How Do You Fare with the 9 Essential Skills?

Did you know that there are 9 essential skills that have been identified as being important in the work force? These essential skills are used in every job, to at least some degree. Employers are looking for people that already have these essential skills or can be trained to have them.

The 9 essential skills are:
  1. Reading Text – This includes basic reading skills but also things like understanding text and being able to find the important information in text. You may be able to read 10 pages of a document but are you able to tell someone what the document was about after? Can you pick out the information that pertains to a specific question? 
  2. Numeracy – Math is one of those subjects that kids always say, “What am I going to use this for anyway?” and then later in life they find out that those Math skills are used every day. Numeracy can include basic counting of money, measuring, graphing, algebra, geometry, decimal points, fractions and more. Math is used at some level in all jobs. 
  3. Document Use – In the course of any job you will need to read documents. It might be as simple as finding you name on a chart to find the duties that are assigned to you for the day or it might be a more complicated document that involves finding relevant information. 
  4. Writing – Throughout the course of your work day you are likely to need to communicate in writing. For some this means sending emails to answer questions while for other it might be communicating the health needs of a patient. 
  5. Oral Communications – You will also need to communicate with words. Sometimes you will use the phone and other times it will be face to face communications. If you are not able to convey your message accurately, mistakes happen. 
  6. Working with Others – Very few jobs today do not include working with others. At the very least you will have someone that you will need to answer to. You may need to supervise or you might need to teach. The ability to work with others is a highly desireable skill. 
  7. Thinking – What happens when things don’t go as planned or you need to make a decision that is not covered by company policy? You have to figure out what to do on your own sometimes and the ability to think critically will help. 
  8. Computer Use – Email, recording, and data are just a few of the things that computers are used for. At some point, you will likely have to work with a computerized system. 
  9. Continuous Learning – The willingness to learn new things and to learn on your own goes a long way in getting and keeping a job.