Five employability skills you need to be successful

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Developing the right skills can help you land your first post-grad job.

You may think your education and qualifications may get you the job you want but, to be really successful in your role, you will need skills are likely to develop over a period of time. Lucky for you, you have the opportunity to work on these skills while you’re at Fanshawe College working on real life projects. Some skills will be specific to the job that you’re looking for, but the vast majority will be socalled ‘soft skills’ that can be used in any job or employment sectors.

Looking towards the job market of the future, soft skills and appropriate attitudes are likely to remain in demand. The most important employability skills revolve around interpersonal and communication skills, reliability, problem solving skills and leadership.

Let’s look at some of the soft skills you need and how can you work on developing them:

1. Working well with others. Also known as interpersonal skills, the ability to work in a team is necessary to be successful in any workplace given that you may interact with people from different parts of the world. You can work on this by taking part in group projects and assignments with different people from your class other than your friends. Trust me when I say that you can learn a lot from one another.

2. Communication skills. This involves verbal communication like face-to-face interactions, non-verbal communication like emails or even body language, as well as listening. You can improve on this skill by participating in classroom discussions, by focusing on articulation and speaking loud and clear during presentations.

3. Problem-solving skills. You have to be quick on your feet but at the same time be reasonable. Taking on responsibility or stepping up during a crisis will make you the person your team turns to. Good problem-solving skills will make you a leader in no time. If you’re having trouble during group assignments, step up and take the lead and make the decision to change the situation around.

4. Teamwork makes the dream work. No job ever is a one-man show. You have to learn to work together in a team to achieve organizations goals. Knowing how to organize and run a team is one of the most important soft skills to have. When you’re working on a team project in college, get to know your team members, identify their strengths and skills and distribute the work as per that to get the project done in time.

5. Leadership skills. A leader is someone who has a futuristic vision and knows how to turn ideas into success stories. Now, leadership skills may encompass all of the above skills just discussed but another component to being a leader is being respected and trusted to carry on the job. In college, you can participate in multiple events, join groups or actively take on a role that can help you work on your leadership qualities.

Good management, communication, leadership, teamwork and other employability skills will help you stay focused, keep a positive attitude and get along well with other students and instructors. After you’ve finished school, you’ll take these skills with you into workplaces, where they’ll increase your effectiveness and help you succeed.