Now is the time to cultivate skills that will form the foundation of your professional journey. Acquire versatile skills that enhance your value as an employee, member of the C-suite, or entrepreneur and prepare you for what lies ahead.
Digital technology is moving faster than we can keep up, and artificial intelligence (AI) is leading the way. Experts caution that people will not be able to adapt. And soon, we’ll be forced to deal with moral and ethical considerations surrounding these new technologies — as we saw in the nearly five-month strike by the Writers Guild of America.
So, rather than honing in on one specific subject, skill set, or credential, adopt a comprehensive approach to upskilling. Here are three essential skill sets universally applied across all industries and income levels
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning.
There’s no doubt that 2023 was the year for AI. AI carved out an entirely new path in the digital landscape and will continue to play a vital role in the future. And while many people fear losing their jobs to robots, this year, we’ll likely see a shift as more companies embrace this technology for what it can do for the workforce. Learning how to use AI technology will not only make you more valuable now but will become essential in the not-to-distant future.
When OpenAI released ChatGPT, how-to books flooded the market. But by the time several of those books were released, the next iteration of ChatGPT had been released. Practice is the best teacher when it comes to using AI.
ChatGPT, Jasper, GitHub Copilot, Amazon CodeWhisperer, and Midjourney can help with writing, coding, and graphic design. Many have free versions. Hands-on experience will make the biggest difference. But for those who want to dive a little deeper, Coursera offers a host of AI and machine learning courses.
- Digital literacy.
A very close second to AI literacy is digital literacy. Almost everything we do today involves the digital world in one way or another. Knowing how to navigate the digital landscape is a necessity in today’s workplace, whether you’re analyzing data, communicating, managing projects, creating a basic sales funnel email sequence – or simply trying to send a group email!
You will need to learn how to adapt to new digital tools and platforms in this evolving environment. For those of us who are not digital natives (born before 1997), we’re already behind the curve. Northstar tests your digital skills and helps you build new skills in key areas. LinkedIn Learning offers a digital literacy and productivity learning pathway.
Learning to negotiate is not relegated to sales professionals. Negotiation skills are valuable in all professions. Negotiation skills are used to persuade and collaborate with others and resolve conflicts.
According to Harvard Business School, negotiation skills are vital to advance in your career, as they enable you to build lasting relationships with colleagues, clients, and suppliers and, in turn, boost revenue. Additionally, how well you negotiate can have a direct relationship with your salary and benefits package in terms of salary negotiations, flexible work schedules, and professional responsibility.
There are a number of negotiation courses offered through Coursera. Harvard Business School Online offers a self-paced Negotiation Mastery course.
As the professional landscape evolves with rapid advancements in technology, the need to cultivate foundational skills becomes imperative. Learning these essential skills empowers professionals to navigate change successfully and prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.