10 Unique Skills You Should Have for 2020

Posted by Lauryn Kingma on Jan 13, 2020 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, Candidate, icsHOU

Are you looking to sharpen your skills in 2020? Whether you’re a candidate looking for employment in the new year or you’ve been at your company for quite some time, it’s always helpful to hone your existing workplace skills as well as learn new ones. In fact, both technical and transferable skills have proven to benefit employees as they work toward advancing their careers.

Going into the new year, you may want to take some time to re-evaluate your strengths and weaknesses while determining which skills are most valuable to you. Regardless of your industry, the following 10 workplace skills are essential as the job market continues to evolve in 2020. 

1. Sensemaking

Increased automation in the workplace has been a key driver in encouraging employees to sharpen their sensemaking skills in 2020. Keen sensemaking skills grant individuals the ability to dig deeper into considering the meaning and significance of what is being said or presented before them. Positive outcomes include better communication and alignment.

2. Social Intelligence

Being socially intelligent will allow you to connect with others on a deeper level. Not only will you gain a better understanding of the message they are trying to get across, but you will also be able to anticipate their possible reactions. This will lead to more desirable interactions overall. Social intelligence is not only a great workplace skill but also a great interpersonal skill to have in your pocket.

3. Novel and Adaptive Thinking

In a globally connected world, it’s important to be adaptable, especially in your manner of thinking. Being open-minded, for example, will open doors and allow you to think through and come up with the best possible solutions for even the most complex problems. Novel and adaptive thinking are essential workplace skills and will help you develop innovative solutions in your role. 

4. Cross-cultural Competency

Similar to adaptive thinking, cross-cultural competency allows you to maintain a forward-moving mindset. Those who possess this useful workplace skill can operate in different cultural settings. As a result, this is one of the top skills you’ll want to have in your back pocket for 2020 and the years to come. 

5. Computational Thinking

The way we think has a great impact on the way we act. This is why many of our top skills for 2020 begin with critical thinking. Someone with computational thinking skills can translate copious amounts of data into brief concepts that are easier to comprehend. 

6. New Media Literacy

Driven by new communication tools, new media literacy allows people to critically interpret and create content using new media forms. Furthermore, it allows them to leverage these media in their communications, making this a highly sought-after skill for 2020.

7. Transdisciplinary

While you may know all that there is to know about your industry and your main area of business, it’s extremely beneficial to learn to understand multiple concepts across multiple disciplines. Possessing the workplace skill of being transdisciplinary may give you the push you need to explore new territory in your career.

8. Design Mindset

If you don’t consider yourself a creative person, developing a design mindset may seem like a longshot, but this essential workplace skill allows you to come up with innovative solutions for your desired outcomes. 

9. Cognitive Load Management

In line with organizational skills, cognitive load management gives you the ability to decipher and filter even the most complex information to decide on what is most important. This skill also allows you to maximize your cognitive functions as you continue to deliver results. 

10. Virtual Collaboration

In today’s evolving workplace, collaboration is key, of course. But even more important than basic collaboration: virtual collaboration. Virtual collaboration allows you to work productively with others, despite any physical barriers in the way. 


Put your new workplace skills to use this 2020! Search for new roles below and let ICS take care of the rest. 

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