The Most Wanted Soft Skills in 2020

Original article by Deanna (Lazzaroni) Pate

What skills does the workforce value most? At LinkedIn Learning, they surfaced timely data from their network of over 660+ million professionals and 20+ million jobs to reveal the 15 most in-demand soft and hard skills of 2020

Whatever your goals are for 2020— to take on a bigger project, start a new job, lead a team— learning these soft skills can help you stand out for that next opportunity. 

What you need to know about 2020’s trending soft skills

Soft skills are the essential interpersonal skills that make or break our ability to get things done in our current jobs and take on new opportunities ahead.

Topping this year’s list are creativity, collaboration, persuasion, and emotional intelligence—all skills that demonstrate how we work with others and bring new ideas to the table.  Four of the five most in-demand soft skills remain in their top spots year over year, further reinforcing that these skills are evergreen—they’re likely to remain the top skills that companies want in star employees.   

The one variation in the most in-demand soft skills list indicates that companies are gravitating toward talent with interpersonal and people-oriented skills. ‘Time management’, a more task oriented skill, fell off the top soft skills list. ‘Emotional intelligence’ took its place. While task-oriented skills remain critical to our success at work, the data shows that employers value our ability to work well with colleagues. 

The top 5 most in-demand soft skills are: 

#1 Creativity – Same as 2019

Organizations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR. Focus on honing your ability to bring new ideas to the table in 2020. 

#2 Persuasion – Same as 2019

Leaders and hiring managers value individuals who can explain the “why.” To advance your career, brush up on your ability to effectively communicate ideas and persuade your colleagues and stakeholders that it’s in their best interest to follow your lead. 

#3 Collaboration – Same as 2019

High-functioning teams can accomplish more than any individual—and organizations know it. Learn how your strengths can complement those of your colleagues to reach a common goal.

#4 Adaptability – Same as 2019

The only constant in life—and in business—is change. To stand out in 2020, embrace that reality and make sure to show up with a positive attitude and open-minded professionalism, especially in stressful situations. 

#5 Emotional Intelligence – New 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others. New to the most in-demand skills list this year, the need for emotional intelligence underscores the importance of effectively responding to and interacting with our colleagues. 

See also Most Wanted Hard Skills for 2020 and Top 5 Things you need to know about Jobs of the Future.

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