Flexibility is one of the most important qualities of your working patterns and it’s important that you may change jobs and/or sectors when you feel like there’s a better opportunity for you ahead.
Just wanting to shift from jobs isn’t enough, and you may need a set of “transferable skills” that aren’t specific to any career path but are generic across all the employment sectors.
What are employability skills anyway?
The employability skills include the skills you need to get, keep and be successful for a job. They include the skills and attitudes that help get along with your need colleagues, to make the right decisions, to develop respect, to find solutions to problems and, more important, to become a powerful member of your organization.
“Employability” (the “soft skills) are in fact the base of your career building block and many of the school-leavers or graduates may not have them when they get the very first job. As a matter of fact, organizations do spend a lot of money and time to train their staff in general, and not necessarily in job-specific areas.
When the unemployment level is high, employers are going to take a better look at the applicants that come with well-round employability skills.
What is it that employers look for?
Many employers out there aren’t interested only in the specific skills, but also in the skills that go beyond your experience and qualifications.
Sure, education and experience count a lot and may recommend you for a job, but it’s the “employability skills” that put you on top of the list. This means that the technical skills relating to various roles may go on the second place, leaving the first place to the “soft skills” that may be transferred between various jobs and various employment areas.
An employer that is looking for the right man for a job, is also searching for someone with the right skills and qualities to fulfill the role, bringing success to the company. Many applicants may have the qualifications and the “hard skills” to manage the job role, but not all of them are going to have the “soft skills” that employers are actually looking for.
Various roles require different skill sets and abilities and some are desirable in most employment sectors.
Skills you need for employability
Even though there are some specific skills you may need for a particular job, some skills are more general so scroll down to take a better look at them.
- The interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are essential when you’re out there looking for a job and it may be the single thing that counts too many employers.
These types of skills include the skills we need to interact with other people. Having good interpersonal skills is going to let you participate easily as a member of your team, please customers and meet their expectations and needs, make the right decisions, take responsibility, better manage your time and work easily with the other employees.
Efficient interpersonal skills help you empathies better and create nice connections with your colleagues and clients, creating a nicer and less stressful working environment.
- Critical thinking skills
The ability to make the right decisions and to solve problems is an important asset that may impress your employee, becoming an essential set of skills to develop.
Problem-solving and decision making imply getting dependable information, evaluating the info for the various solution and choosing the right one, according to the criteria and the situation itself. Even though making the right decisions and the ability to solve problems are essential in any job, people with these skills are also reliable in customer service positions.
Another skill that it’s important is the ability to plan and organize which means that you’re able to get the job done well from the very first time. This type of skill saves your organization from a lot of money and time. Planning and organization cannot be done without recording the information (a report may do that) that may be used on future projects later on.
Creative thinkers are also inventive and innovative and may develop better and new methods to solve problems, adding tremendous value to the environment, increasing the efficiency of any system. A creative thinker is going to offer a new perspective about a job and the company as well.
- Number skills
Numeracy refers to understanding numeral data, graphs and statistics, but it’s also a part of making the right decisions and reasoning.
Numeracy skills are important no matter if you’re working with numbers or not. Developing competence and being confident when working with numbers is a skill that you may need in many employment areas.
It’s important to know how profitable a company is and to get the value for money when purchasing and ordering supplies. Understanding and analyzing data in various formats is an important skill that many companies are looking for.
- Digital skills
Most people need IT skills (on some levels) to get a job nowadays. Accomplishing IT skills and being familiar with using a computer may increase your employment chances.
Chances are that a modern job may require you to be familiar with some computer applications, to say the least. Computer literacy is about you understanding what computers can and cannot do. Even if you’re not going to use a computer on your job, you still need to go through some basics of information technology.
The very least you can learn about is to send and receive emails, use the internet efficiently, but also some word processor or spreadsheet software.
- Communication skills
Most of the employers out there are looking for the people that communicate well both in writing and verbally.
No matter if you’re applying for a promotion on your current employer or you’re applying for a new job, you need to prove how you’re doing with your communication skills. When you’re able to communicate both verbally and in writing with various people, while keeping eye contact, write clearly and briefly, have a great vocabulary and adjust your words to your audience, your chances for getting the job are way higher. Good verbal and written communication means you can transmit your message efficiently, with minor risk for misunderstanding.
Let’s not forget about the active listening skills that mean that you also understand the information you get. Listening is an essential requirement, but you also need to understand the need of your employer and clients. The upper you go in your career, the more important the communication skills get, but so do the creativity, the people skills, the ability to work in a team, and to speak and write nice and clear.
- Presentation skills
Being able to present information clear and efficient every time is an important skill and almost all modern employment areas do require some presentation skills.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an executive, a manager or an administrator-it’s only a matter of time until you need to present your ideas to your team and external stakeholders. When you’re presenting some information, you shouldn’t rely only on the formal presentation (business plane, scenario planning, reports, notes, strategic documents and risk assessments). You may be requested to give a presentation as part of your initial interview too.
The ability to influence other people toward the achievement of a goal is known as leadership. Leaders come (or at least leave the impression) with powerful self-confidence and best leaders are also great team players as they work in a group in order to get the best results for their employer.
Leaders stand out with their social skills and respect of other’s thoughts, opinions, and ideas. They get the respect of others and always aim for credibility.
A survey list on the most important skills pinpoints the specific skills of great leaders: interpersonal skills, strategic thinking, communication skills and leadership ability.
Try working on your leadership skills as it may not only give you a senior position, but also the promotion you’ve been expecting for a while now.
- Personal development
Having the right attitude toward work and your organization is related to your personal development and employers look for the people that are always looking to develop and grow as persons.
Lifelong learners are always appreciated in organizations. In order to stay on top, organizations have to keep on learning and creating new ways to do things. Any employee that is open to learn and change is going to be more successful and more appreciated than one that is resistant to change or afraid to learn new things.
Most jobs involve change and employers look for adjustable, flexible and patient candidates that take change rather well.
Personal development is also related to one’s working practices and attitudes to work. Self-motivation and confidence are important for personal development, but so does the personal appearance and the perception of others on you.
Self-management skills (“self-control”) are the ones we used to manage our personal feeling and our reactions to various challenges and problems, at work and in our private lives as well.
Learning how to handle the negative emotions (anger, stress), while developing efficient negotiation skills and assertiveness are important for personal development too.