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The Most Valued Professional Skills

AI and machine learning are disrupting industries worldwide, with many people fearing widespread job loss as businesses increasingly adopt these technologies. A large contingent of the global workforce will need to be upskilled and/or reskilled, and the respected professions of today may be replaced by jobs that haven’t even been invented yet. The most valued professional skills are:

  1. Analytical thinking: In a world of big data, the ability to notice trends and anomalies, and to make decisions drawing from a range of disciplines, knowledge and experiences will be highly valued.
  2. Creative thinking: Thinking outside of the box and trying things that haven’t been done before can provide differentiation and competitive advantages.
  3. Resilience, flexibility and agility: When things go wrong at the workplace, and at some point they inevitably will, the ability to bounce back or adapt will be a key element in getting a business to weather the storm and keep progressing.
  4. Motivation and self-awareness: Employers are looking for self-starters and value employees who can take the initiative.
  5. Curiosity and lifelong learning: The world is constantly changing and the current ‘disruption’ is coming from AI. The desire to learn and explore how to thrive in this new environment is valued above resistance to change.
  6. Technological literacy: If you’re technologically illiterate, you may have a shot at grilling Mark Zuckerberg or Shou Zi Chew during a congressional hearing. Otherwise it certainly helps to be up-to-speed on today’s technologies.
  7. Dependability and attention to detail: If senior management and colleagues can depend on you to get work done, some would argue you’re already in the minority and setting yourself apart from the rest.
  8. Empathy and active listening: Decision making is often made more effective when understanding the concerns, arguments and impacts on stakeholders.
  9. Leadership and social influence: Don’t mistake this for jumping on social media and becoming an influencer. Getting your team to believe in your vision and to influence those around you are valuable professional skills.
  10. Quality control: Ever tried an app that’s full of bugs? Not a fun experience. Ever bought a meal that wasn’t cooked right? Definitely not a fun experience. If you can ensure work is being completed to a high standard of quality, you’re onto something.

Source: The Future of Jobs Report 2023, World Economic Forum.

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