Partners 6 Future Ready Skills

Student development of the 6 Future Ready Skills is an essential element of NAF’s outcomes-driven approach to work-based learning, along with clarifying career aspirations and building professional connections. These 6 skills were carefully selected after working with MHA Labs to build upon their thorough research and holding conversations across the NAF Network. By developing these skills through work-based learning activities and receiving feedback from professionals, students will be positioned for success in the world of work today and tomorrow.


  • Encourages the ideas, opinions, and contributions of others, leveraging individual strengths

  • Provides feedback in a manner that is sensitive to others’ situation and feelings

  • Clarifies areas of disagreement/conflict that need to be addressed to achieve a common goal

  • Seeks to obtain resolution of disagreements/conflicts to achieve a common goal

Also referred to as: accountability, cooperation, helpfulness, leadership, participation, conflict resolution, teamwork


  • Organizes information that serves the purpose of the message, context, and audience

  • Uses and adjusts communication strategies as needed based on the purpose of the message, context, and audience

  • Signals listening according to the rules/norms of the context and audience

  • Seeks input to gauge others’ understanding of the message

  • Asks questions to deepen and/or clarify one’s understanding when listening to others

Also referred to as:  listening, negotiation, persuasion, presentation, verbal communication, written communication


  • Defines problems by considering all potential parts and related causes

  • Gathers and organizes relevant information about a problem from multiple sources

  • Generates potential solutions to a problem, seeking and leveraging diverse perspectives

  • Identifies alternative ideas/processes that are more effective than the ones previously used/suggested

  • Evaluates the advantages and disadvantages associated with each potential solution identified for a problem

  • Selects and implements the best solution based on evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of each potential solution

Also referred to as: creative, critical thinking, decision making, innovative, process-oriented, strategic


  • Demonstrates awareness of own abilities and performance

  • Seeks knowledge and information proactively to build understanding and anticipate what is needed

  • Needs minimal supervision to complete tasks

  • Attempts to complete tasks independently before asking for help

  • Follows rules/directions as required by the task/situation

  • Maintains focus on tasks despite internal and/or external distractions

  • Strives to overcome barriers or setbacks, seeking assistance when needed

  • Adapts approach in response to new conditions or others’ actions

Also referred to as: adaptable, agile, dedicated, focus, grit, motivated, optimism, perseverance, persistent, project management, self-discipline, work ethic


  • Demonstrates integrity and situational ethics

  • Recognizes the consequences of one's actions

  • Balances own needs with the needs of others

  • Takes into consideration others' situation/feelings

  • Develops and implements strategies for navigating in different cultures/contexts

Also referred to as: appreciation, code-switching, cultural competence, diversity, empathy, emotional intelligence, ethics, fit, global awareness, perceptive, responsibility, social intelligence, social skills


  • Sets and prioritizes goals that reflect a self-awareness of one’s capabilities, interests, emotions, and/or needs

  • Breaks goals into actionable steps

  • Accurately estimates level of effort and establishes realistic timelines

  • Manages time to complete tasks on schedule

  • Applies existing/newly acquired knowledge, skills, and/or strategies that one determines to be

  • useful for achieving goals

  • Monitors progress and own performance, adjusting approach as necessary

  • Demonstrates a belief that one’s own actions are associated with goal attainment

Also referred to as: ambition, assertive, goal-setting, impulse control, mastery-focused goals, metacognitive strategies, motivation, multi-task, plan, punctual, preparedness, self-regulation, self-reliance, time management