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Article: 5 Essential Skills for the Future Related Resources

5 Essential Skills for the Future
by Karen Schmidt

Forward thinking* people know that you need to be constantly updating their skills.

No matter what your industry or occupation, you will find that there is an increasing demand for people who are adept at some or all of the following 5 skills, which I believe are essential for success at work today and into the future.

Mastering change Change is all around us and yet learning to master change is a skill that very few people are taught. The ability to analyse the changes happening around you and adapt quickly is vital in the new workplace. Understanding how you react and also how others react to situations can make the journey of change far less painful.

Thinking self employed Even if you have a permanent job with an organisation you need to think of yourself as self employed. Managers are asking people to take ownership of their job and act as if it was their money they are making or spending. Becoming a person who thinks like an entrepreneur can open up a whole range of new possibilities and greatly improve your self confidence.

Managing your own career The new workplace demands that you design your own career path. It may be made up of a number of different experiences that eventually bring you to a unique position or it could resemble a more traditional route. Either way, it will be your responsibility to make it happen. This means you need to carefully consider your options each time you take a step, whilst keeping your eye on new developments in the marketplace.

Promoting yourself In the past it was only sales representatives and marketing people who needed to know how to promote. Now it is a vital part of everyone's portfolio of skills to be able to make themselves known in a less structured, more competitive workplace. But there is more to self-promotion than a good résumé and the right clothes. You also need to learn how to network and recognise opportunities to help others, which in the long run will help you.

Lifelong learning It has taken us a while but we have finally realised that learning doesn't end when we leave school. Innovations in technology and the information super highway make it essential for us to spend more time just keeping up to date. Learning is no longer restricted to the classroom. Everyday we learn in everything we do. The key is to recognise what you learn in these situations and how to apply it to other areas of your life.

How would you rate yourself in each of these skill areas? If the answer is less than excellent you have some work to do. So where do you start? What order of priority should you place on these skills.

Whilst they are all important, I think you should tackle them in the order they are listed and here’s why. To start with, mastering change will help you with all the other skills because they all require an ability to change. Next, the idea of thinking self employed will impact on your job searching strategies, which in turn affects how you manage your career, and so on.

So the message is: being successful in the new style workplace is easy . . . when you have the right skills.

This article is based on Karen's book “Attitudes that work! 5 attitudes guaranteed to get you working and keep you working” and can be purchased at her website

Karen Schmidt from Let's Grow! is an award winning professional speaker, workshop leader and author on a mission to create positive workplace attitudes that help people and organisations grow!

Karen Schmidt may be contacted at or


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