A very popular recurring question asked on “What If?” threads online is “What if you were sent back in time with all the knowledge and skills you have today?” Reflect on that for a moment. Would you know how to make the most out of knowing the future? Would you adopt new technologies such as computers early or perhaps dabble in scientific discoveries? Would you be a successful businessman/woman who knows just the right ventures to invest in, or a creator pioneering every trend in film, music, or fashion because you have lived through them all?
While this is a great exercise in imagination, there is also a crucial lesson in it. It tells you how valuable foreknowledge can be when you’re trying to be successful.
It is with the same mindset that we must approach the future; knowing that there are skills of the future whose mastery will give us an edge over the rest. These 21st century skills cannot be narrow and specific to certain technologies or schools of thought, but must be timeless in order to be relevant even years and decades later. A study conducted by the McKinsey Report concluded that “an increase in workers with finely tuned social and emotional skills” would be seen by 2030.
7 Skills of The Future That You Must Possess
1. Emotional Intelligence
While the advantages of possessing high emotional intelligence have been gaining fame in the last half decade, it is certainly a skill of the future because of its timelessness. The nature of work is likely to change very significantly over the next few decades, but even if everything we interact with in the professional world today becomes a virtual experience, the ability to understand human emotions, feel empathy, and self-regulate our feelings will be a primary cog of any work environment.
2. Critical Thinking
One of the most crucial soft skills, critical thinking is the need of the hour as well as of the future. In the era of fast information delivered in snippet format on our smartphones, being able to discern falsehoods, narratives, and logical fallacies in our environment is a must. The objective analysis of every strand of information we are exposed to in a hyper connected world without being swayed by biases or emotion will be a cornerstone of a progressive society.
3. People Management
A derivative of emotional intelligence, people management looks at getting a group of people functioning to their fullest potential. It is a blend of smart leadership, motivational skills, communication smarts, conflict management, and group psychology. Workplaces have individuals with varying preferences, and figuring out how to have them all on the same page and pulling in the same direction is the key to making any team greater than the sum of its parts.
If there is one thing the worldwide pandemic has taught us (other than the fact that people cannot be trusted to wear a mask right), it is the significance of resilience and mental robustness. With strict lockdowns being imposed all over the country, the fear of contracting a potentially fatal illness, and the effects of being cooped up at home all day, our way of living and comfort is something that we can never take for granted again. Resilience builds an attitude of rolling with the punches and a sense of equanimity within, the perfect counter to the uncertainty that the future brings.
5. Cognitive Flexibility
Cognitive flexibility is one of the oldest skills on this list, and broadly deals with how well one can adjust to change. This may pertain to a change in environment, a change in thought processes, or even the flexibility to apply multiple concepts while approaching a problem. Being cognitively flexible makes you a great learner and good at switching focus from one conundrum to another to creatively solve problems. It is an invaluable asset to have in the workplace of the future.
6. Time Management
The most commonly known skill of the future is also the one that individuals have the hardest time grappling with. We all daydream about turning into hyper efficient machines that do not let a second go to waste, but the reality can be very different. Learning to effectively manage your time can be an instant upgrade to your proficiency in school and the workplace. Although this is not usually a skill that can be mastered overnight, guidance from experts, such as in the Mindler Internship Program, and repeated practice can make it something that comes naturally to you, boosting your productivity.
Entrepreneurship is another area that is predicted to show a rapid growth in the next decade according to the McKinsey report. With entrepreneurs requiring to consistently use innovative techniques and out of the box processes to be successful, it is a skill that will see constant use in the future. Innovation is not restricted merely to one’s independent endeavours however, but also can be used to optimize and upgrade one’s current work practices.
These skills of the future are ones to keep in mind and gradually inculcate within oneself. They represent areas where the relentless march of artificial intelligence, automation, and technology will likely not be able to supplant the human touch.
A deeper dive into the skills of the future, how to develop them, and what they encompass is a key masterclass of the Mindler Internship Program which went live on 26th December 2021. If you are a student in Class 12th and want to be trained to develop a strong foundation for future career success, you must make the most of this opportunity and sign up for the 5 week internship. It is fulfilled entirely from the comfort of your home and gives you a chance to win mind-blowing rewards and gain unbelievable scholarship opportunities.
For more details on the Mindler Internship Program, click here.