What are Employability Skills
They go by many names:
- Applied Skills
- Cross-disciplinary Skills
- Transferable Skills
- Soft Skills
What Are They?
- Work Habits
- Character Traits
The Good News
Just like any other subject, 21st Century Skills can be taught, practiced, and incorporated into everyone’s life.
21st Century Employability Skills
- Digital Fluency
- Analysis / Solution Mindset
- Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Social Diversity Awareness
- Rapid changes in technology bring about social change in many ways.
- Companies need to remain agile to be competitive
- By 2020, it’s projected that nearly half the U.S. Workforce will be independent contractors or freelancers.
- Traditional “jobs” are being replaced with stint-work (shorter jobs or contracts)
- Workers who embrace these changes can shape their lifestyles.
- View changes as opportunities.
- Be open to new experiences by trying out different work environments, roles, and tasks.
- Skills will be gained through a combination of awareness, practice in the workplace, and reflection.
- Consider a variety of viewpoints and suggestions to get the job done.
- You are in control of your own journey. Ask for feedback, RESEARCH on your own and apply what you learn every single day.
- Know yourself. Have an accurate understanding of your own core traits and transferable skills; as well as areas of growth.
- Start your skill list, use self-assessments to build on this list.
- Look for work opportunities that would be a good match for your skills, interests, personality and values.
- What will happen at work if you don’t know yourself?
- What does your career or work “road map” look like if you do not identify your abilities?
- Find the right fit with location, company, culture, and tasks.
- Go through the checklist and rank the most important elements of work based on your personal goals & preferences.
- Do career assessments, research companies and organizations, and types of work (positions).
- Work on your resumes/cover letters and digital profiles with your skills and goals in mind.
- Develop yourself. Think about goals you have for work-life balance: salary, your “mission”, training/education needed, etc.
3. Digital Fluency
- Achieve an understanding of how social media is used in job searching and identify the steps to create a positive and professional online presence.
- Understand the right and wrong, both morally and legally, in using and sharing any documents, pictures, programs, or access to personal or private information.
- Use online tools like Google and Youtube to find date, information, answer a question, or help solve a problem. Determine the “usefulness” and “truthfulness of sources.
- Check your online presence. Have you recently done a Google search of your name?
- Utilize social media to your benefit. Be strategic with different platforms. How can you promote your unique skills, experience, or services/products?
- Understand the importance of different technological tools in the workforce (collaborating, storage or cloud services, freelance services, etc.)
- Digital Badges are the new micro-credentials. They showcase your acquired skills and record your achievements in a digital way.
- Speak in a professional manner, use appropriate content, and say things in a way others will understand.
- Know how to choose words wisely and use non-verbal communication to make meaning clear. When writing, use correct spelling and grammar to make meaning clear.
- Be an active listener and asks questions or repeat back what was heard to make sure everything was understood correctly.
- Emails: Use a professional email. Use the same sentence structure and paragraphs as in a letter, but you do not need to indent. Stay short and to the point.
- Non-verbal Communication: Body language and attire.
- Active listening: Be observant of visual clues. Pay attention to information and the way it is delivered.
- Passive Aggressive Communication: Don’t take it personal, the speaker is projecting his/her frustrations onto you. Stay calm and use a neutral voice. Check for understanding, “it seems you are frustrated by…”
- An understanding that a diverse team, benefits everyone. A respect for people’s difference while at the same time finding what they have in common that allows the team to work together.
- Sharing leadership by gathering ideas and using the skills of all team members. Offering help and encouraging everyone to share responsibilities.
- Find positive ways to deal with conflict amongst team members and seeing failure as a way to learn.
- What makes someone a leader? Who do you personally admire as a leader? What are the qualities and behaviors that you think make this person a good leader?
- Effective leaders have a considerable impact on the performance outcomes of individuals, teams and organizations. They have an influence of job satisfaction and motivation. They help reduce the stress levels of individuals.
- Transformational Leaders: focus on team building and collaboration.
Transformational Leaders Traits:
- Leading and Developing – Shows concern, are accessible, encourage change.
- Personal Qualities & Values – Being honest & consistent, acting with integrity.
- Leading & Developing – Supporting a developmental culture, inspiring others, building shared vision, resolve complex problems.
- Know the difference between empathy (putting yourself in someone else’s shoes) versus sympathy (feeling sorry for/understanding what someone is going through) and know when to use one approach or the other.
- Connect with others by being a good listener, ask questions to help understand what the other person is feeling, be honest, and mirror positive nonverbal communication to build trust.
- You can build rapport and common ground quickly with coworkers and clients by using empathy.
- Takers: Take from others, often without reciprocating. Look to advance their own interests/goals.
- Givers: Empathetic & generous. Givers are the worst & best performers. Depends on how they manage their giving.
- Matchers: Try to go for an even Give and Take. If they ask for a favor, they plan to reciprocate. If you ask for a favor, you should plan to reciprocate.
Which one are you most like? Develop a plan when interacting with different individuals in the workplace.
7. Analysis / Solution Mindset
- Consider different viewpoints and putting efforts into understanding why information may be presented in a certain way.
- Look at the bigger picture of the work situation, community, or society when solving problems.
- Examine information and data using critical thinking skills.
- Take time to think about different ways of solving problems and testing out ideas to see which one is best.
- Reframing helps you ask new questions (big picture, other perspectives, breaking down a large project into smaller parts).
- Collect information so you can make an informed decision.
- Analyze the information you receive. Is there bias? What is the target audience? What is your overall objective? Do you need to do more research?
- Identify the problems and seek solutions. Problems and solutions can impact your life and the lives of others, especially at work.
*Use Design Thinking
- Believe in personal growth and change by seeing new knowledge and skills as a way of life, not just a one-time thing.
- Set priorities and goals, anticipate possible consequences, and have back-up plans.
- Fixed mindset: avoids challenges, gives up easily, see effort as not worth it, ignores useful criticism, and feels threatened by the success of others.
- Growth mindset: embraces challenges, persists after setbacks, see effort as a means to mastery of skills, learns for criticism and finds lessons and inspiration in the success of others.
Remember the core qualities of resilience:
- Make plans
- Manage your time
- Identify and try to reduce stress
- Put in effort
- Re-evaluate: what worked, what didn’t, how do you move forward?
9. Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Individuals are self-motivated and seek new knowledge, skills, and greater work responsibilities.
- Achieve an understanding of the entrepreneurial nature of the modern workforce and the means for work attainment.
- Create a value proposition based on your strengths, skills, and career interests.
- Develop an action plan to continue your entrepreneurial efforts and succeeding in employment. This helps show self-motivation & innovation brainstorming.
- To obtain work, think like an entrepreneur: Look for opportunities, be self-motivated, be resourceful, develop a network, be adaptable, think of ways to add value, be a problem solver.
- Create an elevator pitch. List your skills and strengths. Identify what problem you can solve for an employer/client using your skills and strengths.
- Intrapreneurial: Understands how changes in the workplace are requiring workers to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset, even while working within an organization.
10. Social / Diversity Awareness
- Respectful of differences in others’ backgrounds and beliefs in local communities and the world at large.
- Uses social or cultural differences to help expand the concept of what is “normal” and uses this to generate new ideas.
- Values diversity in the workplace, including gender, ethnicity, individuals with disabilities, sexual orientation, and age. Understands these differences can actually improve products, services, or work processes.
- How would you define the future workplace?
- Focus on each person’s greatest strengths in the workforce.
- In what ways can individuals contribute to projects and achieve outcomes based on their core traits?
- Getting to know everyone’s unique characteristics and utilize their talents as assets.
Develop and improve relationships with people of different backgrounds and beliefs by improving self-awareness, sensitivity to others’ feelings, and professionalism.
**Information is a broad overview of the New World of Work curriculum**
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