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Self-Direction Will Prove to Be One of the Most Important Skills of the Future

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The global health crisis has disrupted workplaces around the world, necessitating swift adaptation on the part of workforces, but many of these shifts were in place long before the pandemic hit. According to a recent study, the number of skills required for a single job is increasing by 10 percent year over year, and a full third of the skills listed in today's job postings won't be relevant five years from now. To stay ahead of the curve, experts are trying to predict what the necessary skills of the future might be. And while it's impossible to predict what new technologies could look like, there are foundational proficiencies we know will become critically important in the years to come. One of those is self-direction. As the pace of change increases, employees will need to take ownership of their roles and become more like entrepreneurs than employees within their organization. Devin Fidler, founder and CEO of Rethinkery Foresight, a change management consulting firm, says that this skill will be particularly important for entry-level employees and those young in their professional lives. Fiddler says these individuals will need to "captain their own careers, [and have] a sort of DIY, hacking mentality."

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Gwen, thanks. While I think that the author is absolutely right, I also foresee a clash between employees who are developing this skill and supervisors and managers who operate exclusively by command & control. In order to retain high performers who want to begin directing their own work to a greater extent, organizational leaders are going to have to rethink their notions of power and control in the workplace. This rethinking could begin now in order to avoid discontent and discord later.
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