Employers do look for some basic skills as a prerequisite. If the candidates have these skills, it becomes easier for employers to groom them further. On the other hand, it becomes easier for the new hires too to get absorbed in the new working environment; and be productive right from day one. Hence, acquiring and practicing the following twenty-one skills becomes essential to get hired and growing in your career.
1. Time Management:
Managing time well is equally important for students and working professionals. Every workplace requires finishing tasks on time. Since the students are not used to managing time, they end up being stressed and can't perform. Managing time well helps avoid the stress that comes from procrastinating. It makes you a productive and reliable resource.
2. Listening Skills:
If you want to improve yourself, listen more and listen well. People automatically share more with you if you "Listen to understand and not to respond." Thus, you increase your chances of learning from others. Great leaders are good listeners.
3. Receiving Feedback:
When you are new to a workplace, you might continuously be receiving feedback from your peers or seniors. However, most people don’t like receiving feedback. They get into a defensive mode. Psychologically they enter a zone where they don’t listen to the feedback because they are thinking of countering it. One needs to be open to receiving feedback to improve their skills.
4. Critical Thinking:
Critical Thinking is necessary for identifying, analyzing, and solving problems systematically. People with critical thinking abilities make good managers and leaders.
5. Communication Skills:
The way you communicate with people in person, through Emails, Chats, and Phones matters a lot. If you are good at communicating through all these channels, you are appreciated by others, you become highly productive, and are ready to take up higher-level responsibilities and positions. These skills coupled with excellent conversational skills in English help you fly high.
One is bound to work with teams at workplace. The teams struggle to perform and achieve their desired goals even if one of the team members is not a good fit. People who are good team players are always appreciated, they are known to be flexible and have good interpersonal skills. This is one skill almost all employers appreciate.
7. Positive Thinking:
No one likes whiners. People always appreciate positivity. After all, being positive helps you stay focused and increases your productivity. Being negative only takes you down.
People who are motivated can always push themselves for better performance and cope with stress in the workplace. These people have a positive mindset and can help others perform too. They are ideal members of any team to have. Employers always appreciate having self-motivated employees.
9. Conflict Management:
It’s natural to have conflicts while working with people coming from different cultures and having different ideologies and beliefs. If you don’t resolve conflicts, you will never be able to work with others. Conflicts tend to attract negativity and it affects everyone’s productivity. Thus it becomes all the more important to know how to manage or resolve conflicts.
10. Goal Setting:
Get into a habit of setting goals as it helps you channel your energy and resources for greater results. All successful leaders are good at setting goals and achieving them.
11. Presentation Skills:
Presentation is not just about making PowerPoint presentations. It’s also about discussing or sharing an idea with peers or seniors or conveying a piece of information effectively. If you are good at presenting effectively, you will easily be able to work along with, educate and influence others.
12. Interview Skills:
All said and done, one needs to have the right interview skills to get that dream job. You should know how to write a resume, answer and ask questions, quote the right examples and share data to validate your answers and opinions; and much more. The most important aspect of an interview is to appear and sound confident. Practicing the right interview skills will save you from missing out on a lot of employment opportunities.
13. English Speaking Ability:
It becomes really difficult to get through GDs and Interviews if you can't converse in English. Not being able to speak English limits your career in many ways. It hampers your chances of working with multinational companies and securing high-paying jobs. You probably have to spend the rest of your life working with domestic companies only.
14. Computer Competence:
You need to be good at Microsoft Word for drafting documents; Microsoft Excel for preparing reports and organizing data; Microsoft PowerPoint for making presentations and presenting ideas, processes, and data. Knowing shortcuts to different computer functions saves a lot of time and energy. People without computer competence struggle to perform and their chances of growth are bleak.
Every workplace is different from another. The culture and people are different. Students are used to working along with their friends, that too in a familiar environment. It's difficult for them to work with people they don't know at all. If they are adaptable to different working environments, and cultures and good at working with people coming from different backgrounds; they can easily be productive or else they will have clashes and they will struggle to learn and perform.
16. Email Writing:
Almost 90 percent of communication at workplaces happens over emails nowadays. Being good at writing emails enhances your productivity and saves you as well as the receiver’s time. Being familiar with the different features email service providers offer is a boon.
17. Telephone Etiquette:
The first interaction, be it with an employer or a client, happens over the telephone nowadays. Good telephone etiquette can make or break your first impression. Hence, observing telephone etiquette is essential.
18. Video Conferencing Etiquette:
The pandemic has made people have Video Conferences (VCs) instead of face-to-face meetings. Even the interviews take place over VCs now. Not having used it before, a lot of people don't know basic VC etiquette e.g., keeping yourself on mute if you are not speaking, speaking over others or interrupting, etc. This results in miscommunication and hampers your impression. Knowing VC etiquette will help you have effective interviews and smooth meetings.
19. Analytical Skills:
These are exceptional skills. People with these skills can work with different types of information. They can see patterns others can’t and draw meaningful conclusions. Such people are in a true sense, an asset to any organization. They are innovators and future leaders.
20. Design Thinking:
The customer has truly become the king now. No matter which industry you work in, fulfilling the customers' needs is extremely important. Having empathy towards those needs and implementing the same in designing products and services for them is the norm. Design thinking helps you do that. People who can think along these lines are being valued by employers.
21. Leadership Skills:
Freshers may not be leading from day one, but they need to have the mindset of a leader. Taking responsibility and leading from the front is always appreciated. You should have the ability to innovate, motivate, influence, and guide. Having leadership skills helps you grow in your career.
Hope you found this article of value. If you know someone who might benefit from it, please pass it on. Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.
Sawan is a Learning/Training consultant with over thirteen years of rich experience in training. He has been associated with companies like Amazon, Various Multinational and Domestic Companies, Leading Training Organizations, and prestigious Educational Institutes. He is a go-to person for setting up and leading training teams, managing training programs, and creating and curating content for online and offline learning. He is passionate about helping companies revive their training interventions and enable their workforce to achieve business goals.