If you want to get ahead in your career in 2020, adopting a growth mindset should be at the top of your priority list.
According to Udemy's 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report, a having a growth mindset — or the ability to continue learning in order to adapt to change — was ranked as the most important soft skill for career success.
The online learning platform analyzed user data from its Udemy for Business service, which offers several course packages and is used by more than 4,000 companies as a resource for employee training.
One McKinsey & Company report indicated that by 2030, as many as 800 million global workers could lose their jobs to robots. So as emerging technology threatens to eliminate jobs that can easily be completed through automation and machines, employees and job seekers are increasingly focused on developing a growth mindset.
This is where the importance of having a growth mindset comes into place: People who are motivated to reach higher levels of achievement (instead of sticking to a set of fixed skills) by learning new skills that can't be replicated by future technology are much more likely to succeed in the face of setbacks.
Shelley Osborne, vice president of learning at Udemy, told CNBC Make It that another trend she's noticed among users is an increased interest in skills that require a human element, like critical thinking and emotional intelligence. These are the skills that make us "innately human," she explained.
"People are more aware of the fact that soft skills are becoming more relevant, and that they can't be replaced by technology," Osborne added. "Creativity and innovation, for instance, are things a machine can't do for us."
Even industry leaders like Elon Musk have pointed out that there will come a time when machines become so advanced that they'll be able to program themselves — and when that happens, in some cases, only businesses and jobs that focus on human interaction will continue to thrive.
Additionally, an IBM study reported that even though an estimated 120 million workers worldwide will need to be retrained as a result of AI and automation in the next three years, executives named adaptability, time management and collaboration as some of the most important skills to hire for in today's workforce.
The Udemy report also noted the importance of building a company culture that encourages and provides tools for employees to improve these skills. Popular learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Degreed, Coursera, edX, FutureLearn and Udacity can help with this.
Here are the soft skills workers are practicing the most, according to Udemy:
- Growth mindset: An ability to learn continuously and willingness to adapt to change
- Creativity: Developing new ideas, applying new solutions to address existing problems
- Focus mastery: Harnessing concentration to make better short- and long-term decisions
- Innovation: Improving upon an existing idea, concept, process or method to achieve a desired outcome
- Communication skills: Interpreting information though speaking, listening and observing
- Storytelling: Organizing thoughts and data points into a comprehensive, holistic narrative
- Culture awareness: Ability to effectively interact, work and develop meaningful relationships with those of various cultural backgrounds within the organization
- Critical thinking: Objective analysis and evaluation in order to form a judgment on a topic
- Leadership: Providing guidance within an organization
- Emotional intelligence: Practicing control, expression and observation of interpersonal relationships among people in a workplace
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