How To Prepare For the Future of Work
Preparing for the future of work entails developing and improving skills that will likely be in demand as time progresses; the earlier you start, the easier it will be. It is important to note that you will not be able to simply learn a new skill and expect that to be the end of it – the world is rapidly changing and you will need to constantly hone your skills in order to adapt.
As important as developing work-related skills is, it is just as important to acquire habits that will safeguard your physical and mental health. Being skilled at work will not do you much good if you cannot manage your personal life. Here are some skills that will be needed for the future of work and habits you should develop to help manage your personal life.
Creativity is a trait most often associated with artists of all kinds; yet, it is not only an innate trait than some people have in larger quantities than others, it is also a skill that can be developed with training.
Even the most talented of artists train diligently for years, in order to improve and hone their skills. In much the same way, you can train yourself to think outside the box, which is a skill that will serve you well in any corporate environment.
The future workplace will be much more automatized, but for a long time, machines will not be able to compete with humans when it comes to creative thinking. Focusing on developing your creativity will guarantee you better positions in the business world.
A machine can be helpful in the decision-making process and accomplish linear tasks, but it cannot use imagination the way people can. The final decisions will still be left to you, and creative thinking will help you find the right solutions.
Machines will not be problem-solvers, because they lack the creative impulse you have. You can apply your knowledge to solve problems that haven’t been encountered before, in new and innovative ways.
A facet of creative thinking is the ability to adapt to new situations. The business world is rapidly changing, and the pace of innovation is likely to increase. Being adaptable will allow you to stay on top, regardless of the position you hold.
Creative thinkers will be in high demand in the future business world – their skills will be needed to solve problems and help companies adapt to a changing environment. Traditional methods will quickly become out-dated, and if you develop the skills that can help your company outpace the competition, you will become invaluable.
A general description of emotional intelligence would be the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions, as well as identify and interpret the emotional reactions of others. This is a skill developed since childhood, and some people are naturally more empathetic than others.
As with all skills, you can work on your emotional intelligence. It will not only help you manage your own emotions, making you a more effective and valuable employee, but will also allow you to understand people better and how to interact with them in a positive manner.
If you develop your emotional intelligence, you will be better at managing and motivating people, as well as working as part of a team. It is an intangible that cannot be seen as on a resume, but people with high levels of emotional intelligence quickly become invaluable to any company.
The ability to navigate difficult social situations will allow you to climb the ladder in your company, and will help you get the best out of the people you lead. Charisma and emotional intelligence are deeply intertwined, and will be as important in a future workplace as they are now.
One of the primary skills that will be in demand in the future workplace will, without a doubt, be tech-related skills. Whether it is developing new technologies, or operating and maintaining existing ones, people without tech skills will be hard-pressed to advance in their workplaces.
Tech skills are already in high demand, and for a lot of jobs a basic requirement. As technology advances, companies will become even more dependent on the most advanced hardware and software available, and if you desire job security, you should constantly be improving your skills.
More than likely, you already use different software daily for work. The rate of innovation will only increase, and you will be forced to keep up if you wish to retain your position. Following the latest trends and continual improvement is the only option when it comes to tech-related skills.
The future workplace will heavily rely on the global labor pool. The global market is an infinitely larger resource for companies, than local ones. Hiring the most qualified staff from around the globe that can help them tap into these markets will become imperative for any company that wishes to succeed.
The advancement of technology is already allowing companies to diversify their labor pool, and expand into new markets. This trend will only increase with time, as the world gets more interconnected.
Different cultures have different sensibilities, and it will be on you to learn how to navigate those situations. Whether you are managing or working with people from different cultures, or attempting to entice new clients, you will need to be astute in how you handle delicate social situations.
It cannot be expected of you to know the intricate minutia of every culture you may come across, but it can be expected to have the ambition to do the research, as the situation demands. Even just learning the basic greetings goes a long way in establishing a respectful and friendly relationship.
The basis of cross-cultural competency skills is understanding that your way of thinking and understanding the world is not inherent to everyone. Over time, you will have different experiences that will help you understand traditions and customs intuitively, but developing these skills requires you to keep an open mind.
Time-management skills are important for any person, but as the future of work is likely to be dominated by telecommuting and project-based work, they will become invaluable to any person who wishes to be productive.
Telecommuting will allow more flexibility with your schedule and less direct oversight, which means that you will need to learn how to optimize your time. Managing work and home-life when working from home is a challenge; but it is one that you must overcome if you wish to develop a sustainable system that keeps you both productive and satisfied.
Project-based work is similar – you will have milestones and deadlines, but will have to figure out how to hit them largely on your own. Good time-management skills will allow you to increase your output.
Constantly being available for work is not good for your mental or physical health, while too much procrastinating will make you inefficient. You will need to learn to manage your time so as to delineate personal and work hours, while keeping a healthy balance of both.
Develop Healthy Habits
Developing habits that will help you stay physically healthy will be of the utmost importance for the future of work. You will be spending a lot of time inactive and glued to your computer screen while at work, so you should do your best to minimize the negative consequences.
Eat regularly and healthily, and try not to bring snacks into your workspace. Especially if you’re working from home, it can quickly become a habit to keep snacks next to your desk and munch on them throughout the day. Make a schedule of when you eat and stick to it.
If you are working from home, you will have more free time; use that time for exercising. Whether it is going to the gym, jogging, swimming, or even just walking, force yourself to perform some physical activity regularly. Over time it will develop into a habit that will help keep you fit, as well as improve your mental health.
Mental wellbeing is a health aspect that has often been ignored, unrightfully so. The future workplace will pose increased challenges to your mental health, and you would be advised to develop habits that can help protect your mental state.
A lot of people are already feeling isolated from their peers, and if most of your socializing happens at work, this can become a serious problem. You need to actively attempt to communicate with your co-workers – initially, it can be simple check-ups and status reports.
Over time it will become natural to communicate daily, and the conversations can become more friendly and intimate. You probably have a stronger relationship with your friends and family, but extending the habit of daily phone calls or messages to them would be recommended.
Finally, you should do your best to find group hobbies and offline hobbies, ideally both. Having a group of friends who you bond with over a common interest will help you not to feel isolated.
More than likely, you are already spending a lot of your time on the computer, so you should do your best to go out more. Find a sport that interests you and check with your friends and co-workers who would want to join. If nobody is interested, find the nearest sports arena and just go there – you will be surprised at how easy it is to meet new people if you share a hobby.
Interview with Elena Dimoska- Co-founder & CEO @ Ignite Global Media
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