Not so long ago employment was all about the mastery of a single trade that would see you through for life. You know the drill…undertake your carpentry apprenticeship and retire as supervisor at the local furniture factory 50 years later, gold watch in hand, skills in the other.
But this generation and the one before have increasingly found themselves in an employment landscape that will shift, spurt or splutter throughout the years of their career, making it more necessary than ever to have the skills that will allow you to leap between employment types.
While knowing what you want to do and acquiring the expertise to do it through training or education is the ultimate start to your working life, there are also a host of general skills to also have under your belt that will enable you to mobilise on an ever-evolving playing field of employment. Here are just a few…
It’s a given that most 21st century employment will involve the use of technology- from apps that handle point of sale functions in restaurants to updating the company website in your administration role.
That makes general computing knowledge a must, and keeping abreast of technology imperative. We’re not talking computer programming skills here, but a working knowledge of computers, typing and innovation that allows you to grasp technology and learn it quickly for the job at hand.
From writing your resume to handling social media and providing reports at work, the ability to communicate effectively in written form is critical to employers. That means taking the time to hone your writing skills and apply them every time you have contact with employers.
Small things like ensuring job enquiry emails, resumes and cover letters have been proof read and are free from errors go a long way to gaining you employment, but they also demonstrate that you have acquired literacy skills and can use them professionally.
Most business is based on data and numbers – from completing time sheets to analysing website hits and trends. Numbers also form the foundation of every service industry as each involves tasks like handling cash, meeting sales targets and stocktaking.
Numeracy skills also go with you throughout your career; whether that’s managing an online store, providing quarterly reports, handling staff rosters or starting your very own business.
We’ve covered soft skills in detail in the past, but they are arguably one of the biggest reasons that one candidate gets a position over another equally skilled prospective employee. Soft skills encompass communication ability, problem solving, confidence, the ability to work within a team and critical thinking capability.
They are used in every position you will ever hold, and developing them, honing them, and then showing you have them is one of the greatest assets on any resume.
How we can help
The Father James Grant Foundation not only trains young workers in the specific skills they need for an industry but sets them up for a life of employability, providing the additional skills that take you from a master of one trade to a jack of all. You can learn more about what we do here.