Develop These Skills to Compete in Today’s Global Job Market

Guest writer Amanda Winstead shares her views on future growth trends in the global job market and how to effectively compete in it.
Businessman in a blue suit holding a tablet. A translucent blue electronic visual of the world map is layered on top of the man's torso. Feature image for "Develop These Skills to Compete in Today's Global Job Market"

If you’re looking for a job today, you have a lot more opportunities than ever before. Thanks to the advance of remote technology, you can work anywhere in the country or the world. However, that also means that you need to be prepared to compete in a global job market.

Where do you begin to find the skills and trends that can help you land a job anywhere in the world? You start with identifying potential growth in the modern workforce.

Future Global Growth Trends

Since the pandemic of 2020, many new trends have emerged in the workplace. These have a very real impact on today’s workforce. And if you are hunting for a new career, researching trends helps ensure you select an industry that has both opportunity and longevity. Some of the hiring trends for 2021 that you should consider include:
  • Global relocation. Are you willing to move to another country for your career? This choice is not necessary for everyone, but it may give you a competitive advantage.
  • Remote work. Fully remote work trends continue to grow today. You should keep in mind that you may need to travel from time to time.
  • Diversity and inclusion. A move towards a more inclusive workplace benefits applicants of various ethnicities as well as women, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized communities.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI). Human resources departments are using AI more frequently to select candidates. Be sure to adapt your resume or CV to fit the right keywords for a better chance of getting a callback.
It’s also important to understand which industries are undergoing worldwide growth before adding to your skillset. The pandemic of 2020 boosted many fields. Careers that have a growing need for workers in 2021 include:
  • Loan or mortgage experts
  • Nursing professionals as well as healthcare support staff
  • Digital marketing professionals and content creators
  • Business development or sales professionals, including strategic advisors
  • Experts in workplace diversity, such as diversity coordinators or inclusion aides
In addition to the growing demand for these workers, these salaries are fairly competitive. And keep in mind that not all of these positions provide remote work options. However, it does give you a good idea of how priorities have shifted in the global market. Now that you understand these trends, let’s take a look at the top skills that can help you land a job today.

Key Skills to Keep You Competitive in a Global Job Market

As you can see, some of these trends are new and some are growing. What do you need to know to stay competitive in a global market?

Data Analytics and Data Literacy

In a world full of misleading information, it’s become increasingly important to understand data and communicate it properly. A recent survey from McKinsey found that data literacy is a top skill that businesses need right now. Data literacy is the ability to analyze and interpret data correctly. This can include charts, surveys, reports, research, and more. Data analytics, then, is the process of examining the effect of that data and reporting on it. These skills will go a long way in today’s workforce.

Technology Skills

According to that same McKinsey poll, the next biggest skills that business leaders are seeking include IT, mobile, and website management. As the workforce continues to get more remote, the need for skilled technology workers will grow.

The fields of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence are also on the rise. Other technology skills in demand today include programming and cloud computing. Workers are also needed for innovative technology fields such as edge computing and virtualization.

Additionally, the need for management skills in technology is rising. This includes project management, information systems management, and chief data officers. While you need to be technologically skilled to land these jobs, an entirely new degree may not be necessary to land these positions.

For everyday workers, though, this means that you must be fairly tech-savvy to work in almost any field. Basic tech skills that are important today include:

  • Social media skills and etiquette.
  • Experience with spreadsheets and word processing.
  • Email, including how to clear out your data, compress attachments, and use proper etiquette.
  • Some level of presentation skills. It’s beneficial to be able to create charts and presentations when needed to show your work.

Remote Work Capabilities

The ability to work remotely is something that every worker needs to embrace today. More and more companies are switching to hybrid or fully remote options.

This workforce change benefits companies in many ways. It supports diversity and inclusion, can lower a company’s carbon footprint, and allows them to stand out in a global marketplace.

To work remotely, there are several factors you need to consider. The first is connectivity. Can your home be wired to support a full-time job with little or no glitches?

With the rollout of 5G, this should be available in most places. However, it does mean that prospective employers expect you to have these capabilities in place. They may no longer pay for these upgrades.

Another important consideration is setting up a dedicated workspace for remote work. If you live with other people, it’s crucial to set up an “off-limits” area where you can do your work in private as well as work hours. Make sure that the people you live with do not disturb you during work hours.

Your work area should look neat and professional when you are on live video meetings. You’ll also need to ensure that the noise level is low for team or client meetings. For example, if you live in a loud area or have a dog that barks frequently, you may need to consider ways to soundproof your office.

Important Soft Skills

Another area that is becoming increasingly important for both business leaders and human resources managers alike is a focus on soft skills. These are the personality traits and behaviors that help you perform your job. Hiring managers are looking for people who are flexible and can adapt to changes in the workplace on the fly.

Some other top skills for 2021 in this area include creativity and critical thinking, which help you process logical information. Excelling in these areas improves your ability to solve problems as well as stay productive.

Another much-need soft skill today is emotional intelligence. When we can adapt our emotions to work well with others, we can stay productive in the face of challenges.

Intercultural Communication

It stands to reason that if you’re going to be working in a new country, you need to understand their culture. It’s critical to adapt to their norms and practices and not just operate from your own cultural bias. Intercultural communication is a skill that helps you bridge this gap.

Some common problems that can be harmful when working in a culture you are not accustomed to include:

  • Assuming their culture has the same practices and expectations as your own.
  • Believing your culture is superior to others.
  • Miscommunication, particularly if you don’t understand the language well.

Expanded Education

Some of these skills can be improved if you continue your education. Skills that can be learned in a classroom that can boost your profile in the global job market include:

  • Learning a foreign language to help with intercultural communication, particularly if the program is immersive.
  • Broadening skill sets such as basic IT maintenance.
  • Data literacy or analytics courses.

The best solution may be to pursue higher education, in the form of advanced certification or graduate work. Another smart idea is to take an MBA that focuses on global workplace skills. Some global management MBAs may even come with an option to work abroad. Along with foreign language courses, this too can improve your intercultural communication skills.

Once you understand these work trends, it’s time to evaluate your skills.

Assessing Your Skills for The Global Marketplace

Not every skill improvement option will be a good fit for you. It’s important to assess your strengths and weaknesses to discover the best way to move forward. There are several steps for evaluating your skills:

  • Review your current job requirements, job description, and any performance reviews. This helps you assess both hard and soft skills.
  • Think back to what subjects you excelled in during your education. These may provide a good foundation for advanced training or certification.
  • You can also take an online self-assessment that gauges your behavioral traits or personality, such as the DISC or Myers-Brigg tests.
  • Talk to former employers, colleagues, or teachers to get feedback on your skills. Be sure to talk to people who will be objective about your skills rather than a friend.

Knowing this information can help you write a better resume and cover letter. It can also ensure that you make the best investment possible when choosing courses, self-help books, or other skill improvement tools.

Companies in today’s marketplace are seeking applicants that can thrive in a global workspace. No matter where you live or want to work, you can advance your skills and become the ideal candidate. Take the time and effort to improve your chances with these tips.

This article was contributed by guest writer, Amanda Winstead. Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeberard/