schedule
  8. Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
  9. Logical reasoning
  10. Emotional intelligence
  11. Developing tactics that improve user experience (UX)
  12. Customer focus
  13. Systems analysis and evaluation
  14. Persuasion and negotiation
  15. Active learning and learning strategies

As you can see, the focus is on intrinsically human skills, linked to the cognitive and behavioral spheres, but which allow work to be done jointly and intelligently with technology. We can divide them into 4 large groups:

1- Technical skills

In fact, technical skills, or hard skills, are essential to make the best possible use of the resources at our disposal. Being aware of advances and training yourself with study and practice is essential to adapt to the demands.

Know that you will not necessarily need to develop in-depth technical capacity in any applied technology, but understanding its importance and applications in your field is crucial.

2- Interpersonal and intrapersonal skills

Even more valued, soft skills go beyond the capabilities of using technology for operational tasks, bringing the subjective aspects of human relationships, such as emotions, communication and collective and collaborative work.

Regardless of whether they are highly digitalized or artisanal environments, organizations serve people, and knowing how to deal with and manage one’s own and others’ emotions is something that machines are not capable of doing and that can make work experiences and superior customer service.

Yet, dealing with all the changes in the world and at work will require flexibility, adaptability and stress tolerance at much higher levels than in past generations.

3- Guided critical thinking for problem solving

New and more complex problems will arise in society and in the job market, so having critical, creative and innovation-oriented thinking will be an essential skill for the professional of the future. More than that, it is already a desired differentiator for now.

Thinking outside the box and seeing opportunities in the unexpected is a human characteristic and decisive for the longevity of companies, which will need these skills to renew their processes, products and services with the greatest frequency and agility that the market demands.

4- Learning strategies

A valid point to enhance both technical and behavioral skills is the issue of continuous learning, the so-called lifelong learning, to acquire new knowledge that allows greater adaptability to changes, whether in functions, processes or ways of working in general.

“Requalification” and continuing education go far beyond the formal and traditional education system. It is necessary to develop the ability to understand the world through all possible interactions to add knowledge, from the most formal to the most informal, such as reading a novel or watching a TV series. This will add to your knowledge and personal and professional development and allow you to expand your imaginative and creative capacity.

The tendency is for opportunities for distance education and online teaching as a whole to increase, making the sharing of information, experiences and new learning increasingly accessible.

How to prepare and develop the skills of the future?

As you may have noticed, the future will require professionals to have much more strategic and social skills than operational ones, but they all have at their core a basic need: continuous learning.

Whether through courses, specializations, mentoring, psychological support, books or any other of the countless resources at your disposal to improve yourself, the important thing is to understand that preparing for the future and becoming a desirable professional (from now on!) means investing in your knowledge and emotional intelligence.

This is what will build and maintain the foundation for a successful career, regardless of changes and the evolution of technologies.

Important: remember that this is a thought and attitude that you must have both for yourself and encourage in your team, so that everyone can grow and develop together, enhancing their results.

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