New Skills Make For New Beginnings

New Skills Make for New Beginnings

Are you looking for a new job, thinking of switching careers or simply contemplating your next move? One of the nation’s leading employment-oriented services has published a list of the most in-demand job skills, and the most sought-after talents and abilities may surprise you.

What do you know about blockchain? If your knowledge on this groundbreaking digital database is up to date, congratulations, that makes you one of the most desirable job candidates in the current market.

According to the social media networking platform Linked-In, blockchain tops the list of skills that employers around the globe are looking for.

What exactly is blockchain? It’s a digital database containing information (e.g. records of financial transactions) that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network.

In other words, the top hiring priority in the U.S., U.K., France, Australia, and Germany is the ability to use a record-keeping technology that enables the secure storage, validation and movement of digital assets across the internet.

Cloud computing, which is the technology that allows data to be managed and stored on the internet, is the number two skill most in demand. Individuals who work in this area develop the design architecture and delivery of cloud systems.

Analytical reasoning, the ability to evaluate data and find trends within the information, was cited as the third most desired employee asset. If you’re sensing a trend here, you’re right! Today’s employers are in need of tech-savvy individuals who can use their skills to strategize business decisions and drive future growth.

In line with this trend, artificial intelligence, the technology behind the development of machine learning, was employers’ fourth most desired employee job skill.

Number five on the list was UX design, described as the focus on consumers’ experience of products, especially technology.

Here is the list of LinkedIn’s worldwide top 10 most in-demand hard job skills:

  •       Blockchain
  •       Cloud computing
  •       Analytical reasoning
  •       Artificial intelligence
  •       UX design
  •       Business analysis
  •       Affiliate marketing
  •       Sales
  •       Scientific computing
  •       Video production

So, what if none of these skills are in your wheelhouse? If you’re not comfortable with or don’t have the desire to work with technology most of the day, don’t despair. The above list is a compilation of what is known as hard job skills.

Hard job skills are considered to be abilities that can be taught and measured, such as mathematical or technological aptitude. On the other hand, soft job skills are those that are more subjective and considered to be personal attributes, like the ability to communicate, attitude and sociability. A hard skill for a surgeon, for example, might be the ability to manipulate small hand-held instruments.

Different jobs demand different skill sets, soft skills are those associated with how well you can be expected to interact with others.

These soft skills made the list of the most in-demand abilities worldwide:

  •       Creativity
  •       Persuasion
  •       Collaboration
  •       Adaptability
  •       Emotional intelligence

As you can see, soft skills contain many components of what might be called people skills. Most jobs require at least a modicum of soft skills. Succeeding in the workplace would be hard without the ability to get along well with your boss, colleagues, etc. In general, it’s a widely accepted truism that hard skills are more easily taught and incorporated than are soft skills.

That doesn’t mean you can’t improve your level of soft skills, however. Job candidates looking to knock the socks off interviewers should understand the plethora of soft skills that will make them stand out from the crowd.

In addition to the list above, there are plenty of other soft skills that will distinguish you as a must-have employee and you’ll definitely want to highlight your skill and experience with these qualities on your resume, job applications, and in interviews.

For instance, communication is such an integral component to the success of so many tasks, it’s easy to overlook. Be honest with yourself in answering this question: How well do you communicate? Communication involves much more than the words you choose, it encompasses the ability to speak with clarity, at a steady pace, and an abundance of politeness doesn’t hurt either. It’s hard to envision a day in which we’re not communicating with others by phone, in person or in writing. And, listening is an often forgotten but extremely critical part of communication.

Like the ability to get one’s ideas across clearly and courteously, critical thinking is another soft skill that’s highly in demand.

Comparing critical thinking to analytical reasoning is like comparing apples and oranges – they’re similar but ultimately different. In this sense analytical reasoning refers to analytics, the evaluation of statistics and data sets to spot trends. For our purposes, critical thinking involves appraising a situation to make the best, informed decision, regardless of whether the situation involves teaching, plumbing, or data.

All of us appreciate a positive attitude whether we’re at work, at home or at play. Your attitude can’t be measured by a test or scale but it’s something that employers are keen to gauge before they hire you. Having a positive attitude won’t replace a hard skill set, but all employers value friendly employees who are eager to work and have the capacity to boost the general mood.

Leadership is another soft skill that isn’t easily measured but is definitely recognized when it’s on display.

Even if your dream job isn’t a managerial position, leadership skills are important when it comes to day to day routines and decision-making. Think of your leadership talent as the ability to step up to the plate when needed in order to resolve difficult workplace situations. Being able to take the lead without being asked is a valuable soft skill much in demand by employers who are increasingly pressed to do more with less.


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