Find Your Skills Gap: Quiz
‘Skills gap’ has been a buzz word across all industries for a while now. At the most basic level, it refers to a mismatch between the skills required for an employee to thrive in a role, and the skills that the employee actually possesses.
So, why should you care about skills gaps? It sounds like more of a management or recruitment issue, rather than a you issue right? Well, not really.
The answer isn’t quite straightforward. Put plainly, even if you don’t have any skills gaps right now, you will: either as workplace digitalisation accelerates, or if you want to step into a promotion. And, although 78% of CEO’s cite skills shortages as ‘a top threat to growth’, they’re not doing much about it. Only 28% of employees said their employer is providing them with upskilling relevant to their role. That leaves 72% of employees needing to take action to fill their own skills gaps.
Of course, figuring out where your skills gaps lie is easier said than done. We’ve all heard the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” And that couldn’t be more fitting in this scenario.
If you’re trying to zero in on exactly where you could use a little extra training, this quiz is a good place to start. We’ve taken six skill areas deemed necessary for the future of work by industry analysts, and by the end of the quiz, you’ll know which of these areas your skills gaps lie in.
Why Take Action to Fill Your Own Skills Gap?
The reason skills gaps have become an issue is two-fold: on the one hand, the pace of innovation and digitalisation has accelerated, further widening existing gaps. On the other hand, Australia’s ageing workforce is about to begin turning over, and that could see many role openings, with too few qualified candidates to fill them.
This has already become a major issue in Australia, and has seen the need for a national skills shortage list to be created.
Your industry is likely evolving quickly, and if you want to advance your career you’ll have to evolve at the same pace. This is why there is such a need to fill your skills gaps as an employee. Ignoring them, or waiting in the hope you’ll receive training from your workplace aren’t great strategies (refer back to the staggering statistics in the intro if you’re wondering why).
For a long time – perhaps too long, if you’re a proponent of democratised learning – employee training and development has been left in the hands of managers and L&D teams. Now, there’s a push for employees to take control of their own upskilling. This means you could ask for training that you actually need to be successful in your role, rather than leave it to the assumptions of people above.
Degreed’s ‘How the Workforce Learns’ report found that a desire to align learning to personal skill gaps is something 61% of respondents felt. The report also found that L&D teams are struggling to initiate or offer clear direction for this kind of ongoing learning, and this is where employees themselves can take the reins.
Once you’ve completed the quiz, and you know which area your skills gap lies in, you’ll be able to take that information to your manager and push for the democratisation of your personal learning.
You’ll also come away with a better understanding of how to make yourself indispensable in a rapidly evolving workforce, and that’s one of the most valuable ways to prepare for the future of work.
Six Skill Buckets for the Future of Work
From big tech like robotics, all the way to transferable digital capabilities, digital technology is one of the broadest but most crucial skillsets for the future of work.
PwC’s report, “Where Next for Skills” details how, regardless of industry or role, digital acumen and an ability to use technology independently will be necessary for everyone wishing to remain employable. The current digital skills gap is growing wider year on year, and it seems most people need to be responsible for initiating their own learning in these areas.
Luckily, micro-credentials — quick, stackable courses that slot into your existing skillset — in this area are flourishing. They’re often industry-specific too, meaning they’ll really help you advance your career.
This is about more than basic people management. This is about learning how to foster motivation, passion and resilience in those around you.
Preparing yourself for leadership requires a whole new skillset stacked on top of your existing one. Filling leadership skills gaps can be more difficult than filling other kinds of skills gaps, as it requires a new way of thinking and acting in a professional environment.
Especially for those who’ve never had management experience before, it’s essential to invest in the right upskilling. That way, you’ll be able to step into a leadership role prepared and confident.
Data is the buzzword for the future of work. It’s set to spread into all industries – both within Australia and worldwide – and it will alter the way many people work.
It’s no longer just data scientists who need to understand and leverage the stories behind the numbers; almost all workers will need to get their hands dirty with data at some point in their career. While some people have a knack for this kind of analysis, it’s also something that can be taught.
This crucial skill shouldn’t be overlooked. As digital innovation hastens, employees will need to be quick and adapt their skill sets to stay employable. Arming yourself with basic data analysis and storytelling abilities will set you up perfectly for the future of work.
From strategy to critical thinking to complex problem-solving – all these abilities require logic and reasoning, as well as cognitive flexibility These specific ways of thinking fall into the area of cognitive adaptability. The thing is, in many cases, this way of thinking isn’t in-built: you must teach your mind to function this way.
If you’re still learning how to bring cognitive adaptability into your work, be encouraged – starting is half the battle. While it may not come easily to start with, it’s something we all need to learn at some point.
Since it’s a key skill for the future of work, it would be ideal to spend some time honing your ability to think critically, problem-solve on your feet and understand how to switch quickly between two different ways of thinking.
Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for future employability, as workplaces shift towards creating cultures that benefit employees, rather than purely focusing on the bottom line. It’s a transferable skill set that will set you up for any role in any industry.
This is not about leadership or people management, this is about understanding how strong relationships can create harmony in a workplace.
Particularly in industries such as healthcare, where a human-centric approach is required to work hand-in-hand with technical skills, your EQ will spell out the difference between being employable or not.
You’re looking for a specialised skill set that will set you apart in your industry. These skills are necessary for your future employability. You know that, as automation and technological augmentation solidify their places in your industry, you’re going to need new skills to stand out.
At the crux of your new skills will be digital acumen and likely a bit of data in the mix, since these things will be prevalent in all roles in the future.
By taking active steps to arm yourself with industry-specific skills, you’ll be well-placed to thrive in your workplace, no matter how rapidly it adapts and changes.
Take Control of Your Employability
Knowing where your skills gaps lie is like receiving a treasure map: now that X marks the spot, you’ll need to be prepared to do some digging. It’s the first step in taking your learning – and future employability – into your own control. From here, you can begin narrowing in on exactly what training you need, and take this knowledge directly to your manager.
If you’re bold enough to take the initiative to begin your own learning journey, you’ll be two steps ahead of the curve. There’s also no risk in asking for training to fill your skills gap. Your manager might just say no. But if they say, “Yes”, the rewards of getting that training will be better than you can imagine.
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