By Mel Sim

It’s time for Wawasan 2020 for your career!

Time to get real guys – 2020 is only ONE month away. No joke. What used to seem like a long, long time ago is just around the corner.

And what used to be great in your worksphere may seem like old news now that 2020 is upon us. That’s because the world of work – and the world – is changing. Which means if you want to future proof yourself, well then you have some serious upskilling to do.

But what skills are in demand for 2020 and beyond? According to the World Economic Forum, skills that centre around the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be essential. Basically, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about technology. But that’s not to say that you need to learn all you can about data analysis and AI to get ahead. It’s a mix of 10 things according to the list, which includes the following:

#1 Complex problem solving
The report defined this as “to solve novel, ill-defined problems in complex, real-world settings.” In other words, to solve problems that you’ve never encountered before so that the solution works in the real world in real time. Also, having complex problem-solving skills means being able to see the big picture and shake things around to make a difference.

#2 Critical thinking
This skill has and will always be important. You need to be someone who can think out of the box and use logic as well as reasoning to solve a problem, more so now as that would be your advantage over technology. You need to think of various solutions to the problem and work out which one suits it best. Be like the “computer” that is taking over some jobs 2020 onwards!

#3 Creativity
Who doesn’t love a creative employee who can really think of different ways to solve a problem? Also, with new technology being introduced, you will need to be really creative to benefit and make the most of these new tools. Take note that creativity doesn’t just apply to the artsy type; working in finance or engineering also requires you to be creative to come up with new ideas.

#4 People management
Technology may be important in the years to come but so will human interaction. People will remain an asset for companies; if not its prized resource. Because without the right people, even the best of technology and tools won’t work! Which is why knowing how to manage and deal with different personalities will bring you the best of both worlds.

#5 Coordinating with others
In other words, team work. The right set of social skills will always be important at the workplace to build camaderie with your colleagues and work closely together to get things done. Companies want employees who play well with others, not create a rift.

#6 Emotional IQ
Another one that is a gold standard at all times. Overall good social skills will be in high demand regardless of industry or time. You learn to adapt to situation, know exactly how to read people and adjust your behaviour to suit the current mood. Basically, you are a master of making others feel good about themselves so that they yield positive results. Sound like a good leader to us!

#7 Judgement and decision making
Things are moving at super fast speed these days and to be able to keep up with it, you have to make good judgement and decisions quick. There will also be a lot of data you have to shift through so knowing how to decide on what’s important will help you get far.

#8 Service orientation
Sure, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us but at the end of the day, you are still serving people. And we all want good service that matters. We are after all selling goods and ideas to the consumer, and knowing what the consumer wants and understanding what’s important are skills that will take you far.

#9 Negotiation
With technology becoming increasingly commonplace, good social skills will be more important than ever. Technology can’t negotiate ideas or reason with your colleagues or manager on how to best go about a problem. Without negotiation skills, you won’t be able to get the best deal possible out of your client or supplier. And this skill will be essential to get what you want without hurting another person’s felings or successfully work through disagreements with co-workers.

#10 Cognitive flexibility
In other words, how fast you can swing back and forth between different ideas and ways of thinking. Sometimes, you use logic to solve a problem; other times creativity. Having cognitive flexibility, you are able to switch from logic and creativity to derive at the best solution. It is about being limber to try new things and to make unique associations between ideas so that it pays off in newer solutions that will solve the problem.

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

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