2021 Workplace Superpowers – The Musthaves

If I was asked what my special skills were a year ago, it would definitely differ from now. 2020 came with a twist and remote work forced every one of us to learn how to Do It Yourself (and I don’t mean cooking).

Here are some of the must-have skills for 2021 that will make you more sellable to recruiters, and an asset in your current workplace.

The requirements for success in the workplace are changing and what matters most is your ability to adapt to change/trends as they come.- Nneka Alfred, Head of HR, She Leads Africa Click To Tweet

Hard Skills for the Workplace


1. Data Analytics: The workplace today requires us to think in data. This requires us to do a bit more research, crunch those numbers, understand raw data and drive business growth based on concrete analysis.

2. Content Creation: Your ability to produce entertaining or educational material that not only caters to the interests and challenges of a target audience but increases engagement and conversions definitely sets you apart from others in your field.

The content you produce can take many forms, including blog posts, videos, graphic design and newsletters. 

3. Marketing: Businesses worldwide need analytical people who understand what sort of tools are available in the growing digital toolbox, and know how to dig in through trusted channels.

4. Sales: This can pass for both a hard skill and a soft skill as sales involves persuasion, but with a specific commercial end in mind. Your ability to convert leads to revenue would give you a spot in any workplace.

5. Video production: The average person will watch 25 continuous days of video in 2021. Video content is quickly becoming the dominant form of all communication and companies are fighting to create effective digital video assets.

6. Product Development: This involves managing the process of developing a product or enhancing existing products in order to meet customer expectations effectively. If you haven’t noticed, times are changing and the direction of products being developed is too. 

Soft Skills for the Workplace

1. Creativity: Developing new ideas, applying new solutions to address existing problems.  Some people are naturally creative on their own, but a lot of us need to bounce ideas off others to get the creative juices flowing.

An ability to learn continuously and willingness to adapt to change is essential to boost your creativity.

2. Communication skills: Interpreting information through speaking, listening and observing is a must-have skill for 2021. Organizing thoughts and data points into a comprehensive, holistic narrative will get you where you need to be in your career.

3. Collaboration: Collaboration suffers when roles and goals are not defined. The next time you take on a group project, strike up a conversation about what success looks like, and who’s doing what. This simple act can get everyone rowing together faster and more effectively. 

The next time you take on a group project, strike up a conversation about what success looks like, and who's doing what.- Nneka Alfred, Head of HR, She Leads Africa Click To Tweet

4. Adaptability: Manage your mindset. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances starts with a mindset that’s willing to adapt to changing circumstances. If you tend to balk at change, reflect on the reasons why — and then see if you can reframe your perspective to help you see things differently.

5. Emotional intelligence: Practicing control, knowing when to push, expressing yourself and observation of interpersonal relationships among people in a workplace is very important when working with people.

6. Leadership: Leadership in the 21st century is much more about influence than authority, learning to appreciate and adapt to people with different perspectives, priorities, and personalities is a key skill to develop.

Having a difficult time figuring out your superpowers? 

2021 workplace skills

Here are three questions you can answer to guide you:

  • What unique contribution do you bring to projects, conversations, and meetings you attend?
  • Why do team members come to you for help?
  • What would be missing if you were to leave your current place of work?

If you are unable to answer these questions yourself, ask a colleague or friend. If your answers do not reflect the skills listed above, don’t relent or give up. The internet is packed with so much information, take some short courses, seek guidance from a work buddy, mentor or your boss. 

A superpower isn’t just a skill but a perspective, a mindset and a way of working that enhances everything you touch. The requirements for success in the workplace are changing and what matters most is your ability to adapt to change/trends as they come.

About Veronica Alfred

A passionate HR/Talent Acquisition Specialist with 6+ years experience cutting across Human Resources and People management, Hiring, policy formulation/compliance, Payroll Administration, Benefits/Compensation Administration, Talent/Performance Management, Recruitment/Selection, Training/Development, HR Policy and Organizational Design, Contract Negotiation, Job Costing Analysis, Progress Improvement, and Strategic Planning.

She is A divergent thinker that has demonstrated excellent skills in employee engagement, communication, strategic thinking and problem-solving.

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