Here’s how youth can acquire the currency of the future - skills

In today’s constantly evolving world, learning a skill is not enough; knowing its applications is. Here are a few ways the youth can work on consistently augmenting their skill set.
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Today's hyper-personalised and connected world is brimming with people who desire to work in jobs they are passionate about and organisations that align with their values and morals. For them, traditional work cultures are no longer enticing. These people are not aiming for extra perks, but looking for strong professional development opportunities from their employers.

Over the past few years, the technological revolution changed the notion of employment. Work from anywhere, flexible work timings, part-time work, and the more recent hybrid workplace have become the new norm.

So, to maintain a competitive edge in this new digital economy, what should youth do? Is keeping up with industry trends enough? How can they transform themselves into an ideal future-fit candidate? Let us find out.

Learning a skill is not enough; knowing its applications is.

There are numerous ways to learn today - watching videos, listening to audiobooks, reading materials, and relying on apps. Add to it the plethora of platforms that enable learning. But many of these self-learning courses focus only on teaching a specific skill.

However, that should not be the case. It is far more significant to learn the various applications of a skill than the skill itself. For example, anyone can use a hammer to drive a nail into a piece of wood. But only a skilled individual will ensure that they are making accurate strokes, swinging the hammer correctly, and impacting the nail efficiently not to split the wood in half. 

Here are a few ways the young generation can acquire the most important wealth of tomorrow: skills.

1. Do not take hectic schedules as an excuse; find time to learn

People invested in full-time jobs often complain about getting bone-tired or having bustling schedules that don’t leave them with extra time for upskilling. According to industry thought leader Josh Bersin, an average employee has close to 24 minutes a week to learn, indicating that it is challenging to make an appropriate timetable and find time to learn. 

However, if there is a will, there is a way. If you are determined to add more skills to your resume and get updated with evolving times, you will have to find the time. And, once a person has stepped into this passionate journey, there is an ample number of innovative skills to master.

2. Identify the right learning platform

With an overflowing number of learning platforms in the market, it is rather challenging to choose the right one. Those who say that having a strong will is more important than the right learning platform probably had no idea that optimised learning can make all the difference in the world. 

With the help of creative learning mechanisms such as auditory, visuals, and kinesthetic learning, acquiring skills has become more fun than a tedious routine. The right platform can make even the most boring skills a pleasure to learn with the help of creative videos, engaging workshops, and interactive audiobooks. 

3. Do not learn the words; understand the meaning behind them

Have you ever read a sentence without understanding it correctly and then re-read it again because you do not even understand a single word or any context? It usually happens when you are distracted.

However, sometimes we also start learning things without understanding the context behind it or knowing the applications of the said skills in the corporate world. Learning skills for fun and out of interest is all good, but if those skills have no applications in your professional or personal journey, then it's just a misuse of time. 

4. Practice labs for sharpening technical skills

Practising technical and vocational education in non-theoretical ways is extremely important to hone your skill sets. So, before choosing the right learning platform, make sure it is equipped with low-stakes, hands-on sandboxes, and lab environments so that you can exercise those skills in real time and stay informed about your progress. 

5. Earn portable digital badges

Posting the certificates of digital badges on your LinkedIn can fill you with encouragement, positivity, and a sense of accomplishment. These certificates and digital badges can also update possible employers with your updated skills, and you might land a job offer of a lifetime. 

6. Build your power skills

The most sought-after power skills in the 21st century are problem-solving, decision-making, self-management, and collaboration. These power skills are crucial to managing productive workflow, strengthening professional networks, and ensuring work-life balance. So, complete your advanced curriculum vitae integrated with technology and power skills both.  

To fight today's battles, one needs to armour themselves with a comprehensive set of skills and informed knowledge about their applications. These sets can help an aspiring candidate stand out from the crowd and become an essential asset for any team and company.

So, do not wait up; research, analyse, plan, and act towards learning a new skill and knowing how and where to apply it.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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