We're all guilty of spending more time than we need to on our portable devices these days. But how we can ensure that some of that time is well spent on our future, and not just playing the latest game.

Yes, I'm guilty of loving a bit of Candy Crush as much as the next person, but I also try to ensure that some of the time I spend on my smart phone, I'm doing so with the future in mind, specifically around learning something new.

There are many factors that, in the future, will contribute to changes in the way we work and more importantly how we learn. One of the most prevalent currently is technology.

In order to combat this, many organisations are now offering varied solutions for learning to their employees. Blended learning, great websites, videos and digital libraries of assets are fast becoming the 'in thing' to offer to employees as they provide learners to access learning, when and where they want.

It also means time away from our jobs in training rooms, means we can do more 'hands on' learning.

How can learners contribute to playing their role in the future or their organisation? By ensuring their skills and mind-sets are aligned to modern day challenges learners can be ready for the digital revolution that's coming.

We need to be beyond the limitations of the traditional way of learning and prepare for the future.

Here are some of the skills and mind-sets to consider making sure you are future proofing your learning:

 

Digital literacy

There is no question that technology plays an important part in society today. From personal communications to our work places, it is essential for people to have the skills that will help them navigate technology to be successful. Some of these skills come from regularly using technology but other skills need to be learnt so that people are prepared for the future workplace.

Digital literacy gives learners a foundation of knowledge and skills and to use technology in the workplace, including the ability to integrate new technologies as they are developed. Familiarity with technology and their related devices will help learners prepare for their upcoming responsibilities in the workplace.

 

Emotional intelligence

The old stereotypical successful person in business was cold, authoritative and only focused on the organisation. However, more recent studies show us that this is no longer the case. Emotions help make people who they are. Rather than cutting out emotions, it is important for people to be able to confront and control their emotions so that they are expressed appropriately in our work places.

People must be able to communicate with others and build on interpersonal relationships. Therefore, it's important that organisations encourage emotional intelligence (EI). EI equips us all with the knowledge and skills to manage emotions – particularly in changing circumstances – to communicate in our work places successfully. This not only applies to ourselves in how we manage our emotions, but also in how we manage emotions in others.

 

Curiosity

Yes, we all know that it 'killed the cat', but a lack of curiosity is also likely to kill your future proofed career. Today we see rapid advancement in technology and innovation. Because of this, the strategies and tools we use in business are frequently changing, and this includes how we learn. In order to be successful in a rapidly changing world, we need to have curiosity and a love of learning. Most careers require ongoing learning so that people can keep up with the latest technology advances and psychological thinking.

If you don't embrace this curiosity and a love of learning, you are likely to stay stuck in one place whilst everyone around you moves forward. The more you drive your own learning, the more you will be ready to adapt to advancements and changes in your organisation.

 

Self-awareness

Whilst there are many skills, you need for specific jobs in the future that relate to your organisation, it's also important to remember that the foundation for all of this is a thorough understanding of yourself. What are your strengths? What areas do you need to develop for the future? All of these things will contribute to your tomorrow in the workplace.

Many people rely on their employers to provide opportunities for this, but in reality, you can increase your self-awareness so much through self-driven learning. It may mean filling in a quiz online to learn something about yourself, or asking for feedback from your peers. It could even be contributing to online discussion forums that will stretch and challenge your thinking about how you see yourself.

It will also contribute greatly to your EI – the more you understand yourself, the more you can manage yourself.

 

If you're looking to take the next step in your lifelong learning journey, take a look at our excellent Business Skills and Leadership and Management training courses.

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