5 job skills you need for the future of work & how to get them


the job skills you have and the job skills you need

There’s no question that work is changing. Workers in every industry including retail, healthcare and manufacturing will experience the need for new job skills to be productive as automation becomes a more integrated part of work.

We sat down to talk about some of these shifts and here are a few of the must have job skills that are popping up across industries as the future of work changes. Learning about how jobs are changing and the job skills that will be needed now and in the future to adapt to those changes helps you set yourself up to get your next best job in the future.

managing software is an emerging job skill

In manufacturing, many processes are being automated by machines that are controlled by software. Across many companies, jobs will require that workers learn how to operate and machines, in particular the software that is used as the brain of those machines. Workers that are making cars, for example, have precision robots that can pick up the whole frame of a car, put in a slew of bolts or rivets at once, flip it over, do the other side, and then move it on to the next station. This new kind of work potentially saves workers from the physical aspects of building a car, and requires that workers know how to operate the software that controls machines.

Jobs typically have a few software programs that are used daily. If you're a mechanic, you may be using AutoCAD software to design parts, for example. If you make a point to know the top three types of software that would be used in your job, take the steps needed to start to learn that software. By doing that, you’re building a skill that is really valuable to your company or to the job you want to get next. And you’re showing that you’re not afraid of it and you can learn something new, which ties to the next job skill.

having a learning mindset is an important job skill across many industries

Is learning itself a skill? Yes, and it is something companies look for. This job skill is sometimes referred to as a characteristic, like being a quick learner. The important part of this to showcase as a worker is that you have an openness and willingness to learn new things, whether that is software that is being used or new processes that are being implemented. Workers who exhibit learning as a skill are often highly valued.


project management is a highly valued job skill

A project is a temporary endeavor to create a unique product, service or result and project management is using knowledge, skills and tools to accomplish the project goals. Think about building an airplane or a car as a project and all of the organization required to accomplish that feat as project management. Every large manufacturer has many processes that are running that lead to each part of a large project being completed as best as possible. Typically there are multiple project managers involved to see that every major part gets done well.

analyzing data to make decisions

The phrase analyzing data can sound scary, but we do this everyday in our personal lives and more and more we will do this in our working lives. Getting comfortable understanding the data that is important to your job and learning how to interpret that data to drive a business outcome is a huge job skill that will be required for many types of jobs. Talk to your peers and understand the data that is important to their jobs. Talk to your manager and understand the data that you can read and interpret to talk about the results you personally help drive for your business. Often you can find that output from your job is being measured with some type of data metric - knowing that and getting comfortable with the analysis behind that metric is a skill you’ll want to have.

framing decision making as a job skill

Decision making at work involves collecting data, understanding data, seeing the moving pieces in an area and then making an informed decision on how to solve a problem based on everything you know. Decision making as a job skill becomes critical as automation plays a bigger role in jobs. Many workers will be required to interact with and manage machines, understanding the data that is produced, troubleshooting and problem solving to move something forward. Machines are great at automating tasks but have a really hard time mimicking or applying human judgement at a level that is needed. What we’re great at as workers is understanding the data that a machine produces, troubleshooting anything that isn’t working and making judgements about how to solve problems.

To hear more about the job skills that are needed as the future of work changes, check out the video! We talk about healthcare, firefighting and how workers like firefighters are using drones and how that has become an emerging job skill.


OX guides help you learn about job skills that are in demand

Knowing how to label and talk about the job skills you have is important for your current job and also for getting on a path to the job you want next. Ox guides can help you catalogue your job skills and learn the skills you could focus on next. To get matched with an Ox guide, start a chat from ox.work. We’ll ask you to share a little bit about yourself, like the type of job you have now and the type of job you’re looking for in the future, so that we can connect you with an Ox guide that's right for you.