Future-proof your career with human skills

Worried about what the future holds? Here's how you can future-proof your career

The last 12 months have been a time of immense uncertainty. The pandemic affected many jobs, uprooted career plans, and left people questioning their professional futures. Most of us, globally, were left wondering how to protect ourselves better and future proof our careers.

Is it all about technology?

Over the next 5 years, the fastest-growing projected sectors are health, aged and childcare, education, and professional and scientific technology services. Globally, it is estimated healthcare related jobs in aged care alone will grow from 50 million to 85 million by 2030. Tech will undoubtedly be involved in making these sectors more efficient, and jobs, while remaining, will change.  

Perhaps consider whether:

  • your job will remain but transform?
  • or will it be substituted entirely by technology?

So, what skills will you need to shuffle and morph to meet the future shape of your profession, industry, and job? To remain employable, it will be our ‘soft skills’, our human skills, that will enable the necessary upskilling and reskilling.  

Our Human skills

As we become so reliant upon technology, have we let our ‘human skills’ slip? Working remotely with less direct human contact is efficient and quick. However, as this way of communicating becomes our second language, do we risk forgetting our primary one? And are we contributing to our own deskilling?

Be a forever learner

Learning skills require constant application and testing. Consider your memory—how active is it? Remember the days when a list was in your head—not your phone? How quickly do you rely on a cursory google search instead of stretching your mind?  Having a thirst for knowledge and curiosity is essential. Research shows businesses expect 40% of workers will require reskilling of 6 months or fewer, and 94% of business leaders expect workers to pick up new skills on the job, a sharp uptake from 65% in 2018.

When applying yourself to learning, relearning, adapting, changing, and adopting new ways of thinking and working, your mind will remain alert and enable you to evolve with any new advances. Your ability to embrace change and uncertainty will, in turn, increase your self-confidence and self-efficacy—critical in future proofing your career.


How strong is your coping and bounce-back factor? Some people see change as a positive force, and others, in contrast, perceive it as a challenge or even an insurmountable hurdle. To eliminate this unproductive belief, you need a healthy dose of optimism.  

Self-awareness and EQ

Self-awareness and strong EQ (emotional intelligence) assist in understanding all sides and angles to situations and provide clarity of the impact you have on others. It’s an essential part of an EA’s tool-kit. With development, your ability to influence and negotiate effectively will rise, and your self-awareness will assist with your self-confidence—and vice versa. Self-awareness and EQ are critical for all management and leadership roles, and this requirement will increase as our social awareness evolves.

With EQ, empathy and a deeper, fuller understanding of people increases. When this occurs, it’s a transcending moment, magical almost. The connection with a person or group significantly improves, and trust enters the relationship dynamic. Barriers drop, and our communication skills are more highly attuned and efficient.

Developing self-awareness and EQ will be imperative in navigating successful, authentic, and trusting relationships. These ‘human skills’ are in demand now and will be even more so in the future as they allow you to transition and advance in a dynamically changing environment.

It is difficult to predict the future, but by awakening our inherent skills—no matter our role or industry—we will best position ourselves for future employability. Not to mention a more fulfilling life.

Roxanne Calder, author of ‘Employable – 7 Attributes to Assuring Your Working Future’ is the founder and managing director of administration recruitment agency EST10