The future, and yes, also the labor market, is quite unpredictable. How helpful would it be to show up well prepared and to be able to tackle every possible change, supported by your personal, future-proof skills set? You can do this! Becoming a real, future-proof T-shaped professional helps you to eventually get your (new) dream job and to maintain this throughout the rest of your career.

T-shaped, professional, training, coachingThe study you graduated from during the last couple of year(s), or maybe even far before that, has probably provided you with lots of in-depth expertise in your specific field of discipline. But only possessing this in-depth (I-shaped) knowledge does no longer get you that dream job, considering the fact that you have to take part in this 21st century, ever renewing professional world with rapid technology and societal developments. J. T. O’Donnel, career expert, author of books as Mandatory Greatness: The 12 Laws of Driving Exceptional Performance and America’s most popular career advice column ‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ (with a weekly reach of 6 million readers), also states that developing yourself and adapting your skills to the current labor market reduces your chances of being disposable, and therefore preventing you from ending up standing at the sidelines of it.

Unique in adaptability

Developing these skills is not only relevant for people who have already been working for years. It is also the case for students, or brand new job-searchers on the labor market. The current young employees and those from the future (Generation Z: born in between 1995 and now) have a significant greater risk in showing weaknesses in their soft skills, says author of i.a. Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Todays Young Talent and expert on young people at the workfloor, Bruce Tulgan. ‘This young generation values being unique more and more. To not ‘fit in’ a company or situation too much, they try to let their work and colleagues fit to themselves, instead of the other way around.’ The development and use of soft skills is specifically designed to better be able to adjust to all kinds of situations and persons, stresses the author. ‘This is almost against all things that Generation Z tries to stand for.’

The so-called ‘soft skills gap’ that arises here has become even bigger in the past few years, says Tulgan. That doesn’t mean that generation Z has to let go of their desire of being unique and let others adapt to them. Yet, past research by CareerBuilder states that 77 percent of current employers still value these soft skills as equally important as only substantive knowledge.

Wide and generally employable

So no matter what age or background you have, you need to show your current as well as your future employer that you are a true T-shaped professional. The broad and generic T-shaped soft skills consist of your ability to include:

  • Effective communication
  • Empathy
  • Team building
  • Negotiation
  • Creativity
  • Productive collaboration

How to become a super skilled future-proof professional

With these tips, you also get a future-proof T-shaped professionals.

  • Think from a growth mindset. What do you want and are you able to develop and master in the future?
  • Think about the ways to realize this. Approach your situation with an open mind. Think in terms of chances and opportunities, for you and all people involved.
  • Foresee and show attention to each other’s want and needs. How do you create a win-win situation?
  • Show your own set of soft skills. (Potential) employers often don’t ask directly what skills you possess, but you can give them relevant and great examples of how you mastered and used your skills in certain situations. Most certainly mention your soft skills on your LinkedIn profile.

  • Explore (new) ways to acquire more knowledge and skills in other areas than you gained from your studies. Are you able to do an internship at another department? Would it be possible to follow a minor of a different field of education? Is a more experienced colleague willing to let you, under his/her supervision, fulfill another role than the one your have been educated for when working on a project? And what does that one person want or need in return?

Happy, High Performance Teaming, top, resultaat, results, team, succes, success, productiviteit, productivityFuture proof with 21st Century Skills

We will gladly help you to become an effective and sustainable T-shaped Professional. With great pleasure we will present our MBA, PhD and Open Innovator Undergraduate lectures and company training programs. Tailored to your goals, learning styles and needs.

Happy, High Performance Teaming, top, resultaat, results, team, succes, success, productiviteit, productivityCreate your dream job

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