How we work and the industries we work in are starting to shift. With technology continuously changing how our processes are structured to where we choose to work, it only makes sense that the skills we need to succeed will change.
And while the basics will remain the same, many skills that may not have been in demand twenty years ago are now becoming more prevalent. This article will review ten SMART skills you will need in the future and beyond.
What Are SMART Skills?
As we develop throughout our careers, we will pick up many different skills along the way. And these skills will differ depending on the industry and the positions that you take. So over time, you gain a skill set that is unique to your experiences. But what exactly are SMART skills? SMART skill is an acronym that stands for:
- Spatial - Being aware of your surroundings concerning other objects or spaces, including the ones you occupy.
- Math - Understanding data, graphs, budgeting, scales, equations, algorithms, etc.
- Analogy - understanding and relating different things to one another, whether ideas, concepts, or objects.
- Reading - includes comprehension, context,
- Technology - having the ability to use hardware and software such as computers, smartphones, applications, word processing programs, social media, etc. As well as adapt to the changes in new technology
10 SMART Skills to Develop
Now that you know what SMART skills stand for, we can explore the different SMART skills employees need to develop and what skills we see growing in demand for the foreseeable future. So let's take a look together, shall we?
- Digital Literacy
We talk a lot about technology and how it's shaping every aspect of our lives daily. That includes our working lives as well. These days there is no possible way to work without needing to understand the digital tools, systems, and software that you may be required to use.
2. Data Literacy
Sure, you have heard a great deal about data and its importance, but now more than ever, it's becoming essential to be able to read and interpret this information for many reasons within your work. Rather it's how long people stay on your website or how many people click on your ad; understanding data will be a key component for employees to be well equipped in their position.
3. Emotional Intelligence
This one is a work in progress and will take time to develop. However, once you obtain this valuable skill, you'll see how much it benefits you. Emotional intelligence is the ability to use your emotions in a constructive and beneficial way. It allows you to better relate to others emotionally, creating a further understanding of self and others.
4. Emotional Maturity
Just with emotional intelligence, emotional maturity is a continual development of understanding one's emotions. It consists of managing your emotions while gaining a deeper awareness of yourself and how you react and think to various scenarios. In addition, being emotionally mature aids you in the ability to respond properly to problems in a way that's constructive for yourself and those around you.
The last two SMART skills have a recurring theme: better understanding oneself. Self-awareness goes a long way in personal and professional development. By practicing humility, you can look at yourself more modestly and humbly. Realizing that you're not the most important person in the room at all times and that others may have better solutions or ideas than yours allow you to open up for better commission and collaboration in the workplace
6. Cultural and ethical literacy
Now, many people work from home or anywhere, and employees are now working with people from diverse walks of life, cultures, countries, and ethnicities. Because of this, it's imperative that you make an effort to understand different cultures and nationalities. It will give you insight into how to approach certain situations within the workplace and give you tremendous respect and acceptance for the differences in others.
This one ties back to the Smart skill above, in that inclusion stems from having cultural and ethical literacy. Accepting those different from you and being open to those differences allows you to be more inclusive in your decisions and conversations. Everyone wants to feel seen, valued, and heard, and being inclusive gives way to better collaboration and problem-solving.
Anything and everything can change at a drop of a hat, and nothing stays the same for long. Therefore, adaptability is one of the more valuable skills you can have in your back pocket. Shifting as things shift around you makes change easier and faster to tackle whatever circumstance you may find yourself in.
9. Critical Thinking
This skill is critical when analyzing and assessing information through data analytics, decision-making, or problem-solving. Critical thinking is the ability to make sound judgments by applying facts and logic rather than baseless statements or findings.
10. Continuous Learning
To achieve these ten SMART skills, continuous learning is needed to improve your skill set as you grow in your professional career. All the skills mentioned are valuable and will require you to continuously learn through the practice of self-awareness, collaboration, and understanding of others.
Achieving SMART Skills
There's a great possibility that you, as an employee, have been working on developing your skill set. And within that development, the things you may learn could be SMART skills.
These valuable skills can be obtained in various ways courses, seminars, reading, mentorship, or even continuing education and upskilling through training with the company you work for.
Employers now more than ever are finding that upskilling is essential to the growth and success of their employees as well as a benefit to their staff's professional development. It provides means for teams to improve and excel in their careers. Through employee training, organizations can provide a more accessible means for enhancing the valuable skills we see will be needed in the future.
Many things will change in the future and the skill set that employees will need for their professional careers. Through achieving SMART skills you will gain knowledge that is sure to carry value and increase the potential for growth professionally and personally.