The hard and soft skills you need for jobs of the future largely depend on the rapidly changing world of technology. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, consider these areas of expertise that could help you land your dream job.
Think about what it takes to get ahead when you learn to use a new technological tool. You train yourself on the basics, but then you employ one of your many soft skills to motivate yourself to learn more. Do you spend time going through every menu choice on a new piece of software? Do you download the app associated with the software so you can go mobile? Motivating yourself to develop new hard skills adds value to your current employer and improves your standing when you want a promotion or a higher salary.
The ability to adapt quickly to a sudden situation is a vital addition to your arsenal of soft skills. A technological tool may change an industry overnight when an algorithm produces new analytics or a piece of hardware manufactures something much more efficiently. When market forces change, you have to alter the way you do things. Otherwise, you're left behind while your competitors forge ahead.
Networking represents one of the most important soft skills for any time — not just the future. A national survey conducted in early 2016 reports that 71 percent of HR professionals believe employee referrals are the best sources of top talent. Relationships hold the key to creating professional success as you advance your career.
You must understand what happens when you react to sudden changes in your work environment. This self-awareness is a soft skill because you cannot lose yourself in a toxic work environment, become unhealthy while working long hours or try to work in company culture that doesn't fit your personality. Because the labor market is highly competitive, you should have no problem finding a company that fits your values and edifies your professional life.
No one expects you to become a computer hacker, but basic knowledge of computer coding is one of the most vital hard skills you need for future employment. You might have to troubleshoot a remote sensor, fix a software bug or understand what happens when a computer system crashes. Knowing computer coding is a great skill to have for any job, so learn a few basic tenets of some well-known computer languages to diversify your skill set. Consider languages that coders use for apps, and learn how to navigate the programming of operating systems. Coding skills may well push you ahead of other candidates when all other things are equal.
The hard and soft skills you need for your job change over time, but this particular set prepares you for jobs of the future. Keep abreast of the skills required for positions, and you may find yourself coming out ahead when compared with other candidates vying for the same position.
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