3 skills Non-technical professionals need to master to thrive in the tech industry today!
As times are evolving, technology is moving at the speed of light, and being a nontechnical person in the tech industry can be daunting. Recently in one of the classes I teach at San Francisco state university, students expressed concerns about how their skills may be deemed redundant by the time they graduate and earn their degree.
So, first of all, let’s set something straight: Yes, technology is developing rapidly and will form a new landscape of professionals. But that does not mean we can not empower ourselves to add value to this new ecosystem.
One thing to note is the way of life as we know it is changing. You will no longer learn skills and be done with learning. Opportunity will exist for people who now will embark on the journey of an infinite learner—someone who keeps themselves informed and curious about new and emerging innovations.
So along with your degree, it is crucial now more than ever to focus on these three skills that can set your trajectory to stay relevant even when systems and job markets change.
Strong communication skills are essential in the tech industry. Non-technical professionals need to be able to communicate effectively with technical teams and explain complex concepts clearly and concisely. They also need to be able to collaborate with cross-functional teams and bridge the gap between technical and non-technical team members.
Three podcasts to listen to, especially to build this skill:
"The Communication Guys" - This podcast is hosted by two communication experts who share insights and strategies for improving communication skills in the workplace. They cover various topics, including interpersonal communication, public speaking, and team communication.
"TED Talks Daily" - This podcast features short, inspiring talks from a wide range of speakers, including business leaders, scientists, and artists. Many discussions focus on communication and leadership and offer practical advice and inspiration for non-technical professionals in the tech industry.
"The Art of Charm" - This podcast offers advice and strategies for improving social skills, building relationships, and becoming a more effective communicator. The hosts interview psychology, business, and communication experts and provide actionable tips and strategies for improving your communication skills.
The tech industry is constantly evolving, and non-technical professionals must adapt and stay up-to-date on new trends and developments. They should be comfortable with learning new technologies and tools and be willing to embrace new ways of working.
Three books to read TODAY to enhance your adaptability in the current professional ecosystem:
"Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World" by David Epstein - This book argues that being a generalist rather than a specialist can be an advantage in today's rapidly changing world and provides examples of successful generalists across a range of fields.
"Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change" by William Bridges - This book offers practical advice for managing personal and professional transitions, including coping with change and leading others through transition periods.
"Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life" by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans - This book offers a framework for designing a fulfilling career and life, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, experimentation, and iteration.
Non-technical professionals in the tech industry must identify and solve problems quickly and effectively. This may involve using data and analytics to inform decision-making, working collaboratively with technical teams to find solutions, or leveraging their creativity and critical thinking skills to address challenges.
Three thought leaders in this space you should follow to build your problem-solving skills:
Daniel Pink - Daniel Pink is a bestselling author and speaker who frequently writes and speaks about the science of motivation, creativity, and problem-solving.
Adam M Grant - Adam Grant is a professor of psychology and management at the Wharton School and a bestselling author who often shares insights on leadership, motivation, and problem-solving.
Wharton - The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania frequently shares insights and resources on business and management topics, including problem-solving, on their Twitter feed.
These are some resources that I am sharing with my students. Making these a part of our students’ resource library as educators is imperative. And if you are a professional trying to make sense of what is happening in the industry and how to move forward, hit me up! Let’s chat and find a plan that works for you.