The world of work has changed appreciably in the last several years. Solopreneurship is on the rise. Job hopping is moving into the mainstream. High performance organizations are adapting their HR policies to suit these new realities and to attract and retain the very best talent.

As organizations change, individual employees will have to adapt as well. According to a recent report from World Economic Forum, employees in just a few years time will need an array of skills that aren’t in high demand now. Below is their top 10 list of necessary skills and how they will change or stay the same. 

  1. Complex Problem Solving. Ranking as the most in-demand skill in 2015, the researchers don’t see it going away anytime soon. Though we will continue to see a proliferation of data and machine learning, high-level problem solving remains a chiefly human concern.
  2. Critical Thinking. Like above, our machines can only be so smart. We still need smart people to identify and problems and find the right solutions.
  3. Creativity. The researchers predict that creativity will move from a “nice to have” to an essential, top 3 desirable skill.
  4. People Management. Identify, motivate, and develop great employees. This is a skill that isn’t going away anytime soon.
  5. Coordinating with others. While robots may be taking over some tasks, they aren’t going to be managing teams or projects. Those kinds of organizational skills will remain important for employees.
  6. Emotional Intelligence. This would probably be a bit higher on my personal list, but there’s no doubting that emotional intelligence is becoming a more sought after trait in employees.
  7. Judgment and Decision Making. This skill has jumped one spot from the researchers’ 2015 list, due to the fact that there will be more data to analyze and draw conclusions from.
  8. Service Orientation Skills. The researchers say that this essentially means interpersonal skills. Despite the proliferation of digital communication tools, we still have to be able to communicate clearly with one another.
  9. Negotiation Skills. See above. Negotiation skills will be as important as ever
  10. Cognitive Flexibility. This skill wasn’t on the researchers’ list in 2015. In the future, they predict it will become ever more important to be able to simultaneously think about different concepts effectively.

It’s important to remember that the future of work is an evolutionary process that’s already taking place, not a fixed point in time that we’re all sitting around waiting on. If you want to know what you can be doing today to prepare for the realities of tomorrow, this blog may have some answers for you.

photo credit: Paints and brushes on table via photopin (license)