Essential Skills to Prepare for the Changing Workforce

In order to be best prepared for future opportunities in the constantly changing workforce, it is essential to be open to continually learning and adapting to change. Skill-based experience like that found in the hospitality industry ensures crucial capabilities and knowledge that can be transferred across a variety of future careers.


When labor-saving technology is adopted by companies, evidence shows that labor is redirected elsewhere. As technology is frequently employed to replace more mundane labor, and as professions rapidly transform and shift to accommodate this change, it is critical to consider what skills will be useful for the future. Experts believe that the labor market will constantly change, with many having to “reskill” within the first 6 months on the job; therefore, it is necessary to focus on soft skills which can be applied in a variety of ways in order to remain employable in the coming years.


Typically, soft skills are outlined as how you interact with colleagues, solve problems, and manage your work. Specifically, communication, self-organization, emotional intelligence, resilience, and networking and teamwork capabilities are some of the most important skills you can have.


As channels of communication become automated and involve less direct human contact, new skills need to be developed to ensure that the right level of communication and connections are happening internally with employees, and externally with customers. The approach could vary depending on the channel or for different industries. Moreover, as remote work becomes commonplace, networking and relearning how to form connections online is essential; developing your LinkedIn and participating in other systems of digital communication is a must. Self-organization skills, like time management, planning, and maintaining a work-life balance are highly valued by younger generations entering the workforce; utilizing emerging technology in conjunction with these skills can also be helpful in mastering this practice.


Both emotional intelligence and resilience, broader skills that can take longer to acquire, are also key and will impact your ability to perform in any job function. In developing your emotional intelligence, you will be more successful in understanding all sides and angles to situations and learn to effectively influence and negotiate. Similarly, resilience will play a critical role in how you deal with change and uncertainty.


Having a background in hospitality and entry-level roles will add and allow you to practice these personal skills. For many entering these positions, they quickly gain practical experience with customer service, marketing and sales, and serving the community—for example, as a server persuading a customer to try something off the menu, a manager keeping track of the books, a hotel concierge providing attentive advice and assistance to guests. Research conducted by McKinsey and Co., a firm that assists organizations across the private, public and social escorts to create change around the world, revealed a striking pattern: “job progressions that create the most opportunities are those that depend on interpersonal skills. These skills include customer service, management, and communication.” Since interpersonal skills are learned on the job and through hands-on experience, they have undeniable market value.


At Caterina’s Club, Chef Bruno’s Hospitality Academy is a core program designed to educate the youth of Orange County and break the cycle of poverty through active job and skill training. This nine-week intensive training introduces students to the hospitality industry and hones in on restaurant-specific skills. Executives from major hotels, hospitals, culinary schools, and businesses teach and provide insights on future opportunities to students, as they prepare to enter the workforce.


The Hospitality Academy offers the unique opportunity for at-risk teenagers to develop essential skills, build their resumes, and have an exceptional career exploration experience. Students gain knowledge and hands-on experience in all aspects of the hospitality industry—from financial literacy, restaurant service, and administration—which creates a broad foundation of essential skills that can be carried over into any field.


As industries continue to unpredictably shift due to the growing automation and unforeseen socio-environmental changes like COVID-19, it is imperative for those joining the workforce to have an underlying basis of soft skills to guarantee access to future employment opportunities.


With over 600 graduates, Chef Bruno’s Hospitality Academy has seen success in providing hands-on experiences to students; these skills will be invaluable to their futures, no matter the field. To learn more about the pioneering work being initiated by the Hospitality Academy, look here.

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