Work Technology
Work Technology
34 min watch

The Future of Work: Identifying and Prioritising Essential Skills with Joanna Blazinska and Jennifer Barnet

Discover the future of work with Joanna Blazinska and Jennifer Barnet as they discuss essential skills. To thrive, embrace adaptability, lifelong learning, creativity, and emotional intelligence. Showcase your skills through experiences and self-reflection. Schools can help by teaching employability and social skills. In the rapidly changing work world, emotional control, creativity, and analytical thinking are key to success. Stay future-proof!
Warning: this video may contain some strong language.
Discover the future of work with Joanna Blazinska and Jennifer Barnet as they discuss essential skills. To thrive, embrace adaptability, lifelong learning, creativity, and emotional intelligence. Showcase your skills through experiences and self-reflection. Schools can help by teaching employability and social skills. In the rapidly changing work world, emotional control, creativity, and analytical thinking are key to success. Stay future-proof!

Video transcript

[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CareerCon Monthly. This month, we are looking all at WorkTech. Um, so what it is, how it can help us, why it's important in the workplace and what it means for the future of work. I'm Jenny, I'm Head of People and Culture at hundo. Uh, and I have the pleasure of being joined today by Joanna who is a Career Coach Strategist.

Uh, with a real focus on the future of work, talent and careers. Um, so without further ado, welcome Joanna. Thank you for joining us. Thank you so much, Jenny, for the introduction and I'm super excited to be here today. Amazing. Um, would you like to tell us a little bit more about yourself, a bit about your background?

Yes, absolutely. Uh, so right now I am a career coach, career strategist, um, [00:01:00] absolutely enjoy the topic and, and, um, love studying, researching the topic of the future of work. Um, and in the, in my previous roles, um, over the last years of my career, um, I was working, uh, either in gaming industry or in hardware.

Right. So, um, I started in gaming back in Poland in my home country, and then, uh, moved a little bit across the over around the world and, um, ended up working for Sony. So in PlayStation and for Google doing projects, really enjoying the project work. So, uh, that was before and then I transitioned into career coaching out of, uh, your passion for, for the subject.

Okay, nice. Nice. What's going on there? Um, so without further ado, we will jump in with the questions. So, uh, I'm sure you've seen them say that we're not throwing them at you about any forewarning. Um, so obviously we know the future of work is evolving. Um. [00:02:00] That's what we've talked about throughout all our, all our series of CareerCon.

Um, and what do you feel are the specific skills that are becoming increasingly more important? And how can we sort of identify and prioritize the skills that are going to be most relevant to career goals? Especially for young people. Right. So I think first of all, the approach to skills is changing, right?

So before Employers would value more. Um, the degrees, right? So the school, the specific school right now, the employers are looking at what you bring to the table, right? What problems you can solve for them, especially as work is transforming. We've got multiple different generations working together in the workplace.

So all the skills we can bring together are important, right? Whether you're at the start of your career. But you're, for example, very tech savvy, very digital savvy, or you're, you're towards the end of the [00:03:00] career and has got the whole experience and lots of skills built over, over years, right? So right now, what I would say in terms of the specific skills, right?

Obviously, we've got the kind of. Um, the hard skills, more technical skills, right? And these will vary, um, across different jobs, different roles that you want to, to take on or that you're thinking of, right? Maybe you want to become a programmer, right? So, uh, coding, uh, different tools, right? Will be still relevant for you, depending on those, on those career goals.

Uh, however, what's, what's kind of becoming interesting is that the kind of our human skills, right, that used to be called soft skills, um, are gaining importance, right? So people realize that how we collaborate, for example, is very important because that's how we build better results, better work environments, right?

So collaboration, right? These times are very turbulent, turbulent and, [00:04:00] um, work is transforming, right? We see lots of tech being, uh, being released right now. Lots of a disruption coming through because of AI, right? So adaptability and lifelong learning will also be the skill that employers used to maybe ask for implicitly, or it was a good thing to have whilst you are in, in a work environment.

Right now they ask for specifically, right? So they will ask. For the skill and for the proof of your ability to learn, right? Um, other things, right? So, yes, you will need to have, um, the core skill of being digitally savvy or, um, have understanding of data or being able to learn how to work with data and work with AI tools as they are being kind of developed and implemented right at work.

Um, but also you will have to have the ability. Um, as a human being to manage those changes, but also, uh, understand how how [00:05:00] you, uh, as a person deal with change. Right? So you will have some sort of levels of level of self awareness, but also the ability to to manage change. Right? So we see how. The kind of the, the hard skills, what used to be called hard skills, right?

Uh, some of them are becoming simply core skills that everyone has to have, like dealing with data, uh, digital savviness, right? But what's gaining increasing importance are the soft skills, right? So, um, emotional intelligence, um, lifelong learning, um, being resilient, being empathetic at work and collaborating well.

Yeah, definitely. So, are you touched on those sort of human skills there, or also sometimes called power skills? Yes. In this sort of era of automation and AI, where, where there is this sort of huge shift happening as we know it, what, what sort of skills from that set would you [00:06:00] say are important, or hold the most importance?

And um, You know, can you give a brief explanation of why and why you think they're the most or going to be the most important sort of soft skills we need? Right. So, um, I think they, they kind of, um, now we're, we're learning to, to call them human skills or power skills, because I think we've all realized that they are very difficult actually to develop and valid, very difficult to manage.

I think as work is becoming transformed through tech. Right. We are. Learning to engage differently with tech, right? Not necessarily for the people who are watching us, maybe in 10 years, they're not going to be, they're not going to know what keyboard is right, but they will have their headset or will have some sort of, uh, other ability to, to engage with tech, right?

So we don't know how that interaction. Might look like for sure yet, right? We might have the ability to understand what's [00:07:00] being developed right now. And that's how we also can understand what human skills could be interesting. But I think the most important kind of idea here is to understand that we are not competing with tech anymore, right?

We are no one is kind of getting the jobs away from from each other. We're kind of leveraging, right? So we're bringing the best of what humans can do with their skills. Right? So. One will be creativity, right? So we will be Solving different, different problems and solving those problems differently, uh, learning agility, right?

So being able to, to always, um, yeah, to, to, to simply be able to, um, to navigate those changes and understand what skills we need to be learning next or. What could enhance my current skill set so I can do my job better, right? So I can solve my problem, the problem that I'm solving at work more efficiently, but also, um, in a more creative way.

[00:08:00] Right. Uh, then we've got collaboration, right? I think, um, collaboration and social intelligence, I'm going to put them together in the, in, in one category. Um, but I think it's really important to, to learn how we work. how best to work together, how best to bring results together, but also in a positive, collaborative way.

And also an aspect of it is how to build that rapport quickly with others. Right? So imagine that you are on a, on a team that is at a company, but there is, um, a product to build, right? Or or some sort of sort of problem to solve. Right? There is a team. Um, you know, launched because people know that you've got the skill set.

Other people have complementary skill set and we all come together and we all need to work from day one on a problem, right? And, and, um, deliver it quickly. Right? So that fast, uh, creation of rapport with other people will be super relevant. Um, other cultural intelligence, [00:09:00] for example, we are working remotely now.

So we are not going to be working from people from the same borough. They might be thousands of kilometers away. Um, so that's that side of things will be very interesting and communication, right? So being really, um, efficient at delivering, um, delivering written, um, communication, but also verbal communication, sharing ideas in a, in a, in a way.

So I would say these, but there is plenty of them. Yeah, there's, there's so many, isn't there? I think it's really interesting because cultural intelligence, you know, 10 years ago, even five years ago, Even someone, you know, older like myself just wouldn't have thought to list that as a soft skill and even the fact that now they're Actually, there's a shift from calling them soft skills to actually giving them the credit they deserve as human skills.

Because so many people, young people, you know, older people don't really [00:10:00] understand that they might have these skills within them. They probably use them every day and they are actually really valuable. Yes. And I think that's a big problem, certainly for younger people. I think, you know, older people probably are a bit more confident, but younger people are like, well, I can work in a team and I can lead a team.

But Is, you know, is that something that employers look for? So, I mean, in terms of that, then how do you think? You know, young people can demonstrate these skills, um, to employers in their CV or during interviews and in the workplace and sort of, you know, show that these skills are important and that they hold them themselves.

Yes. And I love the point that you're making, right, that we do have them, we might just not fully be aware, right? So always raising awareness about. What am I doing that has developed some skill to me right that that I've, I've developed that skill through maybe an activity that I didn't even realize was a, for [00:11:00] example, an act of leadership that I, that I did a project, for example, a volunteering project, um, where you do something for your community, because it's, it Because of a cause and the cost because that you believe in right might straight away demonstrate that you are a leader.

You are demonstrating leadership, emotional intelligence, um, and social intelligence, right? And and a lot of humility on the way. Right? So, so I think really kind of, um, taking ownership of of what you're doing and having those moments of reflection. What projects am I, am I involving? What's, what's my passion?

What gives me meaning? What gives me the sense of, um, happiness of meaning in, in what I'm doing day to day? What causes am I passionate about that? I've already gone and done something about right? Also, what, what, um, am I spending time on? Right? If. You are all the time learning. For example, now, if you love to engage with technology, love to learn [00:12:00] everything and anything about AI, and that's where you spend time on, right?

You are a lifelong learner, right? There's a tick if you look at a job descriptions, right? That skill is a tick, right? So, and how to demonstrate it. Um, first of all, Simply by, by really taking hold and taking ownership of everything that you're doing. So having those moments of reflection, of really kind of understanding.

Um, that those experiences matter and those experiences inform your skill set, right? Um, if that sometimes is, um, kind of unclear to you, you can always talk to other people, right? Maybe, uh, have a mentor, maybe find someone that works at a company that you particularly would love to, uh, experience working as, right?

You can go and talk to them and really talk honestly about what they do. All the experiences that that you've had, right? So, so really reflecting on those on those [00:13:00] experiences, um, experimenting a lot with different, different experiences as well with different apprenticeships or, uh, different opportunities, but also projects that you proactively engage.

I would say definitely that, and then including CV cover letter, uh, with some sort of result and showing really what what you've achieved, what you were able to accomplish. Yeah, I think definitely if you if you are passionate about something and if you care about something and it's it's not in your mind a skill But actually it is a skill Yes, if that's the best way for you to understand that actually you you've got these skills within yourself and now it's just how to How to showcase them.

So I mean with that in mind How can our schools and our colleges and parents sort of help young people develop? These skills, um, and, and keep them up to date, um, from an early age. Is there, is there like a trick to this? Do schools need to [00:14:00] start changing their language about what, you know, what soft skills are?

How, is, is there, is there a trick to, to nailing that, do you think, or? Um, I think it's it's already changing. I've seen that definitely there is private sector kind of helping out of different courses from very early age of on kind of building social skills. So, um, so definitely worth seeing will worth reviewing how how that works.

But I think when it comes to really enable young people and helping them learn those skills, um. I would say, first of all, we need to empathize with them that they are growing in a completely different world. They will be interacting differently with technology, uh, technology is part of their lives. Um, which maybe we needed to, to learn it first, right?

And really kind of have the ability to know. To have known both worlds. Right. So I think really a lot of empathy, a lot of staying on top of trends, right? It doesn't mean [00:15:00] necessarily reading through all the reports that bigger organizations and companies are releasing. However, Um, maybe sticking to a couple of, um, sources, a couple of, of, uh, thought leaders that share that information.

Right. And then, um, helping young people really kind of get exposure to different experiences. And I think experimenting and allowing people to. Um, to be able to ask questions to experiment, explore, but then also fail, get back up and then experiment again, I think, uh, also allowing them to, you know, think critically, ask questions, right?

So we do need to. Possess those soft, those soft human skills right in order to be able to also enable other people, but I think definitely kind of allowing young people to to interact a lot with others. To build different, different things together in a [00:16:00] fun, in a play way, right? And, um, learning through play, but definitely kind of through that exploration and that just, um, inhibited, uh, creativity, fun.

And yeah, and I think that there, there is, there is, uh, that, that could be the trick. Yeah, sounds good. Definitely. Um. And what skills do you think young people can develop to become more innovative? Put my teeth in. And adaptable in a tech driven work environment. Are there any sort of tips for that? Right.

So in terms of, um, becoming more innovative and adaptable. Right. So I'll start with innovative and I'm going to talk about one skill that I particularly like. Um, and it's called, uh, combinatorial creativity. Right. So this is when kind of people. It's, it sounds, sounds very fancy, but it's actually, it's when people experiment [00:17:00] with different areas, right?

And then they bring those, those, um, different learnings together. They might not even be able to say that they are doing this, right? But because. We learn from absolutely everywhere, right, by, you know, absorbing tacit knowledge, absorbing from our environments, from books, from courses, right, this is, it is about really kind of bringing different, uh, different information together and building innovative solutions, uh, through that sort of creativity of kind of bringing different insights, right?

So it might mean that, for example, if you do music, right? Some people might say, well, in the technological world, AI will create some music. Why do you, why do you do this? Right. But actually. It still builds the brain in a way which other subjects might not, right? So, um, and you might develop certain structures, certain way of ways of thinking and [00:18:00] memory, right?

That other disciplines might not, right? Then bringing together with an engineering subjects, right? The connections of the brain does might be super interesting, right? And again, we might not be even able to, uh, to fully understand that we're doing this, right? So. All this to say, uh, really exploring different disciplines.

I think, um, having that, that, uh, curiosity, right? Asking questions, going and engaging into different projects, right? I think. That's where really that sort of creativity and innovative mindset, uh, can can be built. Um, another way I would say is also kind of having growth mindset, right? This is a term that many of you will definitely hear a lot.

Um, growth mindset essentially says We are never born with a set, fixed, uh, set of skills, right? Uh, we are always developing those skills, right? So if today you [00:19:00] feel you're not great at maths, for example, it doesn't mean that tomorrow through practice, through a lot of practice and really kind of focusing and learning, going deeper on that subject that you're not going to learn, right?

So I think really having that belief, um, it changes a lot and people are more, more able to. One adopt and to innovate, right? Because they will be able to to experiment to explore and have that kind of, um, more of a researcher and happy explorer mindset. That's what I would call it. Right? And, um. What else?

Yeah. And I think that's, that's also that another aspect could be building rapport with people, right? So really kind of through that social, uh, learning experiences, right? I think this is where people get innovative because they start exchanging ideas, but they also, um, share different perspectives, different way of, of thinking about the world.

So I [00:20:00] think that's also another way to become. Innovative, but also adaptable because now it's teamwork, right? So, so we need to be adaptable when it comes to adaptability. I think, um, again, being exposed to different experiences. I think that that definitely helps. and really leaning into change, right? Not, not resisting it.

I know that sometimes there is the discomfort of change, right? It can be uncomfortable and it is at any age, whether you're 14, 34 or whatever that might be, it is uncomfortable, but really kind of learning to, to have that skill of of just of managing change and also of resilience, right? So, so being able to, to go through that change emotionally as well.

Yeah, I think that, yeah, definitely keeping an open mind and I feel. I have hope that sort of younger people, you know, Gen Z, teenagers, they already kind of have [00:21:00] those mindsets where I think like the older generation are quite set in their ways like and absolutely freak out at change. Like I know I'm one of those people.

So yeah, I feel like I need to take on board some of these lessons myself. We all do. We all do. And, and, and this is why, for example, when it comes to adopting AI, right? Yeah. Yeah. Um, The main thing will be not really the technology itself. It's going to be people who will look at it and go, do we really need that?

Right? So, so it really is, um, I think that, that we have that, that's kind of natural, um, first reaction, which, which we need to work with. And, um, the interesting thing that you said, Jenny, right? Was, was precisely, uh, that those, the younger people definitely have lots of information. They, they kind of, they are surrounded by, Lots of different technologies.

They already see the change, uh, happening. They have access to that information and know exactly [00:22:00] what's changing. So, um, so definitely that's, that's a different way of seeing the world and also to, to appreciating that they have those skills maybe already. They, they, they can hone in on. Yeah, totally. So then homing in on the actual work tech skills themselves or the tools.

Um, obviously. They're massively used in terms of remote working, hybrid working, and since COVID there's obviously been this huge shift to either fully remote or sort of hybrid working. Um, so what tools would you say are really vital to make that sort of virtual communication easier or to bring teams together in more of a sort of hybrid working environment?

Is there something that you swear by that you couldn't live without? When it comes to tools, um, I'm going to, I'm going to give the answer that might not be very direct question, but my answer would [00:23:00] be, you can make any tool work as long as you've got the right kind of mindset around what remote work or hybrid work does, right?

And how to conduct work in the way that works within remote work, right? Because remote work or hybrid work is essentially us not being in the same place, right? So. We suddenly need to self manage better. Right. So I would say one of the, the tools, the, the, not necessarily tech tools, work tech, but, uh, but tools would be self management.

So really kind of instilling those, those, um, kind of time management, self organization skills, right. And building, building those. Um, and, And really understanding and finding clarity, and this is also a skill, and this is also very difficult for managers, right, building that clarity into their teams when, where they, they are [00:24:00] able to change the way they work, right?

And, and give clear goals to their teams. So their teams can work on meaningful things, right? And collaborate in an effective way. So I think what actually What actually enables the deck to, to do is, is the deck to work for us is, is us being able to be very clear about what we're building. Uh, what the kind of principles work are, um, co create, uh, certain rules for the teams, right?

And how we, how we work, how to like, um, to deliver certain projects, what outcomes we're working on, right? And then, uh, being able to seek relevant information from other people, right? I think what's, what's kind of missing sometimes is, is. Learning from others just by observing them, right? Because we are not in one place, right?

So making sure that when we are right, and, um, we [00:25:00] are in one place, we, we kind of collaborate, but we also exchange a lot of knowledge. What's working. What's not working. So we have to kind of think about how we communicate. Uh, the best practice is proactively, so I didn't respond to the question with specific tech, but I, I, I would still swear by the fact that, uh, we can take, you know, uh, zoom, Google meets or whatever tool and really make it work as long as the team and the manager know, know what they're doing.

Yeah, yeah, a hundred percent. We've gone, we're, we're sort of hybrid really at Hundo, but, um. Some of the tools we just swear by and we wouldn't go a day without them. Uh, and others we started to use and then they, they drop out. And then you think it's really, it's because the team are not fully engaged in using the tool.

So as soon as it starts to drop, then it suddenly doesn't. become that useful tool anymore, whereas others are sort of, we use day in day out and we wouldn't be without them. But it's because there's really the team engagement and the team [00:26:00] understanding of knowing exactly how this tool can, you know, can help us in our day to day work.

Um, and educators then, so sort of schools and colleges, how, how do you think they can sort of best prepare students to cope with the challenges and the opportunities that will be presented by hybrid work settings? And what sort of skills are essential for professionals as well in that, in that sense people that are already in, in the world of work and then people that are sort of going to start going into hybrid working or even just going straight into fully remote working which.

Is now really what we're looking at for people going into work. Um, there's not that many people now. I think young people were surveyed that would be quite happy to do a nine to five office job. You know, people want to work from home. So, but are they prepared? How can, how can schools help them get there?

Right. So I think, um, I think a good starting point would be to understand what the challenges are and that those [00:27:00] challenges will be changing as well as we are learning a little bit more about how to. Um, you know, how to how to build hybrid effective hybrid workplaces and work environments. Um, so a couple of challenges, right?

So, for example, people are not necessarily always, um, fully aware how to sell and don't have the skills how to self manage, right? So really instilling those, those basic employability skills, right? And helping young people, um. You know, take ownership of their time, set effective goals, um, work on projects where they actually Deliver, uh, you know, implement.

So, so really execute on a, on an idea, right? So really drive something to completion, right? Um, another way, um, and another kind of set of skills, I would say are the social skills, right? So, you know, Again, how to proactively build [00:28:00] conversations with people, how to, uh, make friends, let's say, at work with people, the topic of friends has actually been been, uh, studied in, in, in this set in the context of, um, of the workplace.

And it's been very, um. fascinating to me. Uh, so really how to set those, how to build relationships, right? Um, how to proactively reach out to people to, to build those connections, right? Um, how to, when they join a team, right? How to reach out to people, how to connect with them. Um, so really being proactive about that, right?

And that doesn't mean that it's only the young people that have to, the moment they come into the workforce, right? That they just have to do it, right? It's, it's us all collectively, right? Um, so I would say these, um, and emotional intelligence, right? Because I think, Sometimes, um, in hybrid, we lose the, um, the [00:29:00] ability to, because we, it's, it's us working from home, not necessarily always from, from the office, right?

So we sometimes lose the ability to really empathize with others and really understand what they might be going through in the very same setting that we are. So I would definitely, um, suggest, um, working on, on, on those skills as well. Yeah, 100%. I think you've definitely hit the nail on the head with the, um, talking about employability skills.

Um, that's certainly something at Hundo that we're feeling is, is sort of lacking that students are not developing within an educational setting. And, you know, that's really, really key. So yeah, definitely, definitely agree. Um, so with that in mind, I feel like I've said that a hundred times already, but what do you think, what skills do you think are going to be in the most?

in demand in the next sort of three to five years in in terms of how fast the [00:30:00] work environments are are changing like what's going to be the top three skills that Young people need to be thinking about developing or building top three. I don't know if I can top three because there is so, so many, but, but, um, I think one skill that, and, and this is, um, in relation to your comments right now, right?

Because there is so much change. I think anything related to emotional regulation, emotional agility, resilience, right? Will definitely help people go through that period. It's. right? So really thrive in this period rather than, uh, then kind of feel a little bit out of control and always kind of out of touch because they might not be in the office, right?

Because they work from home, right? So, um, and there's so much technology, right? Are they learning the stuff that will actually, the skills that will actually make them future proof in a sense, [00:31:00] right? Can they. set goals right now, actually, or maybe things are changing so fast, right? So really kind of, um, I would say the emotional, um, regulation of emotional agility, resilience.

Um, however, out of the skills that are on the rise, and we see that from the reporting, we've got creative thinking, definitely. So really building, um, those creativity skills that sometimes might not come from. Um, you know, a subject at the uni or a course, right? But really from build building from an exposure to different experiences, right?

So, um, becoming creative doesn't necessarily mean. studying a year at a uni, you know, this object that is called creativity, it is kind of bringing together different experiences, different perspectives, different knowledge. Uh, then we've got analytical skills, right? They are, um, they be, they are becoming what is the core really of [00:32:00] any role right now, because we are seeing that It's everything is becoming measured, right?

Like we can, we can measure so many areas right now. And, um, companies are measuring, you know, whether it's well being, you know, if you see all sorts of. For example, openings, you know, the government is hiring a lot of data analysts, right? So, um, there is definitely a push for everyone to, to become, um, to have that analytical thinking and be data savvy, um, technical literacy, Definitely is becoming a core skill, but then we've got a whole set off of, um, skills that are those human skills that we actually started from.

Right? So lifelong learning curiosity. Um, what else do we have? The emotional intelligence, right? So, so really all those skills, but also being motivated and being able to, to self manage, have that self awareness, right? So it's not really top three, but a nice set of skills [00:33:00] that I think if they are able to build.

to start building, they will be fairly future proof, um, for the work. Future proof. That's what we want. Um, yeah, I think the emotional intelligence one is particularly interesting to me because it's just not one that I necessarily would have thought of, but actually it sort of lends itself to so many other skills as well.

Um, and again, people probably. A young person might not even actually think, well, what does emotion, you know, what does emotional intelligence mean? But I feel like now people have a better idea. Thank you very much. Um, I think our time is up, but thank you so much. That's been super interesting. Um, I've learned a lot of new words.

I feel like I need to go away and, uh, do some research myself or book in another chat with you to find out more. Um, Yeah. So obviously everyone can watch Greg on, on Demand and uh, have a look at everything else that we're doing this month. Um, and where can people find you, Joanna? Where is best? What's your social links?

Yes, so, uh, people can [00:34:00] find me on LinkedIn, uh, Joanna ska. And uh, that's, that's where I'm principally at. Thanks so much. Perfect. Thank you so much for joining us and thank you so much for your time. That's been very, very interesting and um, yeah, a great one for everyone to catch up and watch. Thank you so much.

Thank Jenny so much. Take your hand up. Take care. Bye.

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