News and Views

A new year is unfolding ahead! Some people don't mind turning over another page on the calendar. Others, however, love their rituals, and create wishlists of what they expect for the 365 days ahead. This opinion piece is for both!

Fact is, we’re living in an era of profound changes in productive relationships. Up to now we have dominated numerous topics, for example, the traditional marketing teachings of Philip Kotler. But these have been further developed, or even replaced, by the teachings of digital marketing, such having gained numerous new gurus and teachers. Technology, which invests all its tokens in artificial intelligence of algorithms and robots, has progressed on a stratospheric scale in the last five years.

Yet, in the face of all this, we human beings are constantly seeking to be happy in jobs that give us enough financial compensation to live lives consisting of small frugal pleasures, such as recreational trips, a few cultural events, being able to live in a nice house and still able to help those in need. Moreover, we’re also always on the lookout for career opportunities.

With the worst phase of the Covid-19 pandemic having ended, and mostly positive expectations for economies prevailing, companies are now searching for those professionals considered to be talents. And believe me, despite current difficulties, some organizations are billing twice as much and, of course, they want to keep it that way.

Therefore, the time to improve skills and capabilities and be better prepared for selection processes is now! If you’re planning to take advantage of opportunities, or maybe change your professional direction, you have an excellent chance at the beginning of the year. Corporations are focusing on finding employees with technical depth and with the highest possible number of skills and abilities, especially soft skills.

Based on my work as a headhunter, otherwise known as the “talent hunter”, I can say that most organizations are, now more than ever before, searching for talent which can help to improve their results and add value. Some of the main soft skills required in professionals nowadays are, primarily, resilience and flexibility, emotional control, good planning, the ability to manage critical situations and excellent communication skills. These are taking precedence over skills such as decision-making, digital thinking, self-knowledge, attitude, teamwork, business vision, and adaptability.

Yes, candidates need to have plenty of skills to offer! And, on top of all this, we also need to consider the technical skills for the intended vacancy, which usually come in a long list. Being creative, daring, open-minded and diplomatic in dealing with complex economic and business contexts, are also considered desirable skills.

Faced with this extensive portfolio of requirements, did you know that most companies have several open vacancies because they can’t find professionals who fit the requirements fully? And once employed, it’s essential to know the company, the processes, the interface areas, the products/services, the competition, etc., all in order to contribute confidently.

So, if you’re looking for a new opportunity, think hard about adaptability. This is a key competence nowadays, since adapting to technologies, other people and business models that move with the times, can guarantee the perpetuity of your job. And think hard about which of these countless skills and abilities mentioned are the well developed ones in your career portfolio? Remember that no one but you can determine whether or not 2023 will be a year of professional success!

David Braga 350

David Braga is CEO, board advisor and headhunter at Prime Talent Executive Search, Brazil (, a member of the Board of Directors at Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC) and also a visiting professor there. He is the author of the book entitled “Hired or Fired – It’s Up To You” and also serves as a counselor for the NGO ChildFund, ACMinas and the Brazilian Association of Human Resources of Minas Gerais (ABRH-MG).

Founded in 1984, Agilium Worldwide LLC ( is an international executive search group of independent, owner-managed retained executive search firms, with members who are active in virtually every market. Agilium Worldwide ranks among the world’s top 25 executive search organizations.

Agilium Worldwide’s member firms offer personalized, specialized, client-oriented services. By eliminating the formally structured, pre-programmed approach they can remain proactive and secure prompt, skilled and expert service to their clients, to help them find the “Perfect Fit” – the right person for the right position, at the right time, at the right location.

Agilium Worldwide member firms are trusted advisors to companies from the Fortune 500, as well as to upcoming and start-up companies around the globe. Clients get the best of both worlds: an entrepreneurial approach with global reach and local perspective.