Employability Skills | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

Don’t get so engrossed in searching jobs and forget that you really need to build some employability skills just before you get to the doors of your desired employers.
Many job seekers seem to forget that they are like service providers or product manufacturers. If a service provider does not have what it takes to render a service to you, it is certain the service provider will not be engaged. If someone says he can manufacture something you need and cannot prove that he or she is capable of manufacturing that thing, you definitely don’t have any business to conduct with that person.
So as a job seeker or someone who is seek better opportunities in a new organisation, you need to be armed with skills that the prospective employer will be willing to pay for. There are a number of those skills and they include, among others, the following:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Problem solving skills
  3. Team spirit
  4. Self motivation
  5. Computer or social media literacy skills
  6. Resilience
  7. Acting pro-actively.

This list is not exhaustive but they are some of the skills I want to focus on. There are a few other employability skills that I found but I think that they are specialized skills that should be expected of people in certain fields.
As for the ones listed above, they are skills everyone should have. I have also put communication as the first because if you cannot communicate, you probably wouldn’t even get the job. I remember attending a job interview in a company some years ago. When I met the owner of the company he said, ‘you don’t really have the experience I am looking for but you can communicate effectively.’ That’s a good thing to hear from a prospective employer.
If you want to get a job these days, one of the things you should also be able to do is to find a way around problems. You should know that your employers will test this ability. They don’t want people who will keep coming to them with problems or dragging the entire team back. They want someone who can think and try as much as possible to solve problems on their own rather than create problems for the company.
You certainly can’t be waiting for someone to motivate you when there are so many things to be done and there are so many others out there who are self motivated. You need to be able to drive yourself. When you take a look at the description of people that companies want to employ these days, they will tell you they want those who can work with minimal supervision. That is a way of saying they don’t have the time to micro-manage anyone or to baby-sit at work. You have to be able to drive yourself and make things happen. If you can get the desired results, you will get an encouragement. If you can’t, you may be shown the way out of the organisation.
More than ever before, computer literacy is very critical to getting employed. I should remind you that employers are not just looking for people who can use the computer these days. They are now looking for people who can do something extraordinary with the computers. Corporate communications in many organisations is also saddled with the responsibility to promote the company’s values and products or services via the various social media platforms. Companies are cutting costs in advertising and public relations. They are able to do that effectively by employing people who have the social media skills. They also want to ensure that they lose nothing by not spending resources with the regular media but paying salaries to have the new media work for them.
Finally, you need not be told that you are expected to be resilient and proactive in every situation. Your resilience will be needed because you can’t let emotions get in the way of business. So many things will happen to you either at work or outside of work. Whatever happens, you have to stay strong and keep going. In fact, a lot of the things that will happen can be from co-workers or superiors. You will not give up because of them or draw back. You still must deliver regardless of what they do to you. You also should not wait for people to always tell you what to do. You have to be proactive.
Great organisations like employees who are a step ahead compared to the ones who are always waiting to be told what to do. The problem with being proactive may be that some people think their bosses may not approve of what they intend to do. When you have ideas and you think the ideas will help the company, find a way to pass it across to your boss. When your boss has not said anything about a few things that need to be done, run those things by him and show him a plan you have created in order to make things easier. In any organisation where growth is encouraged, you can be sure this will work.
Without building some or all of the skills listed above, you may not be ready for a job where the employer is willing to keep you for a long time. Get yourself prepared for the job rather than spending all your time just preparing for the interview.

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