What Skills Will the
Next Generation Need for Success?

See also: Interpersonal Skills

What is success? It's highly likely that you'll have your own immediate answer to this question, and so too will everyone else, but those answers might be very different from one another. That's because everyone looks at success differently. Some will think of success in terms of financial gain. Others will think that a happy life is a successful one. Still more will consider good health to be the success they're looking for, and so the list goes on.

However, although there are many different ideas when it comes to success, there is one underlying thought that connects them all; contentment and security. If you have these things, then everything else you do will fall into place, and you'll feel your life is a success.

Therefore, if contentment and security are the keys to success, what skills will the next generation need in order to reach those goals and be successful? Read on for some ideas.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking essentially means being able to take all the facts and information you have about something and analyze it objectively, using the results of your analysis to come up with an answer or solution to whatever question it was you asked. It involves thinking for yourself and not allowing your own personal ideas and feelings to cloud your judgement, and although it sounds like an easy thing to do, many people find true critical thinking to be a challenge.

It's a challenge that the next generation – Generation Y – will need to overcome if they want to be successful. They will need to be self-disciplined and realistic in their ideas, and they will need to understand how to change their plans if the answers they get through their analysis of goals and suggestions mean they are on the wrong track. It's a difficult thing to master, but it's a crucial one, and if they can do it not just in their personal lives but in their careers as well, they will be able to make good decisions that lead them to more successful outcomes, whether that's choosing a career, deciding on the best SEO company for their business, or opting for a new hobby that will help them enjoy their lives more.


We briefly mentioned being able to change plans and go with new ideas above, and it is this adaptability that is yet another skill the next generation will need if they want to succeed in whatever context that means for them.

Not only will they need to change their plans if better ideas come along that make more sense or if a mistake was made, but they will also need to be aware of new and emerging technology. This is perhaps the biggest change that will happen, and it could almost be overnight.

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and there will always be new ideas coming to the fore. Whether those ideas are there to help with your home life or your business or career, it's going to be important to know how to find out more about them and – using critical thinking – ascertain whether they are going to be useful or not. Not every new piece of tech needs to be grabbed at and inserted into your life; some just won't be necessary.

However, being able to adapt to the ones that are necessary quickly and making the adjustments that are needed is a skill that will certainly benefit the next generation and help them not only get further personally but help them to get ahead of the competition too.

Communication Skills

Having good communication skills is an essential skill for life, but it's something that the next generation may have some issues with. They will be proficient in online communication – texting, emails, instant messages, social media, and so on – but in terms of face-to-face communication, body language, and telephone conversations, skills might be lacking. This is not their fault; its simply the way technology has led them.

However, being able to communicate with everyone via a variety of different media is a skill that can help in very many ways. With this skill, you will be able to navigate a vast range of different situations with ease. You'll be able to sell, you'll be able to keep customers happy, you'll be able to put your point across succinctly – and be heard doing so – and you'll be able to negotiate the things you want. If nothing else, learning how to communicate effectively is the one skill that should be focused on for the next generation so that it's not lost and can benefit them in as many ways as possible.


It's easy to let someone else be the leader and follow them. Some people are more than happy in that role, and the truth is that although leaders are important if there are no followers, nothing will get done.

However, even if you do prefer to follow rather than be a leader, it's still important to have the skill of initiative. You'll be able to achieve more not just because of what you do but because you'll feel proud of yourself for having stepped out of your comfort zone to do it.

Cultural Understanding

The world is a much smaller place than it has ever been before, and that is mainly due to technology. We're now able to communicate with people from all over the world through video calling, messaging, social media, and via websites. Therefore, a hugely important skill that the next generation will need to work on is cultural understanding.

If they can do this, interactions will be more positive, and it will be possible to have excellent collaboration both in terms of your career and in your personal life. This will allow for more diversity and more tolerance, and therefore it is perhaps Gen Y who will lead the way when it comes to an understanding, as long as they are culturally aware when they do so.

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

About the Author

James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.