Career Tips by Fisher Investments

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Skills That Travel Well

By, 06/30/2016

Perhaps you’ve seen the headlines: Robots are increasing their numbers in the workforce, and nobody’s job is safe. Now, there is no doubt technology has taken over roles previously occupied by people—it’s been happening before the Luddites made it famous—but does that mean you need a specialized technical skillset before you even start your career? Not quite. Many of the skills needed in today’s workforce are of the “soft” variety. Like, how well do you work with fellow employees? With management? Do you listen and follow directions? What are your critical thinking skills like?

These sound basic, but consider: Today’s jobs are becoming more services-oriented and people-facing. Rather than repeat a mechanical task over and over, workers today need to be flexible and create a solution if one isn’t readily apparent. For example, if you’re servicing a client, do you respond to his or her inquiries in a timely manner? If a question stumps you, do you know how to find the answer? These skills may get overlooked, but employers value workers who not only execute but can adapt if the situation changes—and not act like a robot.       

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