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The Skills You Need To Succeed In 2020 And Beyond

The world has forever changed. How will you respond to increase your chances of remaining employable? What new skills will help you to pivot in your career?

In August 2018, I published the article The Skills You Need To Succeed In 2020. The article has had close to 200,000 views to date, and this tells me that it is a topic that is important.

The world is experiencing a crisis right now and many women are losing their jobs. On top of that, protests have brought to the forefront racial injustice and oppression. We are living in a time of unprecedented change.

You’re probably wondering now if the same skills still apply in a changing world filled with a lot of uncertainty. And in one where Black people refuse to be oppressed any longer. The good news is that the skills referenced in the article are soft skills. And they tend to become more valuable over time.

Since I published the article, the World Economic Forum released another future of jobs report. Below is an integrated list of the skills you need to succeed in 2020 to 2022. I have added cultural awareness and sensitivity to the list of skills to learn, and I have been preaching the importance of reading the world since 2013.

List of skills to learn in 2020 to 2022.

  1. Complex problem solving.
  2. Critical thinking and analysis.
  3. Creativity, innovation, ideation, originality, and initiative.
  4. People management.
  5. Coordinating with others.
  6. Emotional intelligence.
  7. Judgment, reasoning, analytical thinking, and decision making.
  8. Service orientation.
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility.
  11. Active learning and learning strategies.
  12. Technology design and programming.
  13. Leadership and social influence.
  14. Systems analysis and evaluation.
  15. Cultural sensitivity and awareness.

After you have read books on racial oppression and understand the issues, why stop there? Why not start reading the world?

This article isn’t a repeat of The Skills You Need To Succeed In 2020, but an extension of it. The media provides lists of books to read, but what it does not focus on is the importance of analyzing and synthesizing the information from the books you read.

You have to process what you read in the books so you have a broader perspective and worldview. No one book can give you all the information you need.

To add to the conversation on the skills you need to succeed, according to the McKinsey Global Institute report, The Future of Women at Work: Transitions in the Age of Automation:

Between 40 million and 160 million women globally may need to transition between occupations by 2030, often into higher-skilled roles. To weather this disruption, women (and men) need to be skilled, mobile, and tech-savvy, but women face pervasive barriers on each, and will need targeted support to move forward in the world of work.

Artificial intelligence technologies will have a devastating impact on women. Many of these women will have to up-skill if they want to remain employable. Furthermore, recent survey results show that women are experiencing the brunt of the economic fallout from COVID-19.

Despite that, one thing to always remember is that with any major change, there are winners and losers. That means that every change comes with opportunities.

Orit Gadiesh, Bain & Company Chairman, London coined the term “expert generalist.” She defines expert generalist as:

Someone who has the ability and curiosity to master and collect expertise in many different disciplines, industries, skills, capabilities, countries, and topics.

Herein lies the opportunity for women. But how does a professional woman become an expert generalist?

First, what are some of your passions? As a woman, gender parity is a huge problem. Do you understand all the sides of the issue? Racial injustice is a global problem. Do you understand the history of racial injustice, oppression, and systemic barriers? How about climate change and global poverty? Reading the right books across several disciplines will help you to get an understanding of these important issues and take you beyond your comfort zone.

But that’s not enough. You also need a way to synthesize the information from the books you read. That is where the Haystack Method comes in.

Five components of the Haystack Method.

The Haystack Method, developed by Rohit Bhargava, is an excellent tool to use to analyze and synthesize information. The model has five components:

  1. Gathering:Important information and ideas you make note of from the books you read.
  2. Aggregating:Take individual ideas and disconnected thoughts you discovered in the books and group them together to identify a broader theme.
  3. Elevating:Identify underlying themes that align a group of ideas to describe a single bigger concept.
  4. Naming:Describe a collection of your powerful ideas in a memorable way to make it easy to understand.
  5. Proving:Validate your ideas. Do you notice things as you read books across multiple disciplines?

Can you see how your learning from books is now much more proactive? This is the kind of synthesis you need to perform to become more valuable when learning new skills. Most professionals will not do this deep learning. And always remember to apply the ideas.

Avil Beckford, the founder of The Invisible Mentor, is an expert interviewer, published author, and writer. In two years, she wants to get 1,000 professionals reading a book every week. She will help you to learn, stretch, and grow to aid you in your career development. To do this, she created the Performance Accelerator plan to help professionals read the right books to learn key skills to succeed, while developing intercultural awareness since you will also be reading the world.

By: Avil Beckford