The Top Jobs of 2013 chart, as presented by Forbes Magazine at the beginning of this year only served to confirmed something most job hopefuls already knew: IT skills in general, and coding in particular, are in very high demand. Along come several other innovation-focused abilities, followed by accounting, and (surprise, surprise) events management. Aside from listing the jobs with the most opportunities and estimated openings for this year, the chart also drew attention to another fact of the employment market: the best new work skills are updating trends and attitudes expected of employees. As such, if this year was not that successful for you, in terms of finding a new job – or if you’re in need of a career change – here are the top seven new skills you should consider investing into, in terms of trends for the coming year.
1) Critical thinking
Critical thinking is not only one of the best new work skills to hold in this day and age – it’s also highly valued in all other planes of human existence. The general perception on contemporary life is that being informed is no longer enough. Since we are all bombarded with massive amounts of information, it’s up to the critical thinker to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the facts they receive. Critical thinkers are able to coherently formulate conclusions and come up with problems to the issues signaled either by themselves, or by their co-workers.
2) The ability to solve complex problems
The contemporary job market values creative types and lateral thinkers. They are the employees who will make note of a problem before anyone else, they will report it, investigate it, analyze all its angles, and eventually come up with a solution that takes care of it. Their choices of solutions are both innovative and sensible, and they are endowed with a problem solving skill that allows them to tackle even the most complex issues in work scenarios.
3) Decision making
Pro-active has been a buzzword for many years on the job market. As such, it only makes sense to include prompt and efficient decision making and judgment calls onto the list of the best new job skills. Efficient decision makers are able to quickly assess a situation, weigh its pros and cons, take costs and gains into account, and finally reach a swift decision – which they also follow through to implementation.
4) Active listening
Years of feedback and honing organizational structure have finally tipped employers off: active listeners make for great employees. They are genuinely attentive to what is being communicated to them, know not to interrupt, take notes, ask questions, and generally perform according to what they are told. In addition, they also come across as very empathetic, which is a very attractive generally human skill.
5) Computer skills
Of course, this set of abilities couldn’t have missed from our list of the best new work skills, with so many up and coming cool jobs focused on the IT industry. This is not to say that you need to start learning programming or complex coding languages stat. You do, however, need a working understanding of basic PC skills, in order to be at least remotely competitive as a candidate for most jobs on the market these days.
6) Math skills
If you didn’t pay attention in your high school math class (at the very least), you’re probably going to regret it, as mathematics skills are on the chart of the best new work skills of the moment. In-depth knowledge is not required for all top level jobs, but a basic understanding of the operational concepts in math can carry you a long way professionally. On the upside, you can always brush up on your knowledge of algebra, calculus, geometry and the rest.
7) Performance assessment
Half of the most desirable jobs in 2013, as listed by Forbes, require successful job candidates to be able to observe and assess their own job performance, as well as the performance of others. That’s because organizations everywhere are not only looking for staff that has these top best new skills – they’re also looking for trustworthy supervisors, who can confirm whether or not their workers are doing the job they’ve been hired for.