Though it may seem like a speck in the distance, 2020 is just around the corner. Many see this new decade as an opportunity for a fresh start, either in the form of a new job, a promotion, or another career goal. Maybe you laid out a five year plan in 2015 that you’re actively working toward, or maybe you haven’t given 2020 any thought yet at all. But regardless of your goals, it’s important to know how to prepare for the job market of the future—especially since that future is only four short years away.
With the economy improving, baby boomers retiring, and technology reshaping the workforce, the skills employers seek most in candidates are changing. Here are a few skills that will make any job seeker more desirable in 2020, according to a study by the World Economic Forum:
- Emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is quickly becoming a required skill for most jobs, even if the job description doesn’t list it. Employers already want candidates who are cognizant of their actions and their consequences, empathetic of their colleagues’ struggles, and capable of managing stressful deadlines and last-minute demands, all of which are just a few traits of emotionally intelligent people. By 2020, this skill is expected to become even more important and may even have a bigger impact on someone’s eligibility than their years of experience or technical skills.
- Collaboration/teamwork. Technology is making it easier than ever to work independently and remotely, but many businesses still value and rely on in-person collaboration among their employees. By 2020, many employers will be looking for candidates who have the communication skills to work as part of a team in addition to technological skills.
- People management. With baby boomers retiring and creating problematic skill gaps in the workforce, companies are putting more effort into succession planning to prevent hiring issues in the future. As a result, many will likely be looking for people management skills in their 2020 candidates to ensure there is room for upward mobility and training. Whether you’ll be a seasoned professional or just graduating in 2020, this skill will definitely be a career booster.
- Creativity. Though thinking outside the box may have been looked down upon in some occupations years ago, employers are now looking for more creative professionals across industries. Organizations are facing more competition than ever, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, and many are looking for employees who take creative approaches to their work in order to stand out and stay relevant. Though we’ve seen increased interest in creativity in the past few years, this trend is expected to continue through 2020 and beyond.
- Problem solving and critical thinking skills. This is a skill that always has been, and always will be, relevant to most professions. While creative professionals are expected to be in higher demand, employers will always need candidates who can approach problems logically and systematically. Just like the need for collaboration skills remaining high despite technological advances, employers expect that job seekers keep their problem solving and critical thinking skills sharp even in times when data and automated processes make troubleshooting simpler than ever.