The 5 Skills You Need to Master tomorrow’s future

by Martina Beermann | May 28, 2020
The past weeks have pushed us into a new reality. Psychologist Martina Beerman shares the five skills she believes you will need moving forward in your educational journey

HHL’s Head of Career Development shares her personal advice

The past weeks have pushed us into a new reality. Working remotely, virtual learning and long-distance communication have become the new normal. Even with Germany slowly loosening restrictions it has become clear that there will be long-term changes on the job market.

In one of our past articles on this blog, Psychologist and Director of Career Development and Employer Relations, Martina Beermann talked about exactly what changes we should be expecting in the future. Today, we asked Martina to share the five skills she believes you will need moving forward in your educational journey.

“We believe the world needs leaders with the ability to look beyond their immediate environment and make decisions keeping the greater common good in mind.”

Skill #1 Digital competencies

The crisis has shown that these skills are essential, not only for innovation and expansion but also for economic survival. Digital competencies are needed in all aspects of work. From virtual team communication to refining traditional value chains, all the way to actually understanding digital languages expressed in code.

At HHL we make sure to equip our students with the fundamentals of coding and program languages to enable them to understand their future technical and digital-driven environment. Most importantly, these skills will allow them to make informed decision in their future job.

Skill #2 Analytical and strategic competencies

Companies will feel even more of a need to be prepared for any scenario. Analytical skills refer to the ability to collect and analyze information, solve problems, and make decisions. These tasks make up a manager’s daily business and are essential to moving a team and company forward.

Having a comprehensive understanding of general management topics as well as a more detailed knowledge of specific subjects such as coding, will help you make more informed decisions. More importantly, it will allow you to take on a different perspective when looking to identify new opportunities.

We make sure our students are trained in analytical and strategic thinking to enable them to interpret data and understand the implications for their team, company and industry as a whole. We believe the world needs leaders with the ability to look beyond their immediate environment and who will make decisions keeping the greater common good in mind.

Skill #3 Innovative strength

Since the covid-19 crisis, the vital effect that innovation has on the survival of a company is even more apparent: Starting with the taxi driver, who mutates into a food supplier, or the alcohol distillery, which suddenly produces disinfectants.

Businesses around the world are forced to rethink existing business models and need to rely on management and their employees to bring an innovative mindset to the table. Growing an innovative mindset is a lot like honing a new skill. It is something that needs to be practiced and executed in an environment that allows failure. It also requires a certain degree of creativity to look at problems with a new perspective. For us at HHL, creativity applies to techniques and a unique way of identifying solutions.

We invite our students to see their studies as a professional playground where we encourage them to explore and experiment, without any fear of failure. Allowing failure into an innovative process is paramount to identifying ways to improve and ultimately find new solutions.

“We all greatly depend on each other, irrespective of religion, social status or education.”

Skill #4 Social competencies

In particular team, we need communication and listening skills: By now, most people have understood that we all greatly depend on each other, irrespective of religion, social status or education. The demand for employees and leaders who can adapt to various groups of people and are able to communicate and collaborate with them, also in stressful situations like these, will be even higher than before.

The ability to listen patiently plays an even more important role in virtual communication. Unfortunately, we can frequently see people tending to talk over one another while other participants of the meetings are more restrained. The art is to find a good balance here.

“Everything we do, is focused on interacting with people.”

In the end it’s all a people business – everything we do, is focused on interacting with people. No matter which position you hold. Part of your learning experience is understanding that we are all different. At HHL our students go to class with people from different backgrounds, different countries, different schools and different educational backgrounds. We want our students to experience the benefits and the challenges that come with a diverse study- and workplace.

Skill #5 Resilience as a personal competence

Many companies will expect a high level of stress for a longer period of time after the lockdown is lifted if they want to avoid insolvency. People must be able to withstand the pressure.

Mastering self-reflection

One skill which is requested of all students right now is certainly resilience as well as the ability to exercise self-reflection and introspection. The coronavirus situation shows how unpredictable the world can be, how many helpless people are suffering and how vulnerable we all are.

All of a sudden, we are facing a massive collective threat and are overcome with grief because we have experienced the loss of normality and personal closeness. An entirely new sensation is that no one has a quick fix and everyone is affected by the suffering.

“One skill which is requested of all students right now is certainly resilience as well as the ability to exercise self-reflection and introspection.”

Guiding thoughts and emotions

According to the Harvard Business Review, this leads to specific reactions. We anticipate the suffering through our thoughts — from best case to worst case scenarios. We are challenged with developing an inner balance between the two which means that we must actively guide our thoughts and emotions as we can’t control what’s happening on the outside.

Finally, as mentioned above, creativity is a technique to broaden your mindset. Are our students becoming more creative due to the crisis? After all, the topic of innovation management is basically part of our range of courses. This is certainly a good prerequisite. In the absence of other distractions, boredom might arise among students for the first time. Friedrich Nietzsche already pointed out that the emotional state of boredom can also be very creative.

Taking action in uncertain times

I encourage you to find ways to hone these five skills and hope they will empower you to move forward in your career. If you would like some further support during these uncertain times, I recommend you take a look at our career category on our HHL Blog. You’ll find many helpful resources on managing your career and identifying your career aspirations.