Whether it’s the job market, the economy, or just millennials being millennials, one cannot deny the fact that new skills are required to survive in this era, especially as we gradually move into the WALL-E century – we mean Industry 4.0.
Now by all means, we’re not asking you to reconsider your major, or even drop out of university. These skills can be gained anywhere, anytime, and at any age (the sooner the better though, but hey no pressure). Not to sound like heretics towards your parents, teachers, and the old conventional methods of education – but there’s more to real life and the world economy than memorizing an entire book and then writing it down on a paper, which signals if you’re ready to go onto the next grade. Flashbacks to school anyone?
So what are the skills the current Bahraini generation need? Is it coding? Marketing? Or perhaps business? Soft skills maybe? Startup MGZN lists you the top 5 skills that every Bahraini millennial needs to boost their employability.
1. Build social skills.
By now, you’ve probably figured out that a degree is not enough to guarantee you a job. What do you do in this case? Simple! Get yourself out there. Attend events that you’re interested in, mingle and network with people, show your face and let them know who you are – the more you attend such events, the more you become recognizable. Through these events, you don’t just get to learn new things, but you also get to expand your social circle, know who’s who in Bahrain, and who’s doing what – something that you will definitely benefit from in the future, when you work on upcoming projects or launch a startup. Not only that, but you might even bump into your future employer through these events! And as the old saying goes: It’s all about the was6a! You can know all about the upcoming events in Bahrain here.
2. Digital marketing is the new thing.
Now, we’re not asking you to become a “social media influencer” – no shade there, but digital marketing is the crème de la crème of this century. No matter what you do, build, create, or even talk about, you need a platform to show it all off. Previously, it was billboards, newspapers and magazines, and TV. Now? Besides your grandparents, who has time for that? The internet, has made it easy for you to identify your customer needs, test ideas, and produce products. Social media probably comes naturally to today’s generation, so go ahead and make use of it! The catch? There’s so much content out there online, so you need to stand out. Best part of it all? It’s cheap and fast!
3. Consider Google your new bestie.
Nothing is more infuriating than that friend who texts you a “how to” question that they can easily Google. Like, we appreciate the flattery, but our time is precious. Next time they ask, we suggest you use this. Bahrainis need to learn how to research – wait, not only that, but they also need to learn how to use and implement that research. According to Cameron Mirza, Head of Strategy at University of Bahrain, “The world economy doesn’t pay you for you what you know, it pays you for what you can do with what you know.” While knowledge is great, it doesn’t make you a special snowflake. It’s what you can do with that knowledge that will give you an advantage over others.
4. Basic I.T.
We’re not asking you here to build a rocket to Mars – although that would be epic, but having a basic knowledge of IT can actually help you in your career. For example, you don’t necessarily have to know how to code, but you at least need to have an idea on what coding is, what does and can it do, and how it can help your workplace. Keep in mind that AWS has opened 3 data centers in Bahrain, FinTech is also booming in Bahrain as the EDB and FinTech consortium launch Bahrain FinTech Bay, the largest dedicated FinTech hub in the Middle East and Africa, and let’s not forget that nearly every business is moving online now, so having knowledge on these things won’t just impress (or bore) your crush, but your interviewers as well. Here’s a tip for when you’re being interviewed: No harm in cracking the classic “an Apple a day keeps Microsoft away” – just make sure they’re an Apple fan.
5. Emotional Intelligence.
Here’s the deal, millennials and this generation have spent most of their time glued to their computers and smartphones. What do they do when a social media influencer posts an unpopular or offensive opinion? They turn to social media to voice their frustrations. Is it a bad thing? Not exactly. But since most of our interactions with people are done online, it has taken away some of our emotional intelligence skills.
Now, we’re not asking you to be overly dramatic, but you should be aware of how social media might affect your social skills, especially since most of our communications are done through email and instant messaging. This can limit our ability to understand or even communicate emotions such as anger, sadness, sincerity etc. Who here gets confused and intimidated when a full stop is added to a WhatsApp text? Or when you’re unsure of adding an emoji to your text? Here’s a solution, pick up the phone and/or arrange a meeting! Emotional intelligence is crucial especially if you’re dealing with clients, customers, and even your coworkers. It can help you make better business decisions, resolve conflicts, and stay calm when you’re under pressure.
And before you give us the classic nag of “robots are taking over” – no robots won’t be taking over your jobs. Although robots will definitely take up some of the tasks that human beings are currently doing, this doesn’t mean that humans will become indispensable. People tend to forget two things: a) you still need humans to build and operate those bots, and b) humans are capable of learning new skills! So stop nagging, and start learning! Besides, we wouldn’t mind having a bot close our lights for us or water our plants – creepy yes, but totally worth it.
Before you leave, if you’re a university student with a hunger for an adventure that will build up your career, check out Zain’s Youth Empowerment Program where students are exposed to real business world challenges and experience Zain’s unique corporate culture. There’s also the Eqtidar program, powered by JAFCON in strategic partnership with Tamkeen, which provides senior graduate students and recent graduates with real on-job trainings and at the same time acquire an international qualification from the UK. Another program you might be interested in checking out is the CFA Society’s Mutamahin Program, which is a graduate training program that empowers young graduates and develop their employability skills.
You can also check out the Bahraini-based employment platform Majra to explore your options.