The Future of Work is a result of many forces of change affecting three deeply-connected dimensions of an organization: Our work, the workforce, and the workplace. Disruption and the gig economy have already influenced these three dimensions to reshape what we do, who does it, and where it’s done.

Most things we used to do manually are now being automated at an unprecedented rate. Digital disruption has already brought about changes in automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence, which are reshaping the professional landscape.

Every industry is facing revolutionary developments and all skill sets necessary for employment are changing. People need to stay relevant and adapt themselves as technology changes and new trends emerge in this fast-paced digital world.

To embrace this future, human progress is expected and such progress is impossible without change. Regrettably, most people who are concerned about the Future of Work have no idea what skills they need to study or master. Nobody wants to waste money and time acquiring skills that won’t be of any use in the future.

So, how can you prepare yourself for the Future of Work?

Invest in yourself and acquire more relevant skills and knowledge

Benjamin Franklin once said that without continual growth and progress, words such as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. This is still relevant for the Future of Work, even after decades have passed by.

Gone are the days when a university degree, alone, was sufficient to stay relevant. Employers are now expecting their employees to know a lot more than what they studied at university. In fact, they are consistently trained to learn new skills and technologies that are aimed at boosting productivity and growth.

By 2030, the demand for social and emotional skills will grow across all industries by 26% in the U.S and 22% in Europe, reshaping the Future of Work. Therefore, it’s essential, now more than ever, to become indispensable in a way that proves your flexibility and adaptability to new trends and technologies.

In this process, it’s important to understand how you can tap into your full potential and become more flexible and adaptive to change. Being more self-aware will help you understand what characteristics of yours need refining, so you can be prepared for the Future of Work.

What skills will be more relevant in the future?

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), by 2020, creativity will be the third-highest skill, in demand, with complex problem-solving and critical thinking in first and second place, respectively.

With the emergence of new products, technologies and new ways of working, people are going to have to become more creative to truly benefit from these changes. Robots and machines may help us get where we want to be, faster, but they can’t be as creative as humans just yet.

Global connectivity, intelligent machines, and new media are reshaping how we think about work, what constitutes work, and the skills required to be productive. However, machines have no emotional sentiments and, therefore, people are required to possess people skills necessary for all facets of work.

People management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgment, decision-making, service orientation, and negotiation have been identified in the list of skills proposed by WEF for people to acquire to be ready for the Future of Work – all of which are qualities machines don’t possess.

Change won’t wait for us

All of this might seem like a lot of work and a lot of drastic change.

While you must pace yourself and adjust to the changes happening around you and at your workplace, remember that change won’t wait for anyone. This is simply because the Future of Work is centered around digital disruption and the gig economy, both of which are moving faster than we could have ever imagined.

Be more self-aware and learn how you can transform your personality and skills to be ready for the future. Understand how you can enhance your people skills and how you can refine your creativity to be able to tackle the challenges of the future. Be more curious and question old habits and routines.

By adopting these approaches, you can prepare yourself effectively and ensure that you’re successful in the working world of the future.