Sense Making. You’ll be in high demand if you can examine what you see, read, or hear and then determine its deeper meaning. For example:
A builder may envision a small town where a large toxic dump now sits. She will communicate with engineers and others engaged in remediation around the world and then use the newest technology to clean the earth. Later, she will partner with other companies to build homes and schools.
Social Intelligence. Being able to sense others’ reactions to a situation or communication will help you rise to the top in your field. With this ability, you can encourage the response you want from others. For example:
An IT specialist talking by phone with a non-technical customer about loading software may sense the customer’s uncertainty. With the skill to show empathy, ask tactful questions, and communicate suggestions in a simple manner, the specialist can earn the customer’s loyalty that may lead to bigger sales for the company.
Computational Thinking. As vast amounts of data become available, there will be a great need for people who have the ability to reason and form ideas. For example:
A pediatric nurse who sees the same children often may wonder why they are sick so frequently. She may search the patient database for clues about the children’s illnesses, and she and the doctor may identify a course of nutrition, vitamins, and other wellness measures.
Cognitive load management. Compare your brain to a computer hard drive that contains so much information that you have to decide what is worth saving. When you are required to deal with vast amounts of information, you must be able to separate the critical from the non-critical information so you can maximize your brain function. For example:
A project manager who is leading a large insurance company‘s move from a small building in the suburbs to a skyscraper in a city 40 miles away deals with an enormous amount of information clutter. She must be able to filter out the non-important information so her brain can make proper decisions.
Transdisciplinary. While being an expert in your field will be essential in 2020, knowledge to understand ideas that cross many disciplines will be extremely important. For example:
A bridge engineer must be an expert in the technical aspects of the work. However, he must be knowledgeable enough about other fields to work with social scientists and environmentalists who are concerned about the effects of the bridge on the citizens. He must be able to communicate in simple language that will relieve the anxiety of the other parties.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Think about specific examples when you would use these five skills in a career you like.
Adapted from an article by Larry Kim in Inc.