Top 10 job skills for work in 2020


Do you have the right job skills for a 2020 workplace?

We live in a time of exponential change that is disrupting every industry in every country. The digital revolution, characterized by an increasing reliance on technology, will impact every aspect of how we work and how we live. Many jobs will become obsolete and the social and economic structures that we grew up in will change dramatically. Both organisations and employees will need to reskill repeatedly to thrive in this changing environment.

After surveying the chief HR officers at some of the world’s leading companies, the World Economic Forum released The Future of Jobs report, revealing the top 10 skills that will be needed in 2020 to remain employable, as computers take over many of the tasks and jobs that people perform today. Here are the 10 skills that employers should look out for when recruiting:

1. Complex problem solving

Businesses are there to solve problems. As we go through this shift from old to new, problems increase in complexity and scale. Those with the ability to solve complex problems will be in demand.

2. Critical thinking

As old ways of thinking are disrupted, critical thinking skills become essential. Being able to ask the right questions in relation to problems, deal with abstract ideas, think open-mindedly and being able to communicate effectively are all part of critical thinking for 2020 and beyond.

3. Creativity

Now more than ever, we live in a world of possibility. We have far more freedom to think outside the box and to challenge assumptions and “group think”. Those organisations and individuals who create environments to harness creativity will be better prepared and more successful than those who don’t.

4. People management

As we head into 2020, the way people are managed will change. Work environments will become more collaborative, more focused on the team, more culturally attuned and tech savvy. Organisations, leaders and managers will have to adapt to these changes.

5. Coordinating with others

Coordinating with others will mean developing strong communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team, which will be more diverse in terms of personality, culture, language, generation and location.

6. Emotional intelligence

Handling our emotions and interpersonal relationships in the workplace and being able to emotionally respond to challenges and display good social skills will be essential in this environment.

7. Judgement and decision making

With new technologies and the increasing amount of data that is more readily available within organisations, employees who can make sound decisions and judgements based on all this information will be valued.

8. Service orientation

Consumers are increasingly more demanding of organisations and the products and services they offer. Organisations will by necessity need to ensure they can meet these new demands and will require employees understand this and who can go that extra mile.

9. Negotiation

With changes in our social and economic structures, business will rely more heavily on negotiation as means to engage both internally and externally.

10. Cognitive flexibility

The ability to adapt our way of thinking to face new and unexpected conditions in the environment will be essential. Employees will need to move out of their comfort zones as we move more and more into technical and social advances. This skill will be a must-have in this new time and space.


In this time of increasing change, both in our outside world and place of work, it’s more essential than ever to evaluate your skills and take the steps needed to make sure you’re prepared for the changes ahead.