As artificial intelligence and robots continue to share work with us, almost every job is going to change – and the pace of that change will continue to accelerate as we further enter the fourth industrial revolution.
But with the newest wave of technology, work will become more, not less, human. Workplaces will automate manual, repetitive tasks that can be automated, but people will still be critical for the tasks that rely on distinctly human skills that computers can’t yet replicate.
The people who will be most successful in the workplace of the future will be those who cultivate soft skills that relate to how you think, work, and relate to other people.
Here are the top 16 essential soft skills you should focus on acquiring and improving so you can thrive in the future world of work:
1. Critical Thinking – The ability to find trustworthy data, and use it to make decisions
2. Judgment and Complex Decision Making – Understanding the wider impact of decisions
3. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Empathy – The ability to be aware of and control your emotions and the emotions of others
4. Creativity – The ability to imagine, dream, and generate new ideas
5. Collaboration and Teamwork – Integrating and working well with others
6. Interpersonal Communication Skills – Being able to listen, understand, and convey your ideas
7. Working in Gigs – Navigating the gig economy (the flexible work environment of the future)
8. Adaptability and Flexibility – Having an adaptable mindset and being open to shifts in the workplace
9. Cultural Intelligence and Diversity Consciousness – Having an awareness of diversity and the fact that workplaces and societies are becoming more diverse, and being able to relate to others and work effectively with others from different backgrounds
10. Ethical Awareness – Understanding the ethical implications of work and technology on customers, employees, and other stakeholders (including the environment)
11. Leadership – Excelling in leading groups (at the top of an organization, as well as throughout the company)
12. Managing the Brand of YOU and Networking – Building relationships, growing your network, and maintaining your online and offline reputation
13. Time Management – Becoming more effective and efficient in how we work
14. Curiosity and Continuous Learning – Maintaining a growth mindset and ensuring we continue to learn and grow, personally and professionally
15. Embracing and Celebrating Change – Being able to accept and manage changes as they come up in the workplace
16. Looking After Yourself – Finding work-life balance and taking care of your physical and mental health