The way we work is always changing, for better or worse – it’s the by-product of constant technological advancements. According to a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, nearly 50% of current jobs may be automated in the future and may not exist as we know it now. The writing is on the wall: the key to succeeding in a rapidly evolving world is to develop the kind of skills that will be most in demand.
Having an innovative, agile, and responsive career mindset is all about constantly asking where and how you can add value. Being flexible can help in learning new and important skills, but also unlearn old skills that are no longer relevant. Perhaps, above all, the future will favour systems thinkers who are able to engage others with their compassion and vision. Let’s explore some ways that progressive thinkers can start to prepare right now, developing the skills, attitudes and tools needed to stay abreast of an unpredictable new world.
Knowledge is power – so stay informed
It is simply not an option to ignore relevant and unfolding political, social, technological or economic developments. Staying up-to-date lets you understand emerging trends as they happen and even helps you predict changes before they occur. Understanding disruptions or developments – whether in your particular industry or the world at large – will allow you to stay aware, and educated.
How do you do this? Make regular intakes of quality information a part of your routine. Time is precious, so make sure you source ideas from respectable books, articles, or reports.
For instance, take a look at Arctic Shores – they have successfully redesigned the recruitment process using neuroscience and AI. By staying on top of the latest in technological and scientific developments, they have broadened the ways in which businesses can make recruitment decisions going forward. You can check out their podcasts which are designed to entertain, engage and inform remote workers specifically on HR trends and the future of work.
Commit to staying open-minded
In a world growing more complex, it is important to not take anything for granted or depend too heavily on assumptions. With the burgeoning digital world threatening to distract or drain our attention, and even though our brains have the ability to take mental shortcuts, this can backfire if we allow ourselves to stagnate in habitual thinking patterns.
To find novel solutions to problems, we need to open the mind to new possibilities and give up making assumptions and being biased. We also need to avoid getting distracted and complacent, and constantly challenge our assumptions as well as the status quo, whether on a personal or professional level.
Use empathy to guide decision-making
Empathetic and humanistic solutions will be more in demand now than ever. Focussing on your end-users or customers, will help you step out of your own bubble and empathise with their world on a deeper level. The most innovative mindset will always be the one that considers the way a business actually works, its ultimate value proposition, and the larger surrounding context.
Being passionate, combined with the right vision and a humane approach to the business will help strengthen your relationship with customers, and will give you a better understanding about them, leading to more effective solutions and processes. Rather than relying on afterthought, use empathy to inform decision-making from the very beginning.
Ensure your environment is encouraging innovation
Whatever your home or work area looks like, aim to create an environment that supports creative thinking. Innovation needs space and time to blossom, so adopt the mental attitude that will allow you to recognise and nourish fresh ideas as they emerge. The environment impacts people too – does your workspace allow you to foster creative new ideas? Can you work and think efficiently in this space? If not, it’s time to make changes.
Collaborate with others
Just because you have mastered certain skills in your own niche, it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from connecting, sharing ideas with and learning from others. The modern workplace rewards those who can collaborate productively with people from diverse backgrounds, values and skill-sets, to maximise the impact of everyone’s unique contribution. Collaborative teamwork is a powerful tool for innovation – and everyone has something unique to contribute. Can you think of potential connections within your networks or groups? Try reaching out to them to propose a mutually beneficial partnership.
Develop persuasive communication
The best vision in the world is useless, unless properly conveyed to others. It’s always a good idea to strengthen your powers of persuasion, which is nothing more than being able to skilfully share the benefits of your proposed solution. This requires a creative, empathetic line of thinking and a focus on advantages rather than dry details. Careful presentation skills, confidence in speaking, and open body language make all the difference; consider books, classes or seminars to help you brush up.
Collaboration, an innovative mind-set, networking skills and critical thinking are classic examples of skills that are still needed and sought after in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. And most of them can be developed right now, at home.
Author: Imogen Clarke – Freelance writer, dog lover and coffee addict.
Photo credits: unsplash.com