The secret to staying ahead in a disrupted world

I don’t know about you but I’m already suffering from disruption fatigue, and I get the feeling we’ve only just begun. It seems every facet of our lives is being disrupted one way or another including, of course, the job market and the prospects for business.

It was interesting to read LinkedIn’s report on emerging jobs in the US - based on LinkedIn data from the last five years along with other survey results. It looks at which jobs and skill sets are on the rise and which are being edged out in this rapidly changing world.

No surprise to see tech-focused jobs are the most in-demand, but it was reassuring to read communication skills continue to rank very highly on the must-have list.

Look around and you can be forgiven for thinking human to human communication is becoming an archaic practice. Catch a train and you'll mostly see the tops of heads as commuters scroll on their phones, disconnected from the world via headphones of various shapes and sizes. At work - and often outside it as well - we default to email or text rather than having a conversation. Government departments go to great lengths to stop us contacting them in person.

Yet, influential communication skills are far from going out of style - in fact they’re increasing in importance.

A second common myth is that great communicators are born, not made; that you're either blessed with the ability to wield words or not. That's simply not true. Many of the world's most impressive orators and writers didn't start out that way; they learned those skills along the journey.

Yes, some were born with the gift of the gab and were able to build on that foundation. Others had humble beginnings and faced many challenges, yet they compelled themselves to acquire the skills needed to influence their own success.

Given that communication will be a sought-after skill well into the future - regardless of job type - let me ask you; how do you rate yourself in conversation, presentation, and written communication?

If you have a weakness, the time to address it is now. Don’t wait until everyone overtakes you. Be the one who stands out, not part of the mass running to catch up as disruption takes us on its frantic ride.