xxxxxxv) Ten Most Valued Job Skills

From studies the 10 most valued job skills are soft skills (see below)

The 10 Most Valued Job Skills*i



Key Attributes


Enthusiasm/positive attitude

The ability to remain consistently positive and optimistic and to maintain enthusiasm in all work tasks and projects


Good communication skills

To be proficient in both verbal and written communications




Taking responsibility for originating tasks/new ideas/methods and having the ability to think and act without being prompted



The ability to consistently speak the truth and be honest at all times, and encourage others to do the same


Liking people

The ability to relate well to others (of all types and ages) in order to successfully accomplish the tasks and goals the job



The capacity to follow through strongly to completion, despite setbacks and/or obstacles


Ability to work in a team

The ability to effectively cooperate with others in the performance of job assignments


Good organisational skills/ability to work well under pressure

The ability to organise oneself and others and to work consistently and without getting overloaded, even when pressure is high


Willingness to learn

The capacity to maintain a mind that is open to new ways of doing things and willing to accept constructive feedback



The ability to turn up regularly for work on time and work hard on a consistent basis


i) This is based on analysing over 40 worldwide studies of medium to large-scale organisations (2009 - 2012) (Tim Baker, 2013)

Another way of saying this is 'C- skills', ie collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication that are required in the 21st century.

More on skills

"...Complex problem-solving is the number one skill of the 21st century........."
World Economic Forum as quoted by Charles Conn et al 2018

"...This involves learning how to define a problem, creatively break it into manageable parts and systematically work towards a solution..."
Charles Conn et al 2018

Need to learn how to handle the following
- the human biases in decision-making
- uncertainty
- interdependencies, ie multiple causes
- complexity
- consequences
- how to be clever and agile
- disruptive competition (usually from outside your traditional industry)

To handle the above the skills need are
i) complex problem-solving
ii) critical thinking
iii) creativity
iv) people management
v) coordinating with others
vi) emotional intelligence
vii) judgement and decision making
viii) service orientation
ix) negotiations
x) cognitive flexibility

NB the above skills should suggest an increasing focus on non-routine and cognitive rather than routine and manual

Some other worthwhile skills include

- digital-savy

- bilingual
"...speaks more to diversity and to cultural intelligence and whether a person can handle themselves in different and particularly more global environments..."
Jan Owen as quoted by Robert Bolton, 2017b

- communications (including presentation skills)

- presentation

Need to get away from egos and prejudices


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