Essential Skills To Be Ready For A Globalised Workplace
In this generation and the next, people will have increasingly more chances of working in international settings. That may mean having expats in one’s local office, or being deployed to overseas offices for work or training. Even if you work locally, you might get ample chances to work with overseas business partners and clients.
These situations make it necessary for one to be equipped with the right set of skills to be able to navigate these international and intercultural circumstances. In today’s highly globalised world, being book-smart is no longer enough. If you want your child to grow up as someone who can make an impact in the world, they need to be globally aware and possess the right skills to thrive.
What are these skills, exactly? Below, we outline some of the most in-demand skills for working in a globalised world:
When met with unexpected or novel circumstances, it is one’s problem-solving skills that come to the rescue. Schools don’t teach students how to solve every of life’s problems. Rather than spoon-feeding them, effective education needs to teach them how to fish.
For parents, this means not solving every single problem for your child. Did they forget their lunchbox today? Resist the urge to bring it for them, and let them find ways to overcome it. Did your child take the wrong bus? Instead of telling them the exact route back home, guide them in learning to find their way independently.
International or not, workplaces are becoming more and more collaboration-based. You might need to work with others to complete projects and perform presentations, and sometimes, you don’t even get the chance to choose who you work with.
It is crucial to learn how to work in a team, knowing how to pull your own weight and at the same time be sensitive to group dynamics. Recognising that everyone has different working styles and skills, and knowing how to use these to create a synergistic effect, is one of the toughest parts of collaborating.
Communication ties in to collaboration, but it also means being confident of yourself. In the workplace, you might need to make presentations, craft an argument to defend your ideas, or be persuasive in marketing your product. These all take more than just language skills, but also confidence and eloquence.
Communication also means being an effective communicator in the workplace. It means being able to communicate politely, respectfully, and diplomatically so that you build up trust and rapport between co-workers and business partners. And all these are not limited to speaking – knowing how to communicate via e-mails and other forms of writing is also a vital skill.
In an international context, having an awareness of other cultures is of vast importance. You never know who you might have to work with, and sometimes the disparity in working styles can be so different as to cause misunderstandings or frustration.
Having some knowledge of how different cultures work will help you be more understanding and give you a chance to be prepared with ways to deal with the differences. In the case you have a long-term partnership with foreign delegates, it is also ideal to have a working knowledge of their language to facilitate negotiations.
One language that is immensely useful to know is Mandarin Chinese. Due to the enormous size of China, it means there are vast opportunities for business dealings with the country. On top of that, there is also a massive population of Chinese speakers in the world, meaning that there is a huge chance you will one day have to work with a Chinese speaker.
That is why we recommend learning the Chinese language early, so that you don’t miss out on these future opportunities at work. If you have a child, you can also offer them a start on learning Chinese early so that they not only pick up the language, but have exposure to another culture, and build up their arsenal of skills to face the international world.