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future of work skills needed for tomorrow's world

Future of work: The skills needed in tomorrow’s world

Much of the information we read on the future of work in the world paints a dark dystopian view of it, with AI taking your jobs and the needless reliance on actual people is wasteful and prohibited. The reality is, the transition to the future has already begun and it’s amazing.

The world as painted by my teachers and career advisors has been and gone, the roles that drive businesses didn’t exist then and the skills they highlighted as differentiators have already been moved to the minimum expectations or no longer required.

The future skills we need to be successful are changing and only our willingness and ability to learn and adapt will mean we can stay ahead in the rapidly evolving demands of the modern workplace.

AI and other technologies are designed to help the way we live our lives and drive the increased level of content we consume, like Spotify, Netflix or Twitter. But the “always-on”  nature of content does not change the choices we make. Was that show good? Did I like that playlist? Do I agree with the sentiment or opinions expressed? 

What does the future of jobs look like and how do we prepare for it?

At Learning Pool we’ve undertaken a meta-analysis of the work carried out by groups such as McKinsey’s, Pearson, The World Economic Forum, LinkedIn, and Intuition.  We’ve mixed that with our own views and, crucially, the views of our clients to create our Future Skills Library.

AI, globalization, demographics, and environmental issues will not see the end of job opportunities but will see significant changes in the kind of work we do in the future.

In some industries the future is now, for some, the indicators are that the future will not fully hit until nearer 2030, but what is clear is that the future for all jobs will be different and action should be taken now.

What are the key trends?

The first key trend (and the biggest driver for change) is technology. Will Quantum Computing be an opportunity or a threat to your organization? How will Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology impact you?  Are Blockchain and AI the present, the future, or the past?  

Ensuring your own skills are up to date is crucial, but for managers and executives, it will also be vital to exploit the technological changes strategically. The rise of data, cognitive skills around critical thinking, judgement and decision-making based on data will be needed.

The second key trend reflects the degree of uncertainty. All the research points in the same general direction but all acknowledge that the future will not be exactly as forecast, so there is a real focus on elements such as adaptability, creativity, and people development. Darwin is often (wrongly) attributed as saying ‘the species that survive will be the one most adaptable to change’.

The third key trend is largely the continued development of existing “soft” skills. This has been an area of importance for many years and will continue to be but in subtly different ways.  The increasing growth of “knowledge” workers, the proliferation of freelancers, the changing shapes of organizations, and the development of remote working means that qualities such as empathy, leadership, coordinating and collaboration, negotiation and communication will be in the vanguard of future requirements.  Clearly, the need to win friends and influence people will not be swept away in the technological tsunami but rather a greater premium will be placed upon them.

The final trend focuses on a more organizational level, with the need for individuals and organizations to take more of an entrepreneurial perspective, changing perspectives towards risk-taking, courage, and persistence. In addition, there are requirements to develop a true service orientation towards both internal and external customers.

Accordingly, Learning Pool has created and maintained a content library to support 12 key future skill areas, vital in the development of all organizations:  Talent Development, Negotiation, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Service Orientation, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Delivering with others, People Management, Adaptability, Building Relationships and Communication. The content is specifically designed to promote self-directed learning and is refreshed in each area regularly to capture the present trends to develop and stretch learners to their best and brightest as tomorrow’s skills become today’s. 

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