Times change, yet few could quite have foreseen the pace of advancement over the past decade, nor the impact it’s had on our working environment.
With industries and technologies constantly developing, it’s important that, as professionals, we can keep up and that we’re able to find ways to remain relevant and take advantage of new opportunities.
Having the right skills in place can make coping with changes to our work and personal environment that little bit easier.
Here is a summary of some of these key qualities and how to develop them:
The ability to adapt to new situations and environments is one of the first skills you’ll need and is something you can hone with practice. We can train our brains to be adaptable by running through different outcomes and scenarios in the face of a problem or challenge. Having a plan B or C up our sleeves means we have the tools in place to cope with events that come our way.
Resilience is closely linked to adaptability and it comes in various forms. Emotional resilience is all about attitude towards yourself and others, listening, trusting and responding appropriately to your feelings, and being able to see the positives in the face of challenge. Physical resilience means having the finances and infrastructure to adapt to changes in your work situation as well looking after your physiological health to allow sustainable performance. All of these can be developed gradually over time.
3. Understanding and interpreting data
We all need to learn how to deal with the data that’s becoming progressively more relevant in our working lives. This might mean being able to identify patterns and trends in words as well as numbers. Some people are naturally more comfortable with data than others; however you can train your data-analysis skills in your spare time – Sudoko and crosswords make for excellent practice.
4. Communication and networking
With communication increasingly taking place through the medium of video, presentation skills are ever more vital. This requires the flexibility to address audiences of all shapes and sizes and to communicate cross-culturally. This flexibility is true of networking too: as our work environments expand we need to find ways to relate to people from different backgrounds and industries. Spend time observing how others communicate, work on your own techniques in different scenarios and truly consider what your audience needs.
4. Problem-solving and resourcefulness
Often the domain of the aforementioned resilient and adaptable, showing you are not phased by a problem indicates a positive attitude, a willingness to be flexible and a determination to succeed. There will always be problems: make sure you see them as challenges to rise to rather than issues to avoid.
5. Responsibility for learning
To survive you need to keep up; to thrive you need to make learning part of your DNA. Your company may spoon-feed you enough to survive, but in order to spot, take advantage of or even create opportunities you need a thirst for knowledge and the drive to quench it. Work out what you want to know and learn about it.
A big part of future-proofing your career is ask yourself which of these areas you’re strongest in and where you still need to improve. By regularly checking in with yourself and reviewing your skills and knowledge you can begin to work on honing your strengths and filling in the gaps.
Tags: Career Success
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