Lifelong learning and networking – how to stay relevant in the 2020′s

In a fast moving world, where digitization is constantly changing the rules of the game on the labor market, being curious and open to learning new things is key to staying relevant. I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on lifelong learning, networking and freelance life with Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden’s largest morning papers.

This year marks ten years since I started my first business.  For me, freelance life has meant greater flexibility both in terms of when and where I work, but also with what I work with. Through the years I’ve had the chance to work with over 75 different organizations, companies and government agencies as a communications consultant and digital strategist, giving me great insights into different industries and organizations.

With Dagens Nyheter, I speak today about how freelancing can be an alternative to a traditional 9-to-5 employment. But also why everyone can benefit from investing in learning. Attend workshops, go an online course, listen to a breakfast seminar at a co-working space, school or company. At the pace the world is changing it is crucial to attain new skills and be agile in your work life to stay relevant. Networking, meeting with new people and sharing experiences and thoughts with them is also one of my main recommendations to learn new perspectives and better understand different aspects of work.

LinkedIn recently listed the most in-demand skills to succeed at work today. Hard skills mentioned were cloud computing, artificial intelligence, analytical reasoning and people management. But LinkedIn also go on to list the most in-demand soft skills: creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and time management. Work is not only about attaining hard skills anymore, the soft skills are becoming all the more important to succeed, regardless of if you are employed or a freelancer. When we see more jobs becoming automated, and headlines speaking about robots taking over, the soft skills – how we interact with and work with other people – become all the more important.

How do you stay relevant on the labor market in the 2020′s? Be curious. Take life long learning serious. And make sure to network and learn from other people.

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Emelie Fågelstedt

Independent communications strategist supporting organizations with their digital business and communications strategy since 2010. Founder of digital agency Fågelstedt Kommunikation and co-founder of Svenska Nomader, Sweden's largest platform for digital nomads. Public speaker on tech, social media, e-commerce and the future of work.

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