Different jobs will ask you to meet different criteria for employment. You can only apply to certain positions if you have a specific degree; you can only fill an open management position if you have vast experience on your resume – but there’s a particular skill set that is in high demand throughout the job market.
Employability skills are the common thread bringing most job requirements closer to each other. These skills are easily transferable from one job to another, as they are not about your job specifically – but rather, about how you can use your knowledge, convey ideas, and face difficult situations.
Employees face a dynamic job market, one where they will have to prove themselves as reliable and competitive. With these 10 employability skills you will increase your value as a worker, no matter your area of expertise. You will also be in a better position to smoothly transition into different lines of work.
1. Out-Of-The-Box Thinking
Everyone can come up with a solution born out of old college books. Employers are looking for people with the “it” factor – that is, someone who can be creative on the spot and offer solutions no other worker can give. We live in a highly-competitive market, and the only way to make a difference is to think differently.
You not only have to think differently, but you have to take the initiative to do so. As long as you are ahead of the race, you have plenty of time to be different than the rest.
That’s what proactiveness is all about: taking the initiative and solving issues before everyone else knows they are happening. You have to neutralize the fire before anyone else smells smoke.
The perfect employee trifecta is made out of creativity, initiative, and decisiveness – this last one is key to making the other two work. You have to be sure of what you have to offer. Doubting yourself will make you sell yourself and your skills short.
You have to be able to come up with a new solution, put it into action, and not second guess yourself. The minute you doubt, someone else takes the opportunity – and you are left with nothing.
4. Solution Mindset
Your employer is going to hire you to solve problems. Issues arise every working day, and you have to be ready to attack them head-on. What you don’t have to do is dwell on them. Your entire focus should be on the solution, not the problem.
Some of the best ways to look professional also support solution mindset. They include projecting confidence, showing a positive attitude, being prepared to lead and doing more than expected.
Even the best employee will have to work along with other co-workers. The best workplace environment is a harmonious work environment – and it can only be obtained with people who can and will work with each other, whether they agree on things or not.
Lone wolves only work in the movies. In real-life, they can create a toxic workplace. If you cannot handle different people and ideas, you will be soon left out of a job.
6. Negotiation Mentality
Sometimes teamwork isn’t enough. Sometimes you will have to compromise – or make someone else compromise. That’s where negotiation skills come in handy. You will have to think about how to fix possible issues between the workforce. That’s what employers are looking for, people who can keep the peace in ever-growing work environments.
Communication goes hand-in-hand with negotiation skills and teamwork. There’s no way to have these two without proper communication. And communication skills will get you far, both with your co-workers and your superiors.
This is probably the most important skill in this whole list. You might have the best ideas and the fastest solutions, but they are worthless if you can’t convey them properly.
Key strategies for effective communication include: be concise, listen attentively, follow email best practices, ask relevant questions, and identify potential conflicts before a discussion or meeting.
You cannot let your leadership skills show right away, you first have to earn your spot in the company first. You must show your willingness to take control of the situation and command people when it is deemed appropriate.
Leadership skills can get you the job and future promotions as well.
This is similar to both communication and negotiation skills. In fact, it’s a mixture of both. You have to be able to convince people of your ideas. Because, sometimes, having a good idea isn’t good enough – you will have to convince others of it.
10. An Open Mind
This is an absolute must. No matter how good you are, you have to be able to learn and adapt, no matter how different and eccentric the idea you are facing is.
Those who cannot adapt cannot thrive – those who cannot thrive are soon out of a job.