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Future Skills You Need To Be Successful

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Christie Whitehill
CEO, Founder of Tech Ready Women

Christie Whitehill founder and CEO of Tech Ready Women shares why you should read this before you skip your next mathematics class....

What does my future job look like? And what skills will I need to have in order to succeed?

These are questions I never asked myself when I was at school. However, now more than ever, this is an important question you should be asking yourself, no matter what age you are.

You might be starting to hear a lot around the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at school, and you might be thinking you suck at Maths or Science, Tech and Engineering is just for boys. However, I’d like to talk about this subject from a different angle because, you see, we live in a digital age and I’m an entrepreneur and never thought I’d need to have these skills either, or at least an understanding of them.

I’ll be the first to admit that I suck at Maths, I don’t have one of those brains that can just calculate a complex sum in my head. I’m a creative, visionary, problem solver and have a high EQ (Emotional Quotient). I have a high risk appetite and I’m not afraid to try new things, this is why I make a great entrepreneur. However, these skills alone aren’t enough to be great in business.

In the early days, when I was building my first tech startup, I thought I could rely on my strong intuition to hire the right people. I was wrong. I knew nothing about hiring software engineers, their skills, and how to work with them. Not having the knowledge and understanding of how coding worked meant I wasted a lot of time and money hiring the wrong people and building the wrong product for my customers.

After a year of failing I decided to enroll myself into some extra curricular courses so I could upskill quickly. I attended coding courses to understand how programming worked so I could ask the right questions and hire the right people. I attended a course in corporate finance to understand how to calculate numbers to grow a business and pitch to investors.

I also upskilled on data analytics so I could understand marketing metrics, which is very important to understand when it comes to acquiring customers.

So, why I am telling you all this? Because I wish I had paid more attention to STEM subjects while I was at school and whether you choose to become an entrepreneur, or choose another career altogether, having some STEM and entrepreneurship skills will set you up for a successful career. Here’s a few reasons why:

Entrepreneurship has huge benefits

Entrepreneurs have the ability to change the way we live and work, and if successful, their innovations can help improve individuals lives, bring communities together, and in addition to creating wealth they create jobs and contribute to the economy.

Data is king

Entrepreneurship requires vision (and a whole lot of grit), but it also requires a good understanding of practical realities. Making decisions based on gut feel may sometimes pay off, however, when we make data-driven decisions we are basing things on hard facts. Ever heard the saying “the numbers never lie”? Well this is true especially when it comes to making money in business.

Communication is key

As workplaces become increasingly technical, the need for excellent communication skills becomes more important. Being able to express yourself clearly when speaking to people either in person, online, via spreadsheets or presentations is vital.

Teamwork requires multiple skills

No one exists in a bubble, especially entrepreneurs. No one is successful without their team members and collaboration is imperative when it comes to innovation. Engineers work in teams, designers and coders work in teams, marketer’s and analysts work in teams, finance and operations work in teams. So the more you can understand how your future teammates work and think, the more successful you and your team will be.

My last tip. If you’re still not feeling confident with STEM or entrepreneurship, there are so many extra curricular programs, tutors and support to help you upskill starting with Enterprising Girls. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

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