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Key Skills for the Millennial Career Aspirant In conversation with educational institutions or corporates, the question often posed is in this era of exponential change, what skills do our millennials and GenZs need to stay relevant?

By Shubika Bilkha

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With 80per cent of our graduates slated to be unemployable, a growing disconnect between employers and existing aspirants, the proliferation of the gig economy, the startup culture, the growth of technology and the advent of AI, this question has become all the more relevant.

In our world of constant disruption and transformation driven by technology and innovation, as we battle the what is and will we be prepared for what will be, how do we advise a millennial career seeker on what they need to combat the journey ahead?

The Precise Thing

From leaders to think tanks, whether a Mukesh Ambani or the World Economic Forum (WEF), the feedback on the key skills required seem to focus on the intangible skillsets that constitute 60per cent of workplace success. As technology evolves at an exponential rate, Mukesh Ambani in his Fourth Revolution interview saw the mindset shift towards positivity, greater self-belief, a focus on innovation is driven by principles of equality and humanism, acceptance and a propensity to learn from failure as essential skills to make this dramatic shift.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in their research on the Top 10 skills identified as key skills for 2020 focus on intangible skills such as emotional intelligence (EQ), communication, critical thinking, cognitive flexibility, problem-solving, people management and decision making. Furthermore, a Forbes Report in August 2018 added to this to include analysis, awareness, sensitivity, leveraging technology, learning how to learn, reading intelligently and spotting patterns/trends as other key skills required in the evolving world.

The Data Says

A survey conducted by Deloitte in 2018 that interviewed more than 10,000 millennials and 1800 Gen Z participants across 36 countries, found that only 36per cent of millennials and 29per cent of the GenZ felt they had the skills to thrive in the 4.0 World. Inter-personal skills, ethics and confidence featured as some of the key skills they believed defined success in the changing world. The single biggest overarching skill to thrive and survive in this world was that of building resilience.

In a country like ours where the educational mindset has been conditioned to focus on technical skillsets, this shifting requirement is particularly a challenge. With technical skills constantly being made redundant, the role of continuous learning and a larger focus on building practical and intangible skillsets that explain the majority of workplace success. is now almost a mandate in the new world order.

These key intangible skills contribute to 60-70per cent of workplace success are as follows:

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

  • Self- Awareness

  • Self- Management

  • Self- Motivation

  • Communication/Social Skills

  • Empathy

  • Resilience

Behavioral Skills

  • Business Etiquette

  • Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Negotiation Skills

  • Time Management

  • Navigating Difficult Situations

  • Relationship Building

  • Confidence

  • Commercial Awareness

  • Decision Making

Other Key Skills

  • Critical Thinking

  • Problem-Solving

  • Cognitive Flexibility

  • Creativity/Innovation

Shubika Bilkha

Entrepreneur, Advisor, Author, Executive Coach, Partner at EdpowerU

Shubika is a dynamic entrepreneur, media spokesperson, author, corporate advisor and millennial career coach with experience that spans the financial, technology, e-commerce, education and real estate sectors in India and Internationally. She is the Founding Partner of EdpowerU that focuses on workplace behavior, personal and leadership development of millennials and the GenZ in India.

Shubika is also a published author with her first book widely distributed. She has also been a prominent media spokesperson for the real estate and education sectors in India having contributed to publications, portals, panels/events, the radio and television channels in India. 

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