Times have changed and for most people the thought of a career for life is no longer an option. In fact Generation Y or Millenniums are known to be incredibly sophisticated as they are growing up in an age of rapid change technology wise. They have seen it all and been exposed to it all since early childhood as computers and internet has been with them since they opened their eyes in this world.
Such employees will hold a job as long as it satisfies their needs and will not hesitate to move for better opportunities to different employers and also across various business sectors throughout the first half of their careers at least.
So, in order to be in demand and make those changes it’s essential that we have a set of employability skills that are generic in nature and not specific to only one career path. In fact what we really need is a set of TRANSFERABLE SKILLS which employers are generally looking for.
What are Employers looking for ? For an employer the right candidate is the person with the right skills and qualities that would contribute towards the success of the company. Apart for the hard core technical skills it would also include the ‘soft skills’ required doing the job successfully. The right mix of soft skills would also contribute to successfully landing the prime jobs.
These are the skills which can be transferred by an employee to do different jobs across various industries:
- INTERPERSONAL SKILLS – First and of prime importance are the level of interpersonal skills we possess. These are the skills we use to interact with others – customers, colleagues, team members etc even within our family – these contribute to being successful in all our relationships and contribute to a better work / home environment. Further it is important to realize that most recruiters rank this factor amongst the highest during screening processes.
- COMMUNICATION SKILLS – A first impression is often made by one’s written and verbal communication skills. A well expressed CV counts to being selected for an interview and having the ability to communicate well verbally, maintaining good eye contact and expressive and positive body language scores positively during the interview process. Remember that your good written and verbal communication skills mean that you are sending a clear message to the recipient.
- LISTENING SKILLS – Although a part of communication, its importance makes me put it as a separate point to highlight. As, the skill of active listening plays a role in not only understanding but also obtaining information. As one progresses up the ladder this is also linked closely to people skills and the ability to understand and communicate with clarity – a basic requirement of success esp. for Managers.
- PRESENTATION SKILLS – This is another key related area in today’s jobs as practically at all levels some degree of skill is required. It may not always be a formal presentation but having the ability to address a group; job related or otherwise is always taking place. Even just making a data table or introducing yourself may be required. So possessing the ability to present the required information clearly and effectively is key to success. Many job interview processes also require candidates to make on spot short presentations to assess their skill level.
- NUMERACY SKILLS – You maybe a numbers person or not but in all cases a certain degree of understanding is essential. Basic understanding of data and statistics to make decisions is required in practically all jobs. So being competent is an advantage and again as one goes up the ladder the level of understanding is also required to grow be it in the area of budgets, P&L or just analysis of data related to your job.
- COMPUTER LITERACY – Again a key skill in today’s world as basic IT skills are a requirement in every job. All jobs require at least familiarization with some of the basic uses of information technology be it sending and receiving emails, using simple software’s related to the job, internet etc. Other jobs may require proficiency in common software in use at offices including MS Office so that you can draft letters, make a spreadsheet or presentation.
- PROBLEM SOLVING & DECISION MAKING SKILLS – These skills play a key role in job performance and are critical in most jobs. The required level of skill may vary depending on the problems the job has to deal with but where one is serving internal or external customers it is a requirement. These skills have a direct impact on the performance of the company and contribute to its success so employees with these skills are an asset for any employer.
- LEADERSHIP – Possessing and displaying the ability to lead towards achieving a goal is a trait sought by employers for the talent pipeline in the organization. Developing your leadership skills will help you move to a senior position within your organization. It may also play a role in your selection if you are interviewing for a job as this skill is also one of relevant skills sought by recruiters for executive positions being filled.
Finally, reaching the bottom line we all need the right attitude towards our job and a high level of engagement with the organization we work for. Employers try to identify and employ as well as move up people who focus on their own development and are keen to learn and grow and have an affiliation with the organization, willing to go the extra mile.
In today’s competitive environment organizations are constantly striving to stay ahead of the competition and need to constantly learn and develop better, more effective ways of doing their business. Employees who also move with the changes will always be successful and grow.