Most people want to spend their money on buying something that would last longer.
Is not it?
I am sure you will have no problem to spend some more bucks to buy things that are future proof rather than buying something cheap.
But ironically, we do not always apply the same principle when it comes to our life.
The world is changing faster than ever. Every 3–5 years technology is changing, service industry is changing.
Today, by the time a student finishes his/her college or university, he/she witnesses completely new industries than what he/she studied in college or university.
Demands of new skills are rising with the advancement of the world.
There is a huge difference between what organizations looked in a candidate to offer him a job and what they look in candidates today.
Naturally, the question rises is-
How can I make myself future proof?
I think there is no one skill that can make your life secure and will be in demand forever. What seems today the most demanding skill today may not be relevant in a few years from now.
Having said that we can adopt certain skills and mindset to prevent from becoming obsolete or less relevant.
Learning soft skills along with hard skills are essential to grow in any industry.
After exploring various websites like ‘world economic forum’ that monitors industries and businesses of all over the world and talking with various people from diverse industries I found 7 skills that are absolutely essential if you want to thrive in today’s world.
Whatever stage of life you are at, whatever job you are doing, these skills will help you to grow and make you future proof.
Here are these skills-
1. Basic Tech Skills
What are the basic tech skills?
I know you know how to operate a computer or mobile. I know you know how to use social media. These are no longer basic tech skills.
Do know the basics of coding?
Do you know how to protect yourself from cyber attacks or online fraud?
Can a make a simple website for yourself?
Yes, these are basic tech skills nowadays. IF you don’t know these yet I know what you might think
‘But these are hard skills and I have not studied computer science, only specialists can do these.’
5 years back learning these were a little difficult as not many things were available to learn. But today you can easily learn if you spend some time and energy.
Trust me 10 years from now coding will become a primary skill required for any job just like reading or writing.
Chances are that nobody is going to hurt you physically in today’s time but people can hurt you digitally.
With increasing cases of cyber-attacks, internet safety is becoming of utmost importance. Data privacy is a burning issue in today’s time. Social media companies are utilizing your data to make money.
There is no guarantee that tomorrow they won’t use your data against you.
Having an online presence is indispensable to make a mark in today’s world.
These are no longer any extra skills that are good to learn but have become must learn skills.
How/Where to start
It won’t take much time to learn these. You can make a simple website just by drag and drop. Even if you don’t know any coding, you can make great websites. Just watch a few tutorials videos.
Become aware of online fraud cases. How they do it?
Read about them and protect yourself. Privatewebsystems is a great blog to read about such things. Be safe on the internet and don’t give away too much of your data.
Regarding coding, you can watch the following video to get started-
2. Sales and Marketing
This might surprise you but this is really important.
Whenever we hear the word sales, we feel like selling a product to people. Somehow a negative feeling is associated with the word ‘sales’ in many people’s minds. I was one of them.
I used to think like Sales is equal to begging. When I started writing I never told anyone to read my articles. Of course, I felt like why should I beg to people to read my content.
Now I know it’s not begging. It’s that you have confidence in your content that it is valuable and worth people’s time and that’s why I am letting people know that I write stuff that you can read and share.
More than anything you have to sell yourself in today’s world. It might sound eerie but this is what people called ‘Personal branding’.
To establish your worth you need to provide or sell valuable stuff to people. People’s trust is one of the rare assets today. The bigger the trust, the more valuable your brand is.
Sales and marketing is an art and you must learn it to flourish.
How/Where to start
There are many courses/books available on this subject. Learn from whatever you find comfortable. Influence by Robert Cialdini is an excellent book on this topic.
3. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
What is emotional intelligence (EQ)?
‘Your emotional intelligence is your ability to better understand, utilize, and manage your emotions in positive ways to communicate effectively, empathize with others, negotiate with people, etc.’
You hear a lot about the IQ level of a person but how often do you hear about the EQ level?
“We overestimate IQ and underestimate EQ”
All of us know people who are very vulnerable, can’t manage anger, too emotional, etc. and think emotions can’t be managed.
At a time when you can’t trust people blindly, developing emotional intelligence is crucial. The better your EQ is, the better you will understand people.
With conscious efforts, you can increase your EQ level. No matter what you have to deal with all kinds of people in your life. People with better EQ gain more respect and credibility in the world than those who never develop their EQ.
How/Where to start
It is one of the most demanding skills for obvious reasons. Daniel Goleman has written wonderful books/courses on emotional intelligence.
You can also read this article by Mark Manson
4. Research Ability
No, you don’t have to enroll yourself in a Ph. D. program to have research ability. It’s more of a mindset.
I am sure you have seen people who investigate a lot before agreeing to something. They don’t trust anything just because someone has told them.
There is a term called herd mentality. When people act in the same way or behave similarly to the people around them, it is called herd mentality.
Most people do things because people around them are them are doing the same things.
Only people who can save themselves from herd mentality are those who have an urge to investigate enough before taking an action.
How many times you have seen your friends forwarded you fake news?
I have seen it many times. It’s not their fault but some people don’t take some time to research properly.
Why do you think Fake news spread so fast?
Because many people have a herd mentality.
When you develop a habit of researching things before coming to any conclusion, you earn respect from people for your credibility.
How/Where to start
Don’t read or watch everything you come along. Don’t trust everything people say. Search enough before making any conclusion. Stay away from the herd mentality.
I read a wonderful book ‘The Intelligence Trap’ by David Robson. You can read that.
We all get overwhelmed by our work schedule. Nowadays people always have more work to do. Getting burned out has become common in today’s work culture.
Due to this, our personal life suffers a lot. We don’t pay enough attention to our relationships, we don’t exercise enough, we don’t take any leisure time.
One day when we lose our health and relationships, we realize their importance. Steven Covet said it beautifully-
“Private victory precede public victories.
You can’t invert the process any more than you can harvest a crop before you plant it.”
But how can we manage our time to balance personal and professional life?
The answer is productivity.
Productivity is the correct proportion of being effective and efficient.
Being effective means doing the right things and being efficient means doing things right.
You must have heard what Abraham Lincon said-
“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe”
That’s exactly what you need to do.
Being productive will save much of your wasted time and you can truly focus on really important things.
How/Where to start
From the last 5 -7 years productivity is perhaps the most trending subject. A lot of research has been done on this. Numerous books have been written on productivity.
But from personal experience, I can tell you not everything you read or watch on productivity will apply to your life. You need to try and test things to check what suits your lifestyle.
But for sure productivity works and makes life easier.
6. Financial Literacy
Stan Lee said ‘With power comes responsibility’. I think it also applies to money-
“With more money comes more responsibility”
In my personal experience, people never pay attention to gain some financial knowledge.
We grow up in such a way that society does not encourage enough to learn about money. That’s the reason school, college, or university teaches you nothing about personal finance.
No wonder we often hear about people or even about celebrities who go bankrupt.
It is a must-have skill to learn about personal finance. You have to deal with money. The better you know about it, the better you can handle it.
Having money is a great power only if you know how to manage it and use it for the right reasons.
How/Where to start
Nowadays many courses are available free of charge to learn the basics of personal finance. I would recommend you to join Varun Malhotra’s beginner's course which is free.
I have taken his courses and trust him completely. There are many books also available on the same topic. Read ‘Master your money, master your life’ by Abhishek Kumar.
7. A Growth Mindset
This is the most important skill you can have among all others.
What is the most important factor that decides success or failure in the long term?
It is the mindset. Whether you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.
If you read any holy book like the Gita, there also it talks about to do work without attaching too much about the outcome. It suggests working with the right attitude or mentality to become successful in the long term.
This topic definitely deserves an entire article. I will write someday in the future in more detail on this.
For now, just understand that only people who have a growth mindset will read this article and try to learn as many skills as possible with time.
People with a fixed mindset will think like-
‘what is the need for learning these many skills, I am already doing fine on my job’
How/Where to start
Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University have done long research on people’s mindset. Here is what she found-
You can also read her book ‘Mindset’.
Change is the only thing that is constant. History has repeatedly shown us that people who adapt themselves with time thrive and people who don’t adapt become extinct.
Humans are perhaps the only species on earth who don’t have everything predefined just like animals.
We can learn whatever they wish to, we can create new things, we can change ourselves completely than what we were 5 years back.
Learn whatever hard skill you are learning or doing at this moment, but keep in mind to learn the abovementioned skills to grow exponentially and make yourself future proof in today’s world.
Remember the Chinese proverb
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
Start learning, start growing.
Have I missed any vital skills? Let me know in the comment section.