How many of the skills on the employability skills list for 2020 do you have? World Economic Forum published a job skills list of the top 10 skills you need to thrive in the future.
The think tank extracted the top 10 employability skills from its Future of Jobs research study. The article, “10 skills you need to thrive tomorrow – and the universities that will help you get them” is very timely because I am revamping the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge.
I wanted to make the reading challenge more relevant, since it is such a big time commitment. I think if professionals are working toward a goal to get the skills needed for future jobs, they will stick with the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge.
Whether you’re thinking in terms of career skills list, professional skills list, job skills checklist, basic job skills list, work skills checklist, or workplace skills list — it’s just semantics. They are the same thing said differently. But what is important though, is being aware of the top 10 skills needed for future jobs, so you can plan to get them.
In the blog post, Taking Notes: Using Gaming to Innovate to Illustrate Note-Taking, I talk candidly about some of the issues I am having hosting the global challenge. This is a continuation from that post.
Employability Skills List for 2020 – Get Ready to Thrive in the Future
Sources: World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
“The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report highlights how these trends are transforming the workforce. The top trend in the report, though, is the changing nature of work. Work today is increasingly collaborative and focused on solving complex problems in creative ways. Work is also more trans-disciplinary than before…”
Closer Look at the Job Skills Checklist
If you look closely at the employability checklist, you’ll notice that many of the skills you need to thrive in the future are related. And when you think about it, each skill on the list makes sense. I must admit though, that I wasn’t quite sure what the World Economic Forum meant by cognitive flexibility, so I looked it up.
“Cognitive flexibility refers to the brain’s ability to transition from thinking about one concept to another. The quicker you are able to switch or “shift” your thinking from one dimension, the greater your level of cognitive flexibility.” Source: Mental Health Daily
In my opinion, you can group problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, judgment and decision, and cognitive flexibility together. I also think that you can group people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, service orientation and negotiation together. Those are all forms of interpersonal skills. You may decide to group the top 10 skills needed for future jobs differently. But you have to admit that some of them are related. This relationship among the skills needed for future jobs makes it easier for you to acquire them.
Why the Top 10 Skills Needed for Future Jobs are Important
Knowing the top 10 skills needed for future jobs – by 2020 – is important because you have time to acquire them. But the 10 most important job skills are important for another reason as well, because they can help me to help you, by tying the skills to the extreme reading challenge.
Based on what I read in the book, Gaming to Innovate, I started to make changes to the global reading challenge, based on what I thought were core skills needed to succeed. Fortunately, some of the skills I deemed to be core skills are among those listed on the job skills checklist.
It is always better to have research based information that will stand up under scrutiny. The main employability skills allow me to make the reading challenge relevant to more professionals, and demonstrate its value.
Additionally, the article, Why This Skill Could Catapult Your Career in the Next 10 Years, affirms and confirms that the top performers in organizations are self-directed learners.
Personal Career Management: Using the Job Skills List
To develop a personal career management plan to acquire the top job skills necessary for success, here are some books that I recommend that you read. As usual, I advise you to take detailed notes, review the notes after you finish reading each book, then extract the five big ideas.
Within 48 hours of reading each book, talk to someone about what you have learned. Here is the book list for now. I haven’t read all the books on the list, but I will have read them by November 30th, the official date when I complete the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge.
Books for Career Development
- The Art of Thought
- A Technique for Producing Ideas
- Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools
- Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity
- Emotional Intelligence 2.0
- Yes or No: The Guide to Better Decisions
- Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work
- The Art of Seductive Communication
- The Secret of Influence
- How to Sweet-Talk a Shark
I also think you can develop interpersonal skills by reading global fiction. As I update the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge, I will add books to the list. I may drop some books from the list based on what I think of them after reading.
Implications for the Job Skills List
It’s important to know and understand the skills on the employability skills list to succeed at work. But I think that other skills are also needed if you want to thrive in the future. To acquire these 10 skills isn’t going to be easy, but you could get buddies to work with you. So you elevate each other.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, and I think that I should align the top 10 employability skills with an updated Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge. This means that you would read books to acquire the skills you need.
It’s been said countless times, that to become an expert in an area, requires that you read the top five books on the subject. The top five are not necessarily the books on the bestseller’s list, so you need to talk to others to get the names of books to read.
And I will also read and review books that cover each skill. If you have four buddies working with you, each of you could read one book. But you have to dedicate the time to discuss the books, then apply what you learn.
If you decide to collaborate, that means that communication skills, both oral and written, become increasingly more important. You also have to learn how to learn, since you will be adapting to change all the time. If you are reading books to acquire the new skills, then you have to learn how to take notes while reading.
After you finish reading a book, review your notes, extracting the big ideas. What does the information in the book mean? What implication does it have for the work you do? And with technology changing exponentially, you have to know how to leverage technology as well.
If you’re going to read books and apply the new skills you acquire, that also means that you have to read faster while increasing your level of comprehension. You can read only so much faster without compromising comprehension, so I’ll recommend which speed reading books to read. And since you and your team mates are reading five books for each skill you’re trying to learn, that means you have to go broad and deep.
To thrive in 2020, the job skills list is important, but you have to think in terms of main employability skills, which will incorporate the other skills I mentioned.