The world of jobs and careers is changing, mainly because now we have all this technology etc that bring the changes in a lot faster then back in the day. Yes, this means you’ll probably have more than one line of work in your lifetime, but the good news is that essential work skills are transferrable across industries and roles and are, in fact, what employers are looking for over the actual job you held.
How do you prepare? According to the 2018 Australian Jobs Report, the focus from employers will turn to transferable skills that can be adapted to different careers and workplaces. This means skills, like being good with technology, critical thinking, problem-solving and being able to present to a group, will become invaluable.
Let’s have a look at the eight skills specifically mentioned by the report, and how to work on them for yourself.
The Jobs Report noted the 10 occupations expecting the most job growth by 2022, and yes Software and Applications Programmers were right up there. But even if you go less obvious, it’s near impossible to find a job these days that don’t require a decent knowledge of technology.
Let’s be real, most of us grew up in a digital age so our base skills are pretty dang high, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep up with what’s new. How? Many employers will over on-the-job training, but if you ever feel you could do with improving there are so many short courses that’ll get you up to speed. Maybe you find yourself needing slightly more advanced Photoshop skills, or Excel knowledge (I don’t know about you but I’ve 100% forgotten all the formulas since high school), or whatever the case may be.
If you haven’t already come across it as a component to your studies, critical thinking is basically the ability to interpret, evaluate and improve a situation, rather then just doing what you’re told. Obviously, that doesn’t mean you must have an improvement for anything, but that you’re able to identify when something can be done better.
To some people it comes naturally, to others it’s a matter of training your brain. When addressing a situation, ask yourself why it is the way it is. Do you have any knowledge or experience that contradict the way it is? What other possibilities are there for getting it done? Do you know a better way? Then, of course, you need the confidence to voice your ideas so people know how good you are!
Sometimes people pigeon-hole creativity as only being necessary to obviously creative jobs, like journalism or graphic design, but it’s actually so helpful to nearly all roles. Without a little creativity, how would anything ever change or improve? Working on your critical thinking often goes hand-in-hand with creativity.
Sensing a theme here? Employers love when an employee is able to look at a problem and come up with a solution for themselves rather than having to ask what to do every time. Focus on the problem, brainstorm possible solutions then evaluate what you come up with and present your best options. Even if your solutions aren’t picked every time, it’s still going to show that you’re able to be proactive.
I don’t know what it is, but I can literally talk to anyone in a room no probs, until you put me on stage in front of those same people. Being able to present competently is such a bonus and relates to so many different types of jobs, even if the largest presentation you do is in a meeting with your workmates.
How to get better? Well ‘practice makes perfect’ was a saying pretty much invented for things like this. Sometimes you’ve just got to dive right in. People who are much better at this skill than me also suggest being very prepared and arriving early to adjust your brain.
Adaptability And Resilience
I mean, these ones pretty much speak for themselves. If you can demonstrate to future employers that when you’ve been hit with a work challenge in the past you’re able to take it in your stride and make the best of it, that’s going to impress the heck out of them.
What the heck is this? Well, it doesn’t mean that you have to have actually started your own business, though that’s definitely not going to hurt. But it does basically incorporate all the other work skills mentioned so far into one highly employable package.
Add to that optimism, a willingness to try new things and the ability to bounce back and refocus when necessary, and of course good leadership skills.