In the wake of the global coronavirus ordeal, the job market has witnessed some dramatic changes. For one thing, there is an ongoing debate about whether working from home will continue to be relevant after the pandemic. This, in turn, raises the question: what skills are most relevant for staying competitive in today’s turbulent job market?
In this article, I have compiled a list of 10 skills (soft and hard) that are highly demanded by employers today. And while I agree that there many more skills to consider, the ones mentioned here should hopefully give you an idea of what employers are looking for nowadays.
Let’s begin with 5 highly significant soft skills in the job market today, and they are as follows.
Being able to work effectively alone can be considered a good skill for sure, but it’s not enough on its own. In today’s world, more and more tasks require you to work closely within a team to successfully complete certain tasks.
Since human beings are essentially social creatures, this trait affects all aspects of their lives, and the way they do business and get things done is no exception. For that reason, being able to communicate and collaborate effectively with your peers and teammates continues to be a vital skill for standing out amid the intense competition in today’s job market.
2. Time management
Being an employee means that there will come days when you have so much to do and so little time to get it all done. This is a very common dilemma most us have to deal with more often than not. And to overcome this dilemma, you need to develop certain habits that enable you to work faster and in a well-organized manner.
You probably heard the term “thinking outside the box” quite a lot before. But while I agree that it has probably become an overused cliché over the years, the idea behind it remains quite relevant nonetheless.
In today’s world, many jobs require the ability to come up with creative yet effective solutions to the different problems or challenges that you may encounter. This skill, however, may require you to silence your inner-critic and free your mind from self-doubt.
4. Emotional intelligence
Being emotionally intelligent, aside from being a vital social skill, is also a highly significant job skill that can help you stand out in your workplace. After all, your boss, your teammates, and your co-workers are very much humans, right? And being human, they too have their own personalities, attitudes, and emotions. So if you were able to deal with this mosaic of different personalities successfully, avoiding clashes and misunderstandings, and achieve healthy and effective communication, then chances are you have a skill that so many people would pay a fortune for.
“…empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water.
You put water into a cup; it becomes the cup;
you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle;
you put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Now, water can flow, or it can crash!
Be water, my friend.”
This was perhaps one of the most popular quotes by the late Kong Fu master and actor Bruce Lee. And as much self-explanatory they may be, they do tell us a lot about the importance of being flexible and adaptable. While on many occasions, it’s important to be solid and true to one’s beliefs and ideals, oftentimes it is also important to have the ability to “go with the flow.”
For that reason, being able to adapt to the different circumstances is considered a very important job skill as it gives you the ability to be resourceful, fortifies your leadership skills, and gives you a sense of determination. All these factors make adaptability a highly critical skill that can make you outshine the competition.
Aside from the soft skills, there are quite a lot of hard skills that can significantly boost your chances in landing a job today. While these vary based on the type of job you are seeking, here are 5 technology-related skills highly needed today:
1. Cloud computing
Everywhere you go on the Internet these days, especially on tech websites, you will find a lot of content talking about the Cloud. And it is indeed true that Cloud computing is one of the fastest emerging trends in the tech world nowadays. That’s why having a certain degree of knowledge about the Cloud, its various applications, and how to utilize them would be an impressive skill to add to your resume.
2. Social and digital media
We can argue about the benefits and harms of social media until the cows come home. But one thing we can be certain about is that they have a massive influence on the way we do business nowadays. For that reason, being well-versed in the secrets of social/digital media and knowing how to use them can be a huge plus to your resume, especially if you are interested in a career in sales and marketing.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Speaking of social/digital media, another highly in-demand skill is Search Engine Optimization. If you have a website, or if you were in charge of your company’s website, one of your main tasks would be to increase the website’s ranking on the different search engines such as Google and Bing. And to do this, you need to have a clear content strategy and a good grasp of things such as keyword research and backlinking. Having a good working knowledge about these aspects can significantly boost your chances of landing a high-paying job.
4. Data science/analysis
You probably read about the terms “data science” and “data analysis” almost every day. And yes, they are highly trending in today’s data-driven world. Such concepts as “data engineering”, “data visualization”, and “web analytics”, among many others, all fall under the wide umbrella of “data science”.
Certainly, adding these keywords to your resume, especially if accompanied by official certifications, such as this one from IBM or this from Coursera, can add give a serious boost to your chances to outshine the job search competition.
You probably heard the term “blockchain” in the context of stuff such as crypto-currency and bitcoin. Interestingly enough, however, there is much more to blockchain than that. From secure sharing of medical data to music royalties tracking, you can already see that blockchain has quite a wide range of applications across the different sectors. As such, adding blockchain to your list of skills can be a great plus for you in this highly turbulent and competitive job market.
Do you agree with that list? Can you think of other skills that are significant in today’s job market? Please share them with us in the comments!