(2-minute read)

In 2020 we were asked to do things that took us far out of our comfort zone. We managed new working arrangements and an environment of unprecedented unpredictability. We talked about difficult subjects. We pushed into new areas and learned a lot about our capacity, our capabilities and ourselves.

Business, too, has adapted and accelerated specific trends that are defining the new future of work. On the threshold of this new year, let’s take a moment to look at how you fit within this new future.

According to the World Economic Forum 2020 Future of Jobs Report, business overall is hyper-focused in three areas:

  • Cost-cutting
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital adoption
  • Growth mindset


What this means for future jobs

The short answer is that by increasing automation, business is striving to be more efficient and accomplish more with less. Over the next five years, AI and technology will eliminate many redundant roles.

The good news is that although there will be fewer familiar positions, many new jobs will emerge. Employers will fill gaps in data and AI, engineering, software and cloud product development and the green economy.

For those of us who are stronger right-brain thinkers and excel at creative and intuitive pursuits, don’t despair. A growth mindset focused on human interaction will be critical; adding jobs related to culture, people management, marketing, sales and content production.



What employers are looking for

Employers recognize that this new future requires staff to learn new skills. Most employers are already showing an active willingness to provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities.

Employers are also raising the expectations for staff to learn on-the-job. It may appear that employers are pushing the responsibility for reskilling to the individual, but in fact, most of us already learn best this way. The Center for Creative Leadership researchers found that 70% of what we learn at work is from hands-on experience, 20% from interactions and only 10% from formal training.

The emphasis on reskilling and on-the-job training has elevated critical thinking and problem-solving skills in hiring and promotion decisions. If you are looking for a new job or a promotion, emphasize -and prove – your experience and competence in the six categories below.

  • Curiosity
  • Resilience
  • Agility
  • Project Management
  • People Management
  • Communications


What you can do now

Now that you know what employers are looking for make building your capabilities in these areas a priority. To get a baseline, use this organizer. With this list in the forefront of your thinking, you can actively create opportunities to address any gaps and increase your competency. Having an accessible, personal database of stories and examples will help you prove your worth in performance reviews and job interviews.

For all of the past year’s uncertainty, one definite is that the new future of work is here.

And in this future, there is a place for you.

Here’s a link to a recent Fast Company article, How Finding a Job Will Be Different in 2021.

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