This blog is based around a brilliant article ( http://t.co/S5IIB1h5uZ ) which gives advice to young people about the Soft Skills that should be displayed when marketing themselves to prospective employers. This article was created for the website careersandmoney.com and discusses some of the Soft Skills that need to be developed. Its high time that these transferable skills where given curriculum time in schools and colleges. I make no excuse for taking large chunks from this article and placing it directly into my blog.
This is what I do know about skills development in education and, given the opportunity, teachers would embrace the idea of facilitating the learning of these skills within and based around their subject areas. The type of teaching required lends itself to learning that is more fun and real world related. Much better than learning ‘rote style’ the key facts about a subject for a test or exam. It also empowers students to think and learn independently. I realize that schools and colleges are under so much pressure to teach towards exams. It would however be great to see education become a bit more creative and look for opportunities to develop OTHER skills that young people really need. Maybe as part of a careers curriculum offer?
This is how the article concluded “Having these invaluable yet useful soft skills will surely set you apart from those who have never understood their importance“. Think about that sentence for a moment? ‘Set you apart from those who have never understood their importance’! I find it hard to believe that some people do not think these skills are important. But these people must be out there… even the UK Education Secretary Nicky Morgan doesn’t seem to have any real understanding of the importance of these skills or what they actually are for that matter. Hopefully one day soon that may change, one way or another!
However let us stick to the people who really know what young people need, the employers! The website concludes the article by summarizing these skills:
Any situation, any place, any organisation – Communication is the most essential and valued skills on the job market. Effective communication, rich vocabulary, good expressions and rapport building are the soft skills and qualities which will take you places.
To achieve economies of scale or to expand the business coverage, the organisations will give first preference to the internal resource who is familiar with the business culture, style of conducting business and language. Hence consider your international travelling experience and knowledge of a foreign language as an asset which will take you one step closer to bagging your coveted job.
(Note: I understand that not every school/college can afford, or have the resources to offer foreign travel for students. It does happen though in many schools/colleges and young people should continue to be encouraged on these foreign excursions.)
If you are applying for a job or are being considered for a higher position in the current organisation, make sure that if you have this soft skill of being a good time manager then you must flaunt it. The Human Resource Department places high importance to time management skills.
Good Leadership Skills
Leadership skills is culmination of many other essential qualities and personality traits – such as good listening, power of observation, learning skills, flexibility and good judgement in you. This helps you to take correct or good decisions regularly or better than others. You are more competent to guide and motivate others.
The article writer also suggests;
“Having these soft skills not only enhances your market value but it also helps in finding that perfect job. This will also ensure a faster career growth through increments, a smoother success path through promotions and also in improving all other aspects of your life”.
This means that if employers are looking for these traits in young people when they are being interviewed or as part of an application process then education must find a way to help young people develop these skills. I have written before that there are ways to do this. A good example is in a previous blog of mine titled ‘Soft Skills in Your Lesson’ ( http://t.co/wt4fEI0Eub ) which suggests one way how this can be delivered. There are many other ways too.
I therefore implore all educational policymakers and leaders of education… Make time for Skills based learning in educational policy and in your school/college curriculum!