7 Essential Skills Required In Job Market Today
The job market in Malaysia is in limbo. Thousands of fresh graduates are unemployed while employers are finding it hard to find quality prospective employees in a market where essential skills for modern day employment is saturating.
Why is there such a gap between supply and demand of employees when clearly there are plenty of opening available?
The answer is pretty simple and straightforward. In this driven competitive world, employers often look at 7 main skills in individuals who they wish to hire. They do not only want another fresh graduate who excelled in studies gaining all A’s (they probably already have hundreds of those).
But what are they looking for is an employee with great personality traits complementing a good education background. An employee who can stand out from the rest and come up with innovative solutions and ideas in times of uncertainty is highly sought after in today’s job market.
What are these 7 essential skills required by employers in today’s job market? Lets have a look..
1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Critical thinking is lacking in today’s workforce which is unfortunate as it is the most desired skill that employers look for in future hires. Critical thinking is best defined as the ability to take charge of your own thinking in finding solutions.
For example, think of going into a changing room when you are shopping. Now, how many times do you twist and twirl in front of the 3 sided mirror before finally deciding whether to buy or not? Critical thinking is the 3 sided mirror of decision making process which lets you look at the angles to make the best possible choice.
The complex nature of today’s workplace in addition with rapidly changing conditions means that it is more important than ever now for employees to have critical thinking skills in order to adapt with the changes
You can be considered as a good critical thinker if:
- You make sounds decisions
- You have your priorities straight
- You are always asking the right questions
- You are focus on most relevant information
- You always apply what you learn to new and unexpected situations
Problem solving skills refer to the ability of focusing more on a specific situation. In any industry, there are always problems that needs to be solved, hence why this skill is essential in today’s workplace.
2. Collaboration and Leadership
It’s becoming increasingly important for employees nowadays to both lead and have the ability to work in a team. Leaders would need to rely on the resourcefulness and intelligence of their staff hence collaboration is an essential ingredient for organizations survival and success.
The ability to lead on a task and maintaining a high teamwork is the recipe for success for many leaders today.
Leaders who have this trait usually believe power is greater in a collective term.
In addition they are more open in sharing knowledge and information with each other. Collaboration also encourages unique suggestions and ideas from the team. All these traits are essential in a skilled employee who wishes to be a leader.
3. Agility and Adaptability
Agility in employees is defined as the ability and willingness to learn from experience and then applying that learning to perform better in new situations.
Adaptability on the other hand, refers to the willingness of employees to embrace change and how well they handle it.
Employers usually requires hands on employees who have the ability to improve and and innovate according to situations.
Typically, employees who are agile and adaptable are able to the following:
- Think Critically
- Communicate Well
- Understand Others
- Handle Change Well
- Accept Responsibility
- Be Versatile and Flexible
- Play Many Roles Simultaneously
- Deliver Results In First Time Situations
- Handle Tough Situations and Find Solutions to Tough Problems
Employers today need employees who are flexible in terms of jobs and locations. Being able to move from one place to another and adapt to it attracts good opportunities for employees.
In addition, being adaptable and flexible increase the chances of employment as it shows that you can be depended on during turbulent times.
It also demonstrates your ability to cope with new and changing responsibilities
4. Initiative and Entrepreneurial
This skill refers to the ability of employee in turning viable ideas into actions. Individuals with this skill usually have high level of innovation, risk taking and creativity.
In today’s workplace, corporations practice a more flattened model instead of being top down as it was the case before this. A flattened model puts more responsibility towards employees in figuring things out on their own.
The problem with this approach is that, education system in Malaysia works in a way where teacher is the boss and student as the employee model. This discourages creativity as when the student gets stuck and teacher will have the answers which doesn’t prepare 21st century learners for the work force.
There has been a lot of cases in which employees are expected to figure things out on their own and yet they instinctively run to the person in charge looking for an answer.
5. Effective Oral and Written Communication
Communication skill is essential in today’s workforce, ask any employer! Effective oral and good written communication skills is treasured by employer today.
This is because an individual with these skills is able to communicate his/her thoughts clearly and concisely thus creating more passion, energy and focus.
Good communication skill is not only good for the workplace, but also for your everyday life as it helps build relationship.
Professionally, if you are applying for jobs or looking for a promotion with your current employer, you will almost certainly need to demonstrate good communication skills.
You can improve your communication skills by:
- Listening effectively
- Working well in groups
- Presenting ideas more appropriately
- Maintaining good eye contact while speaking
- Using various vocabulary and tailoring language according to your audience
Good writing skill is becoming increasingly important today as me move towards a more digitize world in which communication globally takes place in web pages.
Web page is the fastest way to find information today, hence email and social networking becomes the primary platform of communication. An individual with good writing skills should be able to captivate his/her audience interest through the content.
6. Accessing and Analyzing Information
Information is vital in today’s workplace. The vast amount of data requires employees to have the ability in accessing and analyzing information.
Employees who are able to assess and analyze information are often able to do the following:
- Evaluate the arguments of others
- Distinguish between opinion and fact
- Seeks out varying resources for information
- Assess the quality and relevance of information
- Identifies the relevance and importance of ideas
- Manages conflicting, inadequate or ambiguous information.
Amount of information available and the speed at which it can be acquired by million others at the same time has never been higher. Employees must be prepared to process the information effectively and quickly to avoid being left behind.
7. Curiosity and Imagination
Curiosity is defined as a desire to know or learn something about people or things that do not necessarily concern one.
On the other hand, Imagination is the ability to confront and deal with reality using the creative power of mind.
The benefits of having a curious and an imaginative mind are as follow:
- It makes your mind active instead of passive
- It opens up new opportunities and possibilities
- By being curious, you see things that you wouldn’t typically see
- Curiosity and imagination leave no time for you to be bored during work
It’s up for individuals today to take responsibilities and learn these skills in order to be employable. Your education alone is not enough to land you a job in today’s workforce.
These seven skills are highly seek after by employers in today’s job market. Learning and acquiring some of these skills if not all will certainly help your case in landing the job you want.