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Staying relevant in your job beyond 2020

By: Emmanuel Bruce
Ms Doris Agyeman
Ms Doris Agyeman

The World Economic Forum recently listed 10 critical skills and attributes that everybody will need to find a job or further their careers from 2020 and beyond. In their estimation, without these skills and attributes,one will find it difficult to climb the corporate ladder.

What do these skills or attributes mean? How are they measured? Is the current education system preparing potential job seekers for them? And what must one do to catch up in case he or she has been left behind?

These are the questions that the Springboard, Your Virtual University, a radio programme on Joy FM, sought to answer.

The show, which is hosted by Rev. Albert Ocran, had the Lead Consultant of Clear Compliance Solutions in the USA, Ms Doris Agyeman, Senior Human Resource Business Partner of Ecobank Ghana, Mr Nii Koi Kotey, and the General Manager of Human Resources at Enterprise Group, Ms Amma Korantema Ansah, who took listeners through some of the skills that industry req

Ms Korantema Ansah said, “these skills are already here with us and l am not surprised to see them in the report. They are key critical competencies that each individual requires to be successful at the work place so it is just in order and its timely too because we need them now and in the future.”

The 10 skills listed in the report

1. Cognitive flexibility
2. Negotiations skills
3. Service orientation
4. Judgement and decision making
5. Emotional intelligence
6. Coordinating with others
7. People management
8. Creativity
9. Critical thinking
10. Complex problem solving


Commenting on creativity, Ms Agyeman said “no one is born with creative skills, you can learn it as you grow. We have people who are innovators, we have people who adapt but they are all creative and to be able to survive in this work industry, you will have to be thinking outside the box.”

She, however, pointed out that one must not always think outside the box.

“If what is happening inside the box is working, all you have to do is improve on it. The point here is always be thinking about improving yourself, your work and what is going on around you,” she stated.

Cognitive flexibility

Mr Kotey described cognitive flexibility as the ability of being able to think about multiple concepts simultaneously.

“It is the case where you have a lot of concepts running around and your ability to juggle all these concepts is what cognitive flexibility is about,” he noted.

Ms Korantema Ansah, for her part said, “there are a lot of things competing for attention and it is about an individual who is flexible enough to be adaptable to the situations that come at every point in time without losing focus and that is very critical.”

“As much as we are flexible in our thinking, we need to keep the goals and our eyes on the ball so that the goals of each particular segment will be met accordingly,” she added.

Ms Agyeman also added that companies were now looking at minimising cost to maximise their profits  and would definitely look for people who could handle different roles at different times.

“They want to place someone who can handle role A, B and C than hire three people to do same jobs. So if you are someone who cannot keep up with the different responsibilities as the companies are changing, and expanding, then you will lose your job,” she warned.

Emotional intelligence

Mr Kotey said based on the World Economic Forum’s report, a whole lot of assumptions had been made, especially in the face of technology where there was massive disruption to the way people worked now.

“Talking about robotics, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing which are changing the way we work. People are even predicting that in a few years to come, robots are going to take over some of the jobs that we do,” he noted.

“But the question is, will robots be able to understand the emotions of people or other robots? This is the only place I can see human beings playing a significant role so it’s very critical and anybody who will be able to get very good emotional intelligence will be very relevant in the work space in the near future,” he said.

Eight roles thatwill be critical

The World Economic Forum report also highlighted eight roles that will be critical in the near future and they are;

1. Data analysts
2. Computer and mathematical jobs
3. Architects and engineers
4. Sales people
5. Senior managers
6. Product designers
7. HR and organisational development specialists
8. Regulatory and government relations expert

Answering a question on how critical compliance is, Ms Agyeman said a for a company to still be relevant and stay in operation, compliance would have to be at the top of it.
“Whether it is a local company or international company, keeping focus on compliance will be key. Compliance is doing the right thing. If l am going to do business with you, then I will be looking at someone who is ethical and has integrity,” she explained.
“Right now, with all the regulations around, you don’t have a choice than to be compliant,” he added.
Touching on code of ethics, she said code of ethics formed the basis of selecting people to do a particular job or role in an organisation and it was very important for every organisation. — GB