9 April 2018
Ready for 2020: The In-Demand Skills You Need for the Digital Economy
Whether you’ve been in the workplace for decades, or are among the new crop of tech-savvy employees, you are probably finding yourself in the midst of massive upheaval. Organisations are updating, and in this brave new digitised world, the skills that were essential just a few years ago may be losing their appeal. So, what abilities will you need to master for 2020?
Social media and personal brand
Knowing your way around social media will continue to pay off in many ways. An increasing number of roles demand strong social media skills, so brushing up on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn gives you a bigger pool to choose from. Meanwhile, recruitment is happening without vacancies ever hitting the traditional advertising routes; the right skills and social media presence will see you being offered opportunities you weren’t even looking for.
The less direct benefits are equally intriguing. Building your personal brand means that you bring followers to any role. Your network of contacts are potential customers, suppliers, co-workers and influencers, so your online brand is valuable to your employer. Now is a good time to create and share a careful mix of interesting content that demonstrates your knowledge.
‘Paperless office’ was a buzz-phrase several years ago, but most of us still deal with a substantial heap of filing and form-filling. There are many devices to make it easier to capture information. Get in the habit of using technology like tablets with stylus pens for note-taking, start using electronic signatures, and explore smartphone apps that capture financial information such as receipts at the point of purchase.
Once paperless working becomes routine, you will find you spend less time on admin tasks, and become more organised. Demonstrating efficiency via digitisation makes you an attractive prospect to recruiters and customers alike.
If there’s one word you’ll hear a lot over the next few years, it is collaboration. There’s good reason for this – when employees become proficient with collaboration tools, productivity sees a measurable increase. Getting to grips with SharePoint, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams will position you well to join the collaboration party.
Conferencing, shared files, group chat and scheduling all become easier when integrated throughout an organisation. If two heads are better than one, then imagine the power of an entire team collaborating with ease!
Relationships and personalities
In spite of occasional media stories, we are not all about to be replaced by robots. Nothing replaces the personal touch, and in fact, many of the resource hours saved by technology will be diverted into customer service activities.
Relationships built on face-to-face contact are still king. Building them depends on strong awareness of yourself and others, so DISC profiles are worth investing in. DISC – dominance, influence, steadiness, conscientiousness – tests are used to discuss people’s behavioural styles in a way that allows teams to work together more effectively, and individuals to understand their strengths and limitations.
The common assumption is that STEM fields are not for creative types, but this could not be more wrong. Those able to make connections, and find new, innovative ways to solve problems are in demand. The combination of creativity and technical understanding are hard to beat.
There are many ways to stimulate creativity – try something new, listen to music, make something… or get out your old Lego collection and start building! As a business, brainstorm ideas with people in different roles, and build a culture where everyone feels able to volunteer their thoughts.