Adopt a Skills-First Approach- How can you utilize this moment to achieve your dreams?


Sat, 07/23/2022 - 13:54

Learning new skills has been mandatory for today’s competitive world. Professionals all over the world are rethinking career models and questioning inherent power structures between talent and employers. Hence you will need to focus on leveraging this moment to advance your career in the way you want to. After all, career satisfaction isn`'t a `'want`', it`'s a need.

Go for a skills-first approach. Skills remove obstacles to new careers and opportunities as well as our new lifestyles and work-life balance. Various tools like The Pathfinder and LinkedIn Learning`'s new free tool will help you identify and learn the skills for the next step in your career. You just need to make a career goal, identify new skills that are required to achieve your goals, and get a list of LinkedIn Learning courses customized for your goals.

However, companies are still using outdated and inefficient hiring practices with layers of bureaucracy, lots of administration, and old assumptions about who is qualified to take on what challenges. As a result, companies are lacking prospective talents whereas people are missing out on employment experiences that could make a significant impact on their lives.

According to the World Economic Forum’s estimation, in the next three years, 42 percent of jobs will require different skills, and more than 1 billion workers will need reskilling by 2030.

One of the biggest challenges that a lot of organizations are facing in the near future is replacing talent or preventing its loss. A more significant issue-the lack of a workforce that is engaged and adaptive and has the necessary skills for a changing world- lies at the root of that situation. In today’s complex and fast-changing society, this poses a severe risk to the entire population.  

Agility- the capacity to quickly adapt and act in response to whatever comes next is highly crucial for both organizations and employees. The skill-first approach is a promising, emerging trend that aims to increase agility. A skill-first strategy necessitates re-examining the notion of talent and reversing the conventional talent model. Over employment histories and degrees, demonstrated skills are emphasized. Rich, diverse job pathways are preferred over rigid, pre-determined ones. Additionally, talents and contributions, have an impact on awards and recognition, rather than just job level, duration, or location.

Making a switch to the skills-first strategy is not a quick and easy way. However, if you adopt a skill-first perspective, the implications are profound and touch everything from recruiting and development to learning and rewards. People often discover that they need to “unlearn” a lot of my presumptions. However, this novel strategy also motivates them because it creates fresh possibilities for resolving the problems that modern businesses face.

Irrespective of the role you play; as a company leader or in an organizational talent role, here are some tips for you to get started with a skills-first talent strategy:

1. Create a common skills language

The majority of organizations use confused and inconsistent terminology around skills. Hence employers find it challenging to determine whether the candidate possesses the necessary abilities to fill the open roles. Similarly, the workers find it challenging to comprehend which talents they should acquire to improve their careers. Hence, streamline your skills to ensure you are the right fit for your organization. Consider asking yourself two questions; 1) What is required to be successful at this company? 2) Does this company require the skills that you possess?

2. Consider your company culture

Which aspects or qualities of the corporate culture at your organization support the shift to skills first? What might get in the way? What is required to operate with a skill-first strategy across the enterprise? You will need to develop connections across silos, open communication, and conversation, and psychological safety will need you to build on existing structures and behaviors. These will assist you in empowering employees as you identify the talents required to carry out corporate strategy and goals, ascertain who possesses those skills, and fill in any gaps by moving, developing, or hiring new people.

3. Utilize advanced technologies

Technology can promote important business goals seamlessly through interconnected solutions, including productivity, reskilling and upskilling, performance, and career progression. For example- match your skills to the skills required for an internal job in a company. You can also use tools like Career Hub, where you can get the recommendation for personalized skill learning to develop in your careers.

As we prepare for the future of work, skills are the basic currency of the changing world. A skill-first strategy gives current and future workers access to exciting, dynamic careers, which further encourages ongoing learning and engagement. This is exactly what organizations need to ensure they attract and retain the best talent.

Top Career Development Goals

When we surveyed professionals from all over the world about their career goals for the upcoming six months, these three things were the most common among all of them;

·         Maintain a better work-life balance

·         Change my current job to a new company

·         I want to grow and advance in my current role and become a leader or manager

Maintain a better work-life balance

In the pre-pandemic world, professionals mostly prioritized work as a major part of our lives. But since the pandemic, the work culture of various companies has taken a new shape. Now we have more choices around our workplace. Instead of working the whole day, we can choose when we want to spend more time with our families, clubs, art, sports, or religion, and how does work fit into that?

In today’s job scenario, where a mass number of people are switching jobs, companies are curious to know what employees want and how work can better fit into their lives.

No wonder, work-life balance is the first priority that employees want in their jobs. But as long as you are juggling your career and personal life, this can be a challenging task. Here are some skills that can help you maintain your work-life balance smoothly.

Tips to maintain a good work-life balance

·         Make a schedule. Manage your time. Give yourself adequate time to complete all the tasks. Don't overschedule yourself.

·         Work on your wellness. Find the purpose and meaning of work and life. Learn how to identify your personal values and make professional and strategic decisions in light of those principles.

·         Organize your day. Come up with effective ways to draw and enforce your own personal boundaries.

·         If you are a parent, then along with your work, you will have to deal with handling a child at your home. Develop some practical skills for organizing your day.

·         Managing stress. Managing your work and life can be really stressful. Develop skills that can help you make your workplace more enjoyable and help you manage stress throughout the day.

Change my current job to a new company

According to the surveys, a majority of people are considering changing jobs. Employees all over the world are re-evaluating their options, looking for new jobs, and are definitely taking the advantage of the remote opportunities.

Recruiters and hiring managers have considered skills as the primary criteria for the hiring of new candidates. Companies prioritize those candidates whose skills match the alignment with the role they’re looking to fill.

Use tools like The Pathfinder, which can help you identify skills and courses depending on what you want to achieve in the next six months. Apart from this, there are a few other job-seeking skills that you can sharpen to get ready for your next job search.

1. Finding a job. Looking for a new job can be daunting, especially when you are a fresher, or when you haven’t looked for a job in a while. You will have some guidance on how you can strategically look for and apply for your dream job. Think about what right attitude can help you stay persistent and interview with confidence. Sometimes, your mentor or your network can help you get to an interview. You will just need to find the right people for your guidance.

2. Changing career. Changing careers can be daunting. You will need to have the specific talents that the companies are looking for. Review some of your past successes, volunteer work, projects, and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills. Determine whether your current career requires your core competencies and skills. Also, adopt some transferable skills from your current role to apply to the career change you want to make. There are courses available that can help you identify transferrable skills. Keep reading this blog to know more about transferable skills.

3. Flexible work timings. While looking for a new job, you will need to look for a company that provides the flexibility that you want. Whether it’s remote work, flexible hours, ample PTO, or otherwise, if you want a long-term stay in a company then you will have to negotiate the right terms for you. Hiring companies already know about all these trends and are most likely to be more receptive and open to these kinds of discussions than ever before.

Focusing on growing in my career and becoming a leader/manager in my current role

People having a couple of years of experience can tell you the essential skills required for a functional area to continue to grow in your career. Well, being a leader is hard but using the right strategies can make this work smoothly. You must learn to balance the priorities in a complex, fractured work environment. No matter if you already are a leader or are aspiring to become one, here are some tips that help you solidify or start with your work;

1. Fostering trust among your juniors

For being a good leader, it is very crucial to possess the ability to build trust among your team members. As per studies, workers claimed that they will not follow a leader whom they do not trust. Credibility builds trust and the key to getting there is understanding how to accept responsibility, promote teamwork, and assume the position of an effective teacher, among other things.

2. Think like a leader

Certain mentality changes are necessary when you are commanding others and others are following you. You are the example-setter and hence you must additionally care to set a good example. Your focus includes helping others develop as a vital component. Dealing with challenging situations is inevitable. You can achieve success in these important areas by thinking like a leader.

3. Promoting diversity and inclusion

For leaders everywhere, diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) is of utmost importance. To support leaders in promoting true equity, one must be committed to developing one’s abilities to enable leaders to attract the best candidates and make sure they stay on to serve as long-term leaders.

4. Project administration

Fundamentally, leaders are responsible for ensuring that tasks get done within time. Project management is one of the most important aspects of leadership in many industries as when it’s done correctly, it appears to be effortless.

Some tips on how to learn new skills on the job:

1.       Find more opportunities

Finding opportunities for advancement is one of the most crucial elements of learning new skills on the job. When searching for a new job position, think about picking a company that emphasizes training employees on the job. People who are interested in developing their skills can take advantage of several organizations’ free training programs or professional development courses. By speaking with your manager or getting in touch with the human resources division of your workplace, you can learn about possibilities to pick up new skills on the job.

2.       Evaluate your skills

Understanding your level of experience in different talents is useful before you can concentrate on acquiring a new one. Indeed, assessments are a great way to measure your expertise in a given field. You can take tests tailored to your industry if you are driven to pursue a certain career path that calls for technical expertise. Knowing your strengths and areas for development will help you decide which skills and abilities you should focus on acquiring at work.

3.       Keep practicing every day

Once you’ve decided on a skill to work on, make an effort to practice it daily. The more you use talent in your regular work activities, the faster you’ll become an expert at it. If at all possible, start honing your skills in low-stakes situations that won’t affect the overall caliber of your job.

4.       Get advice from others

One of the finest strategies to improve your competency when learning a skill on the job is to take lessons from someone who is an expert in the field. If one of your co-workers excels in a particular area, you may ask to observe them in action or arrange a meeting to explore their strategy for success. Additionally, you can request that somebody watch you execute a skill or task and provide feedback on how you might get better. As you hone your professional skills, try to learn from many different co-workers in order to find a method that suits you the best.

5.       Ask for feedback

You can develop on-the-job skills in addition to working with a co-worker by routinely seeking feedback from your management and anyone else you frequently co-operate with. Your co-worker may be able to point you in the direction of practical resources and training possibilities, as well as offer insight, and advice on how they developed their abilities at work. Be courteous and open to what others have to say when you ask for feedback so that you may concentrate on developing.

6.       Track your development

Track your development as you gain a new skill by taking regular exams and comparing your present knowledge and capabilities to your present knowledge and capabilities as your starting point. This can encourage you to stay motivated and if necessary, change your learning approach.

Transferable skills to progress in career.

As it is earlier mentioned in the blog, transferable skills play a crucial role when making a career transition. But what exactly are these transferable skills? Those skills that are not limited to a particular role and can be adapted between jobs are known as transferable skills. gaining these skills helps you with your career development because they have a broad appeal to potential employers.

Below mentioned are some of the key transferable skills that you must develop to ensure you’re on the right track of your career progression.

1.       Communication and networking skills

It is very much essential to have excellent communication while interacting with your co-workers, your employers, clients, and others. Effective communication involves not only listening to others and comprehending what they are trying to say but also effectively transmitting thoughts and ideas. Important communication skills and abilities include- effectively speaking, writing precisely, paying attention to someone’s words and providing them feedback, positively expressing thoughts and emotions, dealing with others through negotiations and persuasion, presentation, and training skills, and written communication including email, knowledge of digital media and report writing.

Candidates with excellent networking skills are highly valued by employers because they are frequently used in the majority of organizations. The likelihood of finding a job opportunity increases with a large network of friends because you never know where your next job lead might come from.

Your communication skills are constantly on show, whether it’s when you meet a cower face-to-face or when you post something on social media. Make sure your communication style is consistent with your personal brand and that you communicate effectively across all platforms.

2.       Teamwork and interpersonal skills

These skills and abilities are concerned with the contribution you bring to the teams as well as how you relate to and work with people to accomplish a shared objective. Since the majority of professional categories require you to collaborate with other tasks, employers greatly value this competence. Employers are seeking employees who will ease the stress of joining a new team. Key transferable skills include- stakeholder management competencies, sharing the credit and taking responsibility, contributing and supporting other people’s ideas, building relationships, respecting other opinions, influencing and negotiating with others, and adjusting communication to the circumstances.

3.       Management and leadership skills

Directing and inspiring others to attain their own, collective, and organizational goals is the essence of effective leadership and management. If you want to advance within your company, concentrate on looking for chances to oversee projects and show off your managerial skills. You can develop transferable talents by demonstrating your ability to manage others. Key transferable skills include-Taking charge of teams and assigning tasks, tasks involving planning and coordination, dealing with the issue and handling conflict, making and carrying out decisions, and, training, encouraging, and guiding others.

Since businesses are continuously changing and evolving, they need workers who can adapt to external pressures and demonstrate leadership during times of change. Candidates can make an impression on recruiters by demonstrating their leadership and management abilities by demonstrating how they have responded creatively or pro-actively to challenging circumstances.

4.       Self-management skills

Self-management is the process of directing your own actions towards the accomplishments of goals. Employers are seeking employees that can complete tasks quickly, efficiently, independently, and through self-motivation. Key transferable skills in self-management include agility and impendence in setting priorities for your own responsibilities, change management and the capacity for thriving in a changing environment, setting objectives, meeting deadlines, and solving issues, ability to work under pressure, accepting of responsibilities, the ability to be friendly with others, assessing oneself, and making decision skills.

5.       Planning and research skills

Planning and research abilities help you express demands and create a plan of action to achieve particular goals. Employers seek individuals who are proactive in their ability to conduct cross-channel research because many roles call for these talents. Employers respect people who are proactive, know how to conduct relevant project research, and stay on top of the industry achievements. Key transferable skills in planning and research include; using technology to simplify processes, determining needs and necessary resources, choosing a plan of action, setting goals, compiling pertinent data and assessing outcomes, monitoring situations, forecasting and prediction, information analysis, interpretation, and dissemination.

Hard Skills and Soft Skills to progress in career.

Transferable skills are valued by all most all the companies in the world. But apart from those skills, there are a few hard skills and soft skills that are also crucial for you to grow in your career.

Some of the highly demanded hard skills in today’s time are mentioned below:

·         Blockchain

·         Cloud computing

·         Analytical reasoning

·         Artificial intelligence

·         UX design

·         Business analysis

·         Affiliate marketing

·         Sales

·         Scientific computing

·         Video production

Some of the highly demanded soft skills in today’s time are mentioned below:

·         Creativity

·         Persuasion

·         Collaboration

·         Adaptability

·         Emotional Intelligence


With the advancement of modern technology, career trends are also changing rapidly. These changes bring a lot of opportunities for professionals all over the world. So, it’s time for you to take the next step towards achieving your dreams. So, what can you do to achieve your dreams? Learn a new skill. Look for jobs that match your skills and help you accomplish your dreams.