Learn the Skills to Compete in the Marketplace

Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or job seeker, having the right skills can make the difference between success and failure.

Afzal Badshah, PhD
Practice in Public
5 min readFeb 26, 2023

--

Photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-bearded-man-in-white-long-sleeves-typing-on-computer-keyboard-8123856/

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln

My mother used to tell me, as a child, that my relatives were able to do hard manual labour, like climbing mountains to get firewood or harvesting crops, but I couldn’t.

I was in the village with my mother, and back then manual labour was seen as a skill to be perfected. Those who could harvest crops and climb mountains were considered superior, and mothers were proud of their children who could do those things. All those hard manual skills have been lost over time due to automation, and now people with professional skills are in demand and highly regarded. The world is changing rapidly, especially since the end of the Covid epidemic; changes that took years to manifest are now happening.

Technologies are also eliminating jobs related to our hard skills. These tasks are now being performed automatically by machines powered by artificial intelligence. Therefore, the question is: what are the skills of today?

The World Economic Forum has proposed ten skills for 2025. These skills can be divided into problem-solving, self-management, working with people, and creating and using technology. These are the skills of the future, and everyone needs them to keep up with the world. Below, we will try to understand their importance so that parents can learn these skills themselves and then teach them to their children, thus allowing them to lead better lives.

Some people are very skilled, professional and trained in their work but have a negative attitude. They can never control their emotions and get angry at the slightest thing. The emotions and anger of these people take them to a very negative place and engage them in negative and harmful activities. All this shows that they are unaware of the importance of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, is the ability to manage one’s own or others’ emotions, and to communicate positively in order to reduce stress and overcome problems.

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

After my first study of emotional intelligence, my life changed drastically. Therefore, I would suggest getting some basic training, reading, and understanding it. Everyone understands the need to express and control their emotions to lead a peaceful life; it is just as important to understand the feelings of others, be aware of the facts, and respond to their feelings.

You must have observed that when the wind blows, the branches of the trees move. As its speed increases, even the trunk shakes and bends, causing the entire tree to sway. When this wind becomes a storm, the branches of the tree start touching the ground. As soon as the wind stops, the same branches start reaching the sky again. These qualities of plants make them able to withstand storms and prevent them from falling. If plants did not possess this flexibility, all the trees would break and scatter in storms. This ability of plants is called resilience.

Resilience is a quality that brings you back to the way you were before after a particular psychological or emotional disturbance. This ability is essential for life. But unless you know it or are trained in it, it can seem like an undesirable process.

Years ago, a person who could not read or write was called an illiterate, but now an illiterate is someone who cannot use technology. Therefore, those in the upper age limit should strive to learn today’s technology so as to avoid being labelled the illiterates of this age. Nowadays, every field is transitioning to technology, and there is no field that can run without it. This is why it is essential that all of us continue to learn new technologies over time.

“It is my observation and firm conviction that the technologically inept man of today is actually illiterate.”

Leadership and social influence are strengths. Leadership does not mean representing your constituency in Parliament; rather, if you are a teacher in charge of a classroom, it is important to know how to properly lead a class. Leadership produces social impact, which is a sign of strength in the community where you reside. Having social influence skills helps you to avoid obstacles and lead a peaceful life full of opportunities.

Problem-solving skills help you overcome problems quickly. No matter what field you are in, you will face difficulties. This is not only applicable to research-related institutions but it is needed everywhere. However, conditions change according to the situation. These skills enable you to solve problems quickly and efficiently. This is one of the key skills that companies look for in job seekers.

Photo by Ayelt van Veen on Unsplash

Active Learning is a skill. According to research, we can improve learning abilities. You see many people who learn new skills very quickly. This is a skill that can be easily improved with a little practice. There is no such thing as an age limit for learning. From childhood to death we learn.

Analytical thinking and creativity are the skills required today. These are the skills that leaders and their employees must possess in order to contribute to the success of an organization. Every generation needs a creative mind. Analytical and creative intelligence should be nurtured in educational institutions. If this does not happen, clerks will be produced which the world no longer needs.

Consequently, a person who does not possess these skills is considered illiterate, just as someone who could neither read nor write was considered in the past. No matter which organization you serve, you need to learn these skills, particularly those which are related to technology. This will open up new opportunities not only in employment or business but also in society.

The writer can be reached via Google Scholar, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp.

--

--

Afzal Badshah, PhD
Practice in Public

Dr Afzal Badshah focuses on academic skills, pedagogy (teaching skills) and life skills.