We’re almost halfway through 2019, and yet many people still have not followed through on their new year’s resolutions. Perhaps that new gym routine hasn’t quite clicked yet, or your website isn’t up and running. However, with 2020 fast approaching, now is the time to learn a new skillset to make next year your most successful one yet.
This list includes skills to learn that are both useful generally and desired by employers. In the 21st century, many skills are universally helpful in the home and the office. Plus, more employers are emphasizing skillsets over degrees held when hiring. That makes being adept in certain areas more valuable than ever before.
1. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing has become a cornerstone of any 21st-century business. Every company or individual offering a service needs an online presence, and in an age of sleek phones and computers, digital marketing needs to deliver.
Marketing online involves everything from designing something that looks good visually, to interacting with consumers you want to engage with.
Musicians need digital marketing skills to promote themselves and their music; someone trying to sell their dresser on eBay needs to be able to make it look good and attract good offers.
Becoming proficient in various parts of this process, whether that means getting comfortable with photo editing, graphic design, or even analyzing user engagement can make you an invaluable asset not only to yourself but to a potential employer.
Similar to digital marketing, creativity is a broad umbrella of ways to create and problem-solve. “Learning” creativity is a complex process, but it can pay off in spades.
In a world where more and more mindless jobs are being automatized, creativity is a resource that’s always in demand.
Training yourself to be more creative can happen in all parts of your life. Creativity isn’t just about making art or being a good writer. Thinking creatively and using creativity in problem-solving is much more applicable on a day-to-day basis.
When advertising, for example, think of a new way to grab a viewer’s attention. Something that might seem out of the box or a little risky could end up being very effective.
When trying to solve a workflow issue in the office, take a step back and look at the problem from a different angle.
A little creativity can go a long way both in enriching your own life and in drawing the interest of others.
Although the concept of coding may seem like a foreign language, it’s probably the most useful language to learn by 2020. In an increasingly technology-driven society, being able to code is a valuable and in-demand skill.
Jobs that require basic coding knowledge are growing faster and paying more than jobs that don’t. There are plenty of online resources where you can learn how to code at home without needing to go get a degree or even take a class. In the digital age, every company needs a good coder.
Coding has various additional uses outside of the more complex tech-oriented fields. As mentioned before, every business needs an online presence, and basic coding skills make building websites or apps incredibly easy.
Coding knowledge can also enable you to fix common computer or website issues on the fly, as well as make time-consuming tasks more efficient.
A 21st-century world requires 21st-century skills, and coding is high up on that list.
Collaboration is a skill that will never go out of fashion. As happy as you might be doing everything independently and on your own, there are certain things that will always be easier and better when teamwork gets involved.
Even if it just comes down to having another set of eyes reviewing your work, involving other people in your projects can grant you new perspectives and ideas.
Everyone brings a unique set of skills and specialties to a project, and combining forces effectively means more success for everyone involved.
Certain problems are just too large or complex to solve individually. This is the principle behind companies hiring many people and assigning them different roles.
Collaboration also doesn’t only happen in the workplace: socially, collaboration is what makes for strong communities and happy families.
By becoming somebody who plays well with others, is good at compromising and leading, and can communicate and collaborate efficiently, you make yourself an all-round useful and enjoyable individual with whom people will want to work with.
5. Time Management
Just like collaboration, time management is another classic skill for the ages. Managing both your own time and others’ can lead to more productivity and less stress. And who needs more stress than they already have?
Becoming skilled at time management comes down to organizing effectively and being realistic. There are a myriad of planning tools, calendar apps, old-fashioned time management notebooks, and other resources out there at your disposable. Find one that works for you and stick with it.
Being skilled at time management also involves good self-discipline and big-picture thinking. Creating a list of personal and professional goals and dividing those up into short, medium, and long-term projects can be incredibly helpful and freeing.
Be realistic about how much time should be devoted to each project, and don’t forget to give yourself a lot of buffer time and breathing room.
By starting with the organization of your day and week, good time management habits will form and make you instinctively better at managing your workload in all parts of your life.
This ultimately leads to reaching more of your goals, getting projects done faster and better, and feeling more at ease and confident.
This list of five skills to learn by 2020 is a great place to start for inspiration, but is by no means comprehensive. Take the time to figure out where you’re headed, and don’t be afraid to tackle something new that can help you get there.
Learning new skills is always beneficial, whether in your personal or professional life. Who knows, maybe this is the year that you finally pick up the saxophone.