The Skills Needed for Survival in the 21st Century
In the age of the cavemen, the skills needed for survival consisted of gathering food, avoiding disease, and mating. However, as we have evolved, so have our survival needs. Although we are moving away from the base of Maslow's pyramid, there are still new basic fundamentals of coping and not falling behind that need to be discovered.
To avoid being viewed as sub human or uneducated as to the standards that most modern adults have adapted to, people must acquire certain skills that are necessary for any sort of personal growth in this highly developed society. Or else, in our dog-eat-dog world of natural selection, those who lack these skills will be the first to fall.
At Elite, it cannot be stressed enough how important a professional network is to your career. You undoubtedly already mastered the art of social networking, and the next step is transferring your focus into building the same types of relationships, but this time on a professional level.
Instead of casually “friending” people to expand your social circle, deliberately reach out to the people you want in your business circle. And instead of keeping track of your friends' lives on Twitter, keep tabs on your contacts' business developments.
There is a reason why critical writing became a tested subject on the high school SATs and a required class at nearly every university. In most professional atmospheres, people are expected to be intelligent sounding writers. No, you don't have to create poetic prose that evokes class and technique.
What you do have to be able to do is effectively get an intended message across to someone else through the use of the written word while not sounding like a lifeless, robotic elementary school student.
An inability to write will not only negatively hinder your ability to communicate, but make you look like a complete moron in the process. An effective writer displays not only a complete grasp of language but also an ability to use their powerful voice to give off an impression that often speaks louder than the developed content on the page.
A skill unheard of by past generations, computer programming is becoming an essential. While you could pay a programmer several thousand dollars to make you a website, some elementary coding ability will allow you to create nearly anything you need for a basic webpage.
Any more advanced skills will serve you well, allowing you to join the elite circle of people who have taken time to fully understand the machines we all use every day. Like the tight-knit artists of centuries past, programmers are a highly exclusive group of skilled-workers. Knowing a bit about programming will help you to infiltrate into this powerful, self-selecting group. After all, there are two people in this world: those who understand binary and those who don't.
The ability to speak in front of people is extremely important. You may have the best writing abilities and internet presence, but if you cannot back it up in person, you are nearly worthless. Whether it is for an important pitch or just a casual elevator conversation, eloquent speech is essential.
Being able to connect with people through verbal communication is one of the key factors that defines us as humans. Likewise, if you lack this skill, you will be ostracized by your peers for your alien-esque social abilities.
Didn't see that one coming, eh? Cooking, a skill everyone should have acquired in college, is about to become a serious necessity. With the price of food going through the roof, eating out will soon no longer be cost-effective. Instead of wasting their hard earned cash on dining at restaurants, the intelligent will switch to entertaining guest in their homes.
Whether it is a tossing a simple salad or a creating a gourmet soufflé, some basic food preparation competency is always helpful. We have long moved away from Stone Age days of simply gathering food, so stop picking out a Thai takeout and start creating your own meals.
Christina Atterbury | Elite.
Subscribe to Elite Daily's official newsletter, The Edge, for more stories you don't want to miss.