We’ll begin with learnability because it is arguably the most important 21st-century skill you will need to succeed. Alvin Toffler said, "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." That's because, in an environment where new skills emerge as fast as others fade, success is less about what you already know and more about adapting your skills by growing and expanding your knowledge base, so you can use new information and skills to respond to whatever is happening.
Setbacks and failures are a part of life, but how you choose to deal with those roadblocks is what is critical to your success. Resilience is the ability to bounce back in the face of obstacles and failures. When you are resilient, you don't focus on the ups and downs. Instead, you stay focused on your long-term goals, and you never lose confidence in your ability to prevail. By helping you face challenges and difficulties, resilience also enables you to handle stress more positively.
As the work landscape shifts, learning to be agile is a critical skill, as yesterday’s solutions do not solve tomorrow’s problems. At the heart of being agile is shifting gears when the context calls for it and responding accordingly to the needs of your workplace, clients or industry trends.
In our increasingly hyper-connected world, we’re no longer expected to work just as individuals or only in silos. Our projects have become more complex, so the ability to work effectively as part of a team has also grown in importance. Given the increasingly global nature of work, your ability to collaborate, share knowledge and contribute to teams that can capitalize on a diversity of thinking and perspective is critical.
Advancing in your career is not just based on what you do. There’s a good chance that at some point in your career you’ll have to use strong verbal communication skills so you can sell others on your ideas, products, or services. Whether you're needing to explain your value when you are being considered for a promotion, presenting as part of a team project, or speaking on stage, you need to be able to communicate well and convey strong, persuasive ideas.
We live in an era of tweets and sound bites, but good written communication skills still matter when it comes to your career. Whether you are sending professional emails, communicating with a client, trying to deliver a coherent business plan, or anything in between, you should be able to communicate quickly, accurately and effectively.