The business world is constantly changing and now it’s changing at an accelerated speed. American workers no longer have decades to adapt to new technologies or business advancements. People need to be able to adapt — and adapt quickly — if they want to thrive in the business world and not fall behind or become obsolete. The idea that you can go to college and receive a two-year or four-year degree and then be equipped to work at a job for the next 30 years is not true anymore.
Bono, lead vocalist for the rock band U2, and Thomas L. Friedman, a foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times and author of the book, Thank You for Being Late, recently shared what skill sets workers should have to be successful now and in the future — whether they are a new graduate or have already been in the workforce for 10 years or 40 years. Here are the three traits workers should possess to help them quickly adapt to changes in business and set themselves apart as a leader in the workplace.
1. Embrace a lifelong passion for learning. We no longer live during a time where it’s beneficial to stock up a bunch of knowledge and resources and be set for your career. What you know today could be obsolete tomorrow or the job you perform now may be taken over by a computer system. This is why it’s imperative to embrace learning as a means to adapt to a shifting marketplace. “When you have an accelerated pace of change, the single most competitive advantage is to be a lifelong learner,” Friedman says.
Part of being a lifelong learner means being connected to the flow of the world. That is what digital globalization is all about, Friedman says. During the Middle Ages, it was wise to build a town near a river, because the river provided transportation, food, energy and ideas. It’s just as important today to be connected to the pulse of the world by surrounding yourself with innovative people, who have a global perspective as well as employees, who are able to take advantage of a changing marketplace.
“We are in the middle of three climate changes at once,” Friedman notes. “First, there is climate change, and the knowledge that the time where we could fix any environmental problem either now or later has shifted to needing to be fixed now. Next, the climate of globalization has changed. The world is no longer just interconnected; it is now interdependent. Lastly, the climate of technology has changed. People are adapting to a world with cloud computing, artificial intelligence and big data. These changes have created a business environment where you can analyze, optimize, prophesize, customize and digitize anything.” In fact, Friedman says if your business is not taking advantage of those five business practices, then your company will be at a real disadvantage.
Read more at Forbes.