The beginning of a new year is a natural time to look at self-improvement and set goals for the coming year. For professionals, that often involves focusing on improving professional skills. But, according to LinkedIn® data, there are over 50,000 professional skills out there. Obviously, that’s far too many for any one person to absorb. So, which skills are the most in demand?
Using exclusive LinkedIn data to determine the skills companies need most in 2019, Paul Petrone says “These are the skills your boss and your boss’s boss find most valuable, but have a hard time finding—and the skills that’ll most help you better serve your clients and customers.” He splits them into two categories; soft skills and hard skills. First let’s look at the soft skills.
Even as more and more of the work once done by humans is automated, and artificial intelligence (AI) grows in importance and sophistication, it’s still humans who are coming up with the outside-the-box ideas and the creative means to put all that automation and AI to work pursuing those ideas. Organizations need employees who can generate good ideas and innovation to improve products, processes, and service.
Even if you have a great product or service, you often still need to persuade people to buy it. Persuasion is also important in convincing other companies to do business with you as partners, lend you money, etc. And, for individual employees, the ability to influence or persuade others can help them be more effective at their jobs and more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In an increasingly complex business world, it’s more important than ever to be able to effectively work together to solve difficult problems. Regardless of the industry, company, or profession, it’s highly unlikely that individual contributors are able to make an impact alone.
Even the most highly skilled individual contributors must still rely on others for support, information, and resources. The ability to work effectively with others, therefore, is a high-demand soft skill.
The world is constantly changing and at an increasingly rapid pace. What worked yesterday often doesn’t work today, and what works today won’t work indefinitely. Adaptable employees are crucial for navigating the ever-changing seas.
As work gets more complex, there are often simply more things that need doing. Successfully prioritizing and managing a multitude of tasks often sets employees apart from their colleagues. Technology tools often aid in this process requiring employees to be adept at using the tools at their disposal to work most effectively—and efficiently.
Working with others is an essential part of most jobs, which means soft skills are often seen as at least on par with, if not more important than, hard skills. But hard skills are certainly important as well! In a part 2 of this article, we’ll review the hard skills on Petrone’s list.