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Employers are looking for different skills - each suited for the position that they are hiring for. People always ask what skills employers are looking for but you are likely to get different answers from each employer you ask. There are some answers that are likely to turn up over and over again though because they are transferable skills that can be used in almost any job.
Let’s look at some of the skills that you can use in almost any job that employers are likely to be looking for.
Essential Skills - Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic
Believe it or not, employers still place these skills high on the list of the requirements and part of the reason for that is because they are not skills that everyone has. You may have graduated from high school but that does not necessarily mean that these are skill you have developed, unfortunately. Many graduates from high school can’t read or do math at a grade 9 level.
Most people can read but can they read for understanding? This is important. You need to be able to read and understand the material and then be able to use that material in future tasks. Same with writing. Anyone can write a couple of lines of text but can you write them in a way that conveys your message? Most people know how to use a calculator but many people cannot do simple math problems in their head, like figuring out how much change to give back to a customer.
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Employability is only part of the ways that you will reach career success. There are other factors that will come into play as well. 4 more factors that you should think about if you want to have success in your career are:
Desire & Motivation
It isn’t easy to find the job you want. You need to put a lot of work into it and you might hear a lot of “no”s. This can be very discouraging and many people give up along the way. You need to put in your full effort all of the time because if you slack off and start putting in a half-hearted effort you will not get the results you desire.
Someone that has desire and motivation will take the time to do job research. They will learn how to present themselves in the most appealing manner. They will learn how to speak clearly and effectively. They will put serious time and effort into resumes, cover letters, and interview preparation. If you do these things with the least amount of effort that you can get away with, you will get the least amount of results.
Be a Survivor
In our day and age, layoffs are the norm. We hear about them every day. Large companies lay off entire departments, sometimes entire offices in a city. How do you survive these layoffs? Sometimes you can’t - you just have to be ready to move on at any given time. You need to have contacts and a resume that is ready to go when you need it. You need to keep up to date with current job search trends and know who is hiring in your industry.
That being said, not everyone is subjected to the company layoff. There are people who consistently take initiative and make it a priority to be an asset to the company that they work for. Sometimes that is so obvious to the owners of the company that they know they simply can’t let these people go and they provide them with other opportunities within the company. You might be offered a job in another city or the opportunity to continue working from home. There are options and businesses might provide them for those that show that they are worth going above and beyond for.
You should always be on the lookout for ways that you can increase your skill set. You need to constantly be working on professional development. Update your skills, learn new ones, and think about skills that might be useful to your career in the future. Look for workshops, seminars, and short courses that you can take. Learning should be a lifelong activity.
Career development is the process of planning and setting goals. You should have short term and long term goals for your career. Write them down. Make sure that they are measureable. Give them deadlines. Work out steps for each goal to determine how you are going to get there. Make your goals known and discuss them with a mentor in your company. Business love it when people plan to stay with the company for the long term and by working on your goals with your superiors you can demonstrate that you have that intention.