We are in an era with multiple dysfunctions: Pandemic disease; income inequality resulting from prolonged economic dislocations; international relations disintegration; deterioration in global governance. On top of all these, the world is facing a staggering job challenge with millions of people set to be dislocated yearly as digitalization of economies races ahead. The most glaring of the consequences is the hollowing out of the middle class and the decline in trust in our society.

To deal with all of these effectively, people need to constantly update their skillsets urgently to get jobs, or even to hang onto the existing ones, Adoption of new skillsets is, however, not effective without firstly, neutralizing the prevailing mindset!

There was a time when people’s career trajectories were assured as long as they mastered certain hard skills. These days, with the business climate in a state of constant flux, a mix of hard and soft skills is essential to get recruited and develop with the job. Apart from the regular skills organizations seek, the differentiating skills highlighted below can be cultivated, developed and maintained. They may not be natural to you presently, but they can be cultivated and polished:

Familiarity with other cultures

Cultural competence is one of the most critical and overlooked leadership skills. People with cultural agility and the ability to adapt will find scores of opportunities.

Ability to engage and leverage diversity

Connectivity is constantly making the world smaller. Working with people from different countries, time zones and generations makes it imperative to understand and manage diversity. Different people naturally have different views, motivations and communication styles. Competent people are able to leverage diversity, facilitate inclusion, and give an organization a competitive advantage.

Aptitude to interact with people

Automation is taking over from us more extensively, but humans bring unique value to the equation with their ability to socialize and network. The key element of financial success is due to human skills: responsive personality; and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. This tops the scales in favor of people with strong EQs rather than those with high IQs or relevant experience.

Capability to listen and interpret impartially

People have been able to talk your way to the top once, but just the ability to share knowledge won’t help in the fast-transforming digitalized workplace. Good leaders are those who listen well. This skill is extremely important and involves paying attention, reserving judgment, clarifying, reflecting, and sharing — a constantly neutralizing mindset.

Willingness to keep learning and reinvent

It’s not enough to recycle knowledge at work as knowledge is by definition “past and limited”; it’s important to keep learning so that people can keep pace with the shifting job market. Organizations value people who are flexible and open to learning something new as they are better at meeting challenges and assimilating new concepts. With the workplace changing at a rapid pace, it’s important to adapt and reinvent in order to stay relevant.

Proficiency in the applications of data analytics

Data analytics are among the most important new skills people can have today. Data analytics technologies and techniques are widely used in businesses to enable organizations to make more informed business decisions.