More future-proof skills to safeguard your job in 2030
This is the second part of the article which I wrote two months ago. In the first one, I talked about skills related to our mental capacity that will help us safeguard our jobs in the years to come. In this one, I will present you with the skills related to our emotional being. All of the below-mentioned skills are based on two important abilities of us humans: empathy and compassion.
Empathy and compassion
Empathy and compassion are often used as synonyms but as psychologists and neuroscientists claim, there is an important distinction between the two. Empathy is the ability to feel the pain and joy that someone else is feeling - it basically makes us able to walk in someone else’s shoes. Compassion, on the other hand, is the ability of our brain to feel for another person (or self) and actively be willing to help alleviate the suffering and contribute to their happiness.
I believe that although our mental capacities are important to our development as humans, empathy and compassion are crucial to us, as it is something machines and AI are not able to learn.
Having the following skills will be crucial:
Resilience - embracing change
Resilience is our capacity to recover (relatively quickly) from the difficult situations life throws at our feet. The current corona crisis shows us that in the future we might expect more difficulties instead of less. Psychologists agree that some of the factors that determine whether a person is resilient or not can relate to a positive mindset; the ability to turn failures into learned lessons and letting our brain recharge after stressful / traumatic experiences. The great news is that resilience can be seen as a skill and, as such, can be trained.
It is a given fact that we are globally connected, still, companies are often struggling with this fact. Why is that? One of the reasons is that we often still ignore cultural differences and treat our international colleagues as we would treat our local ones. Respecting and understanding the culturally different views of your employees is an important condition of running a successful global business.
We do not have to wait for the company to send us off to training, we can start educating ourselves today. One of my favourite books on this topic is When Cultures Collide by Richard D. Lewis.
Virtual collaboration and communication
Although many companies were already working with virtually connected teams, the corona crisis took it to a whole new level, not only for big multinationals but also for small local companies. Virtual collaboration has shown us that it is possible to run businesses from home and that may have some big advantages.
In the future, it can be expected that a lot of companies will maintain (at least to some extent) this virtual collaboration. However, a big part of the message could be lost when it is communicated virtually instead of in person. Why? Often body language plays a big part when we communicate. During Zoom calls, we are not able to pick up on all subtleties of our body talk.
In order to master virtual communication and effective collaboration, we will need to work on ourselves further: our understanding of others, dealing with ambiguity and sharpening our own communication style.
I believe that in the future we will not need the leaders who know it all, but we will need leaders who are courageous and curious. Curious to ask difficult questions and ready to experiment, fail, get up and try again. We will need leaders who are compassionate, who care about our planet and people, and who have a strong sense of purpose.
In my work as a career coach, I’ve already observed a positive change in my clients. They want to transform their careers, so it matches their sense of purpose.
I want to end the list by mentioning compassion again, as I believe it is the basis for all of the above. As said in the beginning, compassion is the ability and willingness to help others achieve a state of well-being and happiness. Without compassion, we cannot be resilient, without compassion we cannot communicate nor collaborate with others successfully and without compassion, we cannot be the true leaders of the future.
What other future-proof skills related to our careers would you like to add to the list? Share them in the comments below!