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Three work skills vital in the future

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In 2022, the most important traits will be analytical thinking, active learning and creativity

In three years, analytical thinking, active learning and creativity will be the three most wanted skills.

Analytical thinking remains the top must-have. But active learning will replace complex problem-solving, and creativity will trump critical thinking as the second and third most important job skills, respectively.

Forbes, in its report Ten HR Trends In The Age Of Artificial Intelligence, highlighted these critical human skills from the World Economic Forum's Future Of Jobs Report 2018.

Given these in-demand capabilities, the smart employee will actively learn (practise) how to analyse situations on macro and micro levels, as well as hone his creative thinking.


Consider this the strategic part of your plan: The ability to look at the big picture.

It means while you are attending to daily deadlines, e-mails and meetings, you are also keeping in mind how the small things you do add up to a broader goal.

That is, how you want your achievement to benefit the company and in turn your career.

For instance, instead of merely posting social media messages about your company's product or service, think about leveraging industry partners in joint campaigns. The aim is to get those postings to lend to sector-wide recognition in time.

Here is how to have a helicopter vision while keeping tabs on daily must-dos.

  • Elevated view: ask why

In every challenge or opportunity, first ask why. For example, why is this happening, why now, and why is this important to me and my company's business at this stage?

Having a bird's-eye view lets you better see what matters and what might be a distraction.

  • Base-level view: ask how

This follow-up stage involves questions like how will a plan be organised, how will it impact my daily work, and how can I involve those who need to be part of the implementation?

It might take several rounds of asking the "how" questions to get at the issues and come up with an innovative plan.


Consider this the tactical part of your work game plan.

Creativity is tomorrow's skill to own. That is because consumers and clients constantly seek level-ups - faster, more varied and value-added service. So the ability to meet higher standards is crucial.

Creative thinking involves a process:

  • Information gathering

Ensure you keep abreast of news and immerse in the world of creative thinkers. Also, brainstorm "seedling" ideas and write down a goal.

  • Incubation

Put the ideas on the back-burner and mull over them. Revisit them at a pre-set time with a fresh pair of eyes.

  • Illumination

Over time and thought, the seedling ideas take root. It is the moment when you realise how the jigsaw pieces might come together in a coherent whole.

For example, envision different elements of a business development plan.

  • Implementation

Verify or test out a couple of the strongest ideas, before applying them.

For example, consult with peers or clients on how the best elements might come together in the business development strategy.

Get buy-in or approval, then roll out the plan.

Being able to analyse situations from elevated and base-camp views, and being creative about solutions, require practice.

Just as you need to use the right muscle for the right movement, you will need to flex your mental capacity towards active learning and analytical and creative thought.

This article is by Right Management (, the global career experts within United States-listed HR consulting firm, ManpowerGroup.