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The Top 5 Skills That Will Future-Proof Your Career

By Heather Black

Heather Black has been accelerating the careers of professionals since 2005 through delivering coaching, training and recruitment services globally with her team. Heather Black founded Supermums because she wanted other parents to have the same opportunities as she did. As the CEO of Supermums she is now focused on supporting relaunchers, increasing the number of women into tech and tackling gender equality.

Caregivers - and in particular, those who are parents are needing to rethink their career options right now as job losses continue to escalate and financial independence becomes a priority for others with divorce rates increasing.

According to a report by McKinsey, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs. Women make up 39 percent of global employment but account for 54 percent of overall job losses. One reason for this greater effect on women is that the virus is significantly increasing the burden of unpaid care, which is disproportionately carried by women. COVID-19 impact on women and gender equality | McKinsey

So what skills do parents need and what career opportunities are available right now for people who need to get their life back on track?

We live in a highly digitized and connected world. The European Commission has estimated that 90% of today’s jobs require at least a basic level of digital skills — and that doesn’t even begin to address the level of technical skills needed for high-earning positions.

Sadly, women are lagging behind men when it comes to technical skills. Women make up less than a third of the science-based research and development workforce. That number dips even lower when it comes to “frontier” technologies like artificial intelligence or virtual reality. Worldwide, women make up just 17.5% of the tech workforce and fill only 5% of leadership roles.

This isn’t just a theoretical problem. It’s a concrete issue for countless women who are struggling to break into the workforce. It’s also an issue for women who are stuck in dead-end jobs instead of being able to launch careers.

Fortunately, there is a solution. By acquiring in-demand skills, anyone can make themselves great candidates for today’s top jobs. This article will look at the top skills for working parents and dig into how exactly you can position yourself to future-proof your career.

Heather Black’s Story‌

Supermums founder Heather Black has first-hand experience as a woman who benefitted from a career in tech.

Heather Black Supermums founder headshot

Heather started using Salesforce CRM when she was running a non-profit. The more she learned about Salesforce, the more she realized that she would benefit from learning new skills like business analysis and technical know-how. She really enjoyed implementing new processes and monitoring performance across the organization using the CRM, which piqued her interest to learn how she could start helping other companies to implement a CRM.

Eventually, she realized that there was a wide range of jobs available in the CRM marketplace. She decided to retrain as a Salesforce consultant and worked as a freelancer earning $10k a month. To a large extent, she was able to set her own hours and work from wherever she happened to be. She noticed this was true for other women in tech, too.

When her first daughter was born, Heather continued to work a flexible schedule. She was able to achieve a great work-life balance, continuing in the career that she loved while dedicating herself to being an involved and hands-on parent.

Heather founded Supermums in 2016 because she wanted other parents to enjoy the same work-life balance that she has. Supermums’ mission is to empower more parents to build careers within the Salesforce sector. Supermums provides training and upskilling in the skills that are vital to today’s workforce.

The Top Five Skills Identified by LinkedIn for Future-Proofing Your Career as a Working Parent

Every year, LinkedIn conducts research to identify the most in-demand skills that business professionals need in order to increase their value in the job market. The following five skills have been selected from that list as the top skills for future-proofing your career as a working parent.

Cloud computing

The cloud has been a game-changer for most big businesses. It’s enabled them to store and access data, run complex data-driven programs, and scale as needed. Cloud computing has become a necessary solution as business becomes increasingly virtual.

In order to succeed in today’s marketplace, workers need to have a skill set that allows them to work with the cloud. That includes database and programming skills, proficiency with web services and APIs, and a grasp of the leading cloud service providers.

Business analysis

Business analysis is the practice of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems. That could mean introducing new technology, shifting organizational setup, or carrying out strategic planning or policy development. Business analysts need to possess both hard and soft skills so that they can carry out data analysis and, at the same time, work closely with executives to plan a better way forward for every business.

Business analysis might involve tasks such as:

  • Identifying the specific problems faced by businesses and finding solutions
  • Understanding business goals and requirements
  • Reviewing and improving processes
  • Introducing and redesigning systems
  • Reviewing performance analysis requirements

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence — or EQ — can be summed up as the ability to communicate effectively with others, putting yourself in their shoes, and understanding their struggles so that you can successfully connect with them.

Emotional intelligence is a soft skill that has been historically unrecognized. But without EQ, it’s virtually impossible to build up strong and resilient teams or to motivate employees to work through tough situations. EQ is what allows businesses to overcome even the toughest challenges and to keep forging ahead.

Marketing A.I.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has a growing role to play in marketing efforts. Many of us are familiar with chatbots, those cute little icons that pop up on websites and can answer questions by text.

Research shows that by 2025, approximately 95% of interactions between businesses and consumers will be done through AI channels. That’s why it’s so important for today’s workforce to learn how marketing AI works and to build up the skills needed to succeed in the sector.

Analytics ‌

Analytics is a broad term, referring to all the skills needed to collect data, analyze it, and make decisions based on that data. Analytical decision-making is the opposite of reactive decision-making. Instead of responding to impulses, analytical thinking responds to facts.

In today’s dense, globalized business environment, it is more important than ever for workers to build strong analytical skills.

Too many caregivers today are marginalized, struggling to make ends meet so that they can provide for their families. Supermums believe that this is unnecessary. By upskilling and focusing on currently essential skillsets, today’s caregivers can build exciting careers in tech that give them the flexibility they need to be both top-notch professionals as well as involved, present individuals in all aspects of their personal lives.

Supermums has already helped more than 400 professionals around the world enter the tech workforce and their courses are open to anyone who wants to upskill, not just mothers. Curious? Visit their site today to learn more about what training and opportunities Supermums could offer you.

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