Employers are often looking for skills that go beyond qualifications and experience.
Your education and experience may make you eligible to apply for a job but, to be successful in most roles, you will need skills that you are likely to develop over time. Some will be specific to the job, but the vast majority will be so-called ‘soft skills’ that can be used in any job or employment sectors. These soft skills are ‘employability skills’: they are what makes you employable.
Skills that will enhance employability skills
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
These are the skills required to transmit or receive messages accurately to and from other people by speaking or in writing, without misunderstandings. These skills include:
Verbal Communication – or the words that we use, whether face-to-face or in writing. The balance between face-to-face and in writing is likely to vary in different jobs, but few, if any, will not want at least some of each type of communication;
Non-Verbal Communication – or what we communicate without words, for example through body language, tone of voice etc
Listening – how we take in and then interpret the verbal and non-verbal messages sent by others, including in writing.
Basic Communication Skills
How to become more adaptable at work
Whether you're barely beginning to embrace adaptability or looking to sharpen your skills in this area, consider the following ways to increase your adaptability in the workplace:
1. Get out of your comfort zone
When you step out of your comfort zone, you'll be presented with new situations you wouldn't typically come across. The more you do this, the better you'll be able to exhibit flexibility and assess how best to approach new scenarios.
2. Be a better listener
In order to be adaptable, it's important to actively listen to what's going on in the workplace. This is because the better listener you are, the better you'll be able to understand how a situation should be handled. This will allow you to resolve any conflict or change with ease, produce the best response and create a more positive environment for all involved.
3. Ask questions
Consider asking your co-workers how they perform certain tasks and handle certain situations in the workplace. One of the greatest ways to learn adaptability is to not only observe but actively seek advice from others who excel in this area. Make sure your questions are professional and well thought out.
4. Be willing to make mistakes
Though making a mistake can be disheartening, it also provides you with various opportunities such as the ability to learn a valuable lesson, share knowledge and consider a future solution. Change your mindset when it comes to your mistakes in the workplace. The better you are at embracing your mistakes, the more adaptable you'll be at managing the fallout.
5. Find the positive
Many things in life and in the workplace don't go as planned. When this happens, focus on the positive. This will allow you to change your mindset and pay attention to the positives. Consider what you're able to take away from these situations and be optimistic about the future.
6. Learn from your coworkers
One great way to learn adaptability is to observe how your co-workers embrace change. Consider the way they showcase their adaptability in certain situations and how you can apply those same concepts. It can also be beneficial to ask them for any tips they can provide you with in this area.
Above, we explored a basic example of self-motivation, but here’s a succinct definition of the concept:
“Self-motivation is, in its simplest form, the force that drives you to do things” (Skills You Need, n.d.).
It’s the drive you have to work toward your goals, to put effort into self-development, and to achieve personal fulfillment.
It’s important to note here that self-motivation is generally driven by intrinsic motivation, a kind of motivation that comes from sincerely wanting to achieve and desiring the inherent rewards associated with it.
Tips and Skills to Motivate yourself
Further, there are six things you can do to maintain your self-motivation:
Researchers Michael Frese and Doris Fay define initiative as "work behavior characterized by its self-starting nature, its proactive approach, and by being persistent in overcoming difficulties that arise in pursuit of a goal."
When you show initiative, you do things without being told; you find out what you need to know; you keep going when things get tough; and you spot and take advantage of opportunities that others pass by. You act, instead of reacting, at work.
Most of us have seen initiative in action. Maybe you've seen a young manager who fills her boss's shoes when she's sick and the rest of the team is unsure what to do; or perhaps you've seen a team member proposing a process improvement plan to the executive board.
Initiative has become increasingly important in today's workplace. Organizations want employees who can think on their feet and take action without waiting for someone to tell them what to do. After all, this type of flexibility and courage is what pushes teams and organizations to innovate, and to overcome competition.
Working well in a team means:
A successful team is one where everyone’s unique skills and strengths help the team achieve a shared goal in the most effective way.
Teamwork is vital if you want to work well with colleagues and teammates. You will probably have to work as part of a team in many areas of life; from class projects to planning a birthday party.
The better you work with others, the more successful your team will be in achieving their goals. Employees often need to collaborate or work with others to complete tasks and projects – having teamwork skills and experience will make it a much better experience.
Even if you work well on your own, using key life skills like self management, being a team player is a valued skill for most jobs.
What areProblem solving skills?
A problem is any unpleasant situation which prevents people from achieving what they want to achieve. Any activity to eliminate a problem is termed problem solving.
Problem solving skills refers to our ability to solve problems in an effective and timely manner without any impediments.
It involves being able to identify and define the problem, generating alternative solutions, evaluating and selecting the best alternative, and implementing the selected solution. Obtaining a feedback and responding to it appropriately is an essential aspect of problem solving skills too.
We face problems every time. However, some problems are more complex than others. But whether you face big problems or small ones, this skill helps solve it effectively.
Importance of problem solving skills
Obviously, every organization has problems and every individual has problems too. For this reason, the ability to solve problems is of great importance to individuals and organizations. Some of the benefits include:
Why Deadlines Matter
Typically, we have deadlines for one of the following reasons:
There can also be serious consequences for failing to meet a deadline. On a personal level, it can damage your reputation and harm your career prospects – especially if it happens more than once.
It can also be extremely damaging at an organizational level. Missing a deadline will likely impact your company's reputation, and it can have serious financial implications if your delay triggers a penalty clause in a contract.
Tips to showcase your ability to meet a deadline
Deadlines can often be tight in careers. If you’re working with lots of different clients at the same time, it can feel like you’re constantly juggling to meet targets. To help you stay on top of your objectives, here are some helpful tips to follow:
1. Know your deadlines
Don’t miss a goal simply because you forgot about it. Make sure you’re 100% clear on when work needs to be completed by. You could even record your target in a spreadsheet or an online calendar.
2. Prioritise tasks
Order your work by time factors. If you have urgent projects that are needed at the same time, work on the most important one first. If you have lots of set targets all at once, such as annual tax returns, leverage your manager’s experience to discuss the order of work.
3. Plan, plan and plan
Don’t leave things to the last minute. Plan everything through thoroughly in advance, so when it comes to working on the task, everything runs smoothly and to schedule.
4. Allow enough time
Although time can often be tight, especially when you’re working to a budget, make sure you’re realistic with your schedule. Leave enough time for tasks so they can be completed to a high standard, without being rushed. Where possible, give yourself a buffer, which can allow for any unforeseen delays and overruns. Time management is a crucial factor.
5. Understand the requirements
Before starting a task, make sure you are clear on exactly what you need to deliver. Ensure you have all the necessary information and resources. It’s also important to check for any changes to legislation or accounting standards, as this may affect the level of work you need to do and how long it will take you to complete. Ignoring this may mean making time-consuming changes to your work further down the line.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If there are any uncertainties, or you face difficulties, be proactive by trying to find a solution as soon as possible. Seeking advice from a manager can help you clear things up so you can move forward and get back on track.
7. Remove any distractions
When you have tight goal, you’ll need to give the task your undivided attention. Find space in a meeting room so you won’t be interrupted, tell people you are working towards an important deadline and set your calendar availability to ‘busy’.
8. Ask for help
Despite following the steps above, if you still don’t think you will be able to meet the deadline, speak to your boss as soon as possible to see if someone else can help you.
Technical skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. They are practical, and often relate to mechanical, information technology, mathematical, or scientific tasks. Some examples include knowledge of programming languages, design programs, mechanical equipment, or tools.
While technical skills are often most important for jobs related to information technology (IT) and other fields in the sciences, many other industries also want employees with at least some technical skills.
In addition to the technical skills that are needed in the workplace, your command of job-specific skills can help ensure you get hired or promoted. Often technical, hard, and job-specific skills are interchangeable, but this is not always the case.
Of course, required skills will vary based upon the job for which you're applying, so be sure to be specific when listing hardware, software, programs, applications, etc.
Depending on the job you seek, a batch of skills can be referred to as a skill set or hybrid skills, as these skills often go together within a specific profession or industry.
SWOT Analysis Worksheet