Introduction: Learning 10 Key Skills for Work
Would you like to thrive in your career by 2020? Learning the 10 key skills for work, that the World Economic Forum recommends, will help you to achieve your career goals.
How do you plan to master the list of employable skills?
The Strategic Reading Challenge lesson plans will help you. At the end of the reading challenge, you will have mastered a list of employability skills.
Anyone who spends as little as five minutes on this blog, will know that I love books and reading. Reading books give me pleasure and I would like to share that with you. Recently, I needed some information, and realized that it was in the post, “Strategic Reading Challenge: Read Books for Career Development.” When I opened up the post, I noticed that it was over 3,300 words in length. That is overwhelming for most people.
[Related Post: Strategic Reading Challenge: Read Books for Career Development]
[Further Reading: How to Learn Anything in the Age of AI]
Since it is so important to me for professionals to learn the 10 key skills for future jobs, to thrive in 2020, I decided to break the post into a series of 12 posts. One for each month of reading.
In the first three months of the reading challenge, you will learn the 10 key skills needed for future jobs. By now I can hear you asking, “If that is the case, why is the reading challenge for 12 months and not three?”
That’s a reasonable question, and the answer is that, based on my experience, you need other skills as well.
For instance, technology is changing rapidly, therefore you have to master the art of leveraging technology. Skills are always changing, so you have to learn how to learn. To convince others to implement your ideas at work, you have to master written and oral communication.
Additionally, more people from different generations and cultures are working together in the same workplace, therefore reading diverse books has to be a habit. Do you see where I am going?
In this blog post, I will cover Month One of the Strategic Reading Challenge. In the lesson plan, you will find which types of books you need to read during the month, and I will include books for career and personal development.
Before you start to follow Month One of the Strategic Reading Challenge, make sure that you have all of your five books handy. This way you know which books you intend to read, and you can read them one after another without ever scrambling to find a book to read.
If money is tight, look at the unread books you have, that meet the reading requirements for this month. In fact, this is a good practice to follow. All of us, including myself, buy books and forget about them. I have already read over forty books for the challenge, and I would say that over 95 percent of them I already owned.
You need to read a book every six days or so. This is doable if you always have a book with you, so that you can read during breaks, and when you find yourself waiting. Better still, schedule a time to read every day. Since your purpose for reading is to learn the 10 key skills for work, so that you can accelerate your career, that’s a key incentive for making the time to read.
Remember to decide on your note taking device. I use the Livescribe Echo Smartpen, a digital note taking device. It is important to take notes by hand because research shows that you remember more of what you are reading or hearing.
Get Started on Month One: Learning 10 Key Skills for Work
This month you are visiting the continent of Africa as a way to overcome cultural barriers in the workplace. There are 47 countries in Africa, however, Morocco and the coastal islands – Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Madagascar, the Comoros, the Seychelles, and Mauritius – are considered African countries as well, which brings the total up to 54.
You have a wide selection of authors to choose from. Although intercultural communication is not one of the 10 skills for work, wouldn’t it be great if you developed the skill of getting along with others?
Strategic Reading Challenge Lesson Plan: Month One – Africa & More
- Read a book written by an author born in an African country.
- Read a book that teaches you how to problem solve.
- Read a book that teaches you how to think critically.
- Read a book that teaches you how to become more creative.
- Read a book that teaches you how to make better decisions.
- Each week, read a technology article from a well-respected journal/magazine.
I have already read books from each of the five categories above. Please see my personal recommendations below. The MacGyver Secret and a Technique for Producing Ideas cover problem solving and creativity. I have also included some books that came highly recommended that I have not read. It’s important to get a different perspective – that’s why I have included them.
To learn the 10 key skills for work, I started off reading books that I already owned. I would like to add that I tend to go for books that are off the beaten path that have solid information. It gives me an edge because of having such a different perspective. It’s worth mentioning that because a book achieved bestseller status doesn’t mean that it is the best book on the topic. It could simply mean that the author has an excellent promotion engine for the book.
For technology magazine, I read MIT Technology Review.
Month One: Books for Career Development
Books That Avil Has Read and Enjoyed
Season of Migration to the North (New York Review Books Classics)Things Fall ApartJuly’s PeopleNervous ConditionsDecision Diagnosis: Seven Antidotes to Decision ProcrastinationThe MacGyver Secret: Connect to Your Inner MacGyver and Solve AnythingA Technique for Producing Ideas The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking-Concepts and Tools
Final Thoughts on Learning 10 Key Skills for Work: Thriving in 2020
If thriving in your career is something that appeals to you, then participating in the Strategic Reading Challenge is one way to go. Learning the 10 key skills for work will also make you more marketable in the workplace, and more valuable to yourself. Mastering problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and decision making will serve you well in work and life. It’s now time to watch this TED Talk by Adam Grant.
Taking detailed notes is a critical part of the process to learning the 10 key skills needed for future jobs. Therefore, while reading each book, take notes. After you have finished reading each book, review your notes, then extract the five big ideas. After you have read all the five books, it’s time to connect all the ideas from the five books to create hybrid ideas. But going through this process adds rigor to your thinking, which helps you to think critically. And this is not an easy process, it takes a lot of thought and effort, but it’s worth it.
I have created a handy guide, How to Spot Great Ideas When You Read Book. It walks you through the process of connecting ideas. The guide includes information that is not on this blog. It takes one good idea to transform your life. See the other related handy guides. Start Month One of the Strategic Reading Challenge today!