One of the most common questions asked when talking about the future of work is “what should we focus on now, to ensure we have the right skills for the future?”

It is hard to answer what specific technical skills might be required since we can’t really imagine some of these future jobs. However, we can start with a focus on are our core abilities.  These that can be applied to multiple work assignments, now and in the future.

Abilities can be described as enduring attributes of the individual that influence performance. You need to master these in order to acquire and apply knowledge and develop skills.

Where to start

Based on analysing a model developed by O*NET  the two most required across all occupations are:

Verbal abilities – These influence how we acquire and apply verbal information to creating value. e.g. oral comprehension, oral expression, written comprehension and written expression.

Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities – These influence how we apply and manipulate information to create value. e.g. Reasoning, Information processing, fluency of ideas, originality.

abilities across all occupations

It is safe to assume that our capacity to acquire, apply and manipulate information will become even more critical in the future. Specifically, as we focus on growing human creativity, social sensitivity, and leadership.

The good news is that we can, over time, enhance these specific abilities.

Actions to take

Here are the simple actions I take:

  • Read (even) more books – I target at least 1 book a week and I try to have a variety so I can be inspired by new ideas. The variety also helps with expanding vocabulary and different ways of communicating. If you know more then one language, try and read in all.
  • Write …and publish – Writing has never been my strength, however in order to spread ideas and make them real for as many people as possible, practicing how to do that effectively is a valuable asset.
  • Meet with, and talk to new people…outside my current network – if you want to be able to generate new ideas and turn them into value, you have to venture outside your familiar grounds.

Hadas Wittenberg is a future of work enabler