What skill set does 2023 need from you?

Chantal KadingIn today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, skills are currency. And like all currencies, says Cape Town-based Chantal Kading, Executive Coach and Leadership and Talent Strategist, they can depreciate over time. According to the World Economic Forum (2017), she says, your skills lose about half their value every five years, and approximately 25 percent of adults report a mismatch between the skills they have and the skills they need for the current market.

To remain competitive and relevant, an assessment of your skills every two to three years is required to evaluate their value and outlook. Equally as important and often overlooked is each individual’s AVP (Authentic Value Proposition) assessment, or as we like to call it, your Peak Performance Quotient. AVP is the product of your Professional Brand Equity, who you are in person, on paper and online – the real you, your personality.

Many people tend to view personality as fixed or static, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s called the “maturity principle” and it suggests that adults may become more extroverted, emotionally stable, and agreeable over time. It all has to do with the changing expectations placed on us that require us to do things a little differently every time as we transition from university, career stages, family life and responsibilities, world and personal challenges (Isobel Whitcomb, 2020).

This means that while you may have started your career as a hardcore introvert, your personality may have evolved; opening you up to a wide range of career growth and advancement opportunities you may have not considered due to your own personality bias. Such changes can be hard to observe in ourselves over a five-year period but do they become pronounced over the long term (livescience.com, 2022).

Understanding who you really are is crucial, particularly when it comes to developing soft skills; which have more to do with who you are and less to do with what you know. These skills are closely related to the Emotional Intelligence Quotient (Leadership Development) and Social Quotient (Team Cohesion) in our Peak Performance Blueprint (The People Shop, 2022).

Unlike hard skills, soft skills tend to preserve their value overtime. Research identifies these skills as essential for learning, collaboration, and successful leadership (Loren Rosario-Maldonado, 2022). A good set of enduring soft skills complimenting one’s changing hard skills are the hallmarks of the kind of candidate talent strategies looked for when making hiring decisions. We have identified the following top 10 soft skills that we believe to be a prerequisite for top talent in 2023.

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Complex problem solving with common sense (which is not that common)
  3. Creativity for Innovation
  4. Social intelligence (humanistic and person-centered)
  5. Diplomacy (Influence & Buy-in)
  6. Data storytelling skills
  7. Agile Mindset
  8. Emotional Intelligence with Emotional FITNESS
  9. Time Alchemy (time management on steroids)
  10. Self-Mastery and prioritization

As companies continue to compete for candidates that can fill a role with limited need for investment in terms of training, mastering a balanced set of skills is paramount. In 2022, it was estimated that on average, employees would need 101 days of retraining and upskilling. In 2023, we predict a Soft Re-Skill Revolution as the job market continues to place a premium on the above-mentioned skills. How do your soft skills measure up and if not, what is your Soft Reskilling game plan for 2023?

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