The world of work changes very rapidly. One has to involve many different job roles and employers, and even if you stay in the same job it is likely to change its nature overtime during your career. Therefore, employability skills are useful as they are transferable; you can adapt them to whichever situation you find yourself in when need the job skills necessary for success. Enhancing your education Learning through a variety of different methods (eg through your academic studies, work experience, and volunteering) gives you a well-rounded education.
To get a start, one will be able to apply to jobs that specify that you must be a graduate and the subject you studied or the grade you achieved may be relevant to some employers. However, even if you have a first-class degree and a relevant subject for the career you want, you will most likely be competing against others who have the same or similar academic qualifications. Therefore, it’s your employability, the unique mix of skills; abilities, and personal qualities that you have, that will make you stand out from the crowd. Achieving your goals.
What is employability and why is it important?
Employability is a word that can be used in different contexts and with different meanings. We can consider employability related to higher education as “a set of achievements – skills, understandings, and personal attributes – that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community, and the economy.” Yorke, M. (2004), Employability, therefore, is not just about getting a job, it is about a broader set of skills and attributes that will enable a graduate to be successful throughout their working life.
How to improve Employability Skills
Identifying Employability Skills & Self Assessment
The pull greatest concerns of employers today are finding good workers and training them. The difference between the skills needed on the job and those possessed by applicants, sometimes called the skills gap, is of real concern to human resources managers and business owners looking to hire competent employees.
While employers would prefer to hire people who are trained and ready to go to work, they are usually willing to provide the specialized, job-specific training necessary for those lacking such skills. Finding workers who have employability or job readiness skills that help them fit into and remain in the work environment is a real problem.
Employers need reliable, responsible workers who can solve problems and who have social skills and attitudes to work together with other workers. Employees with these skills are in demand and are considered valuable human capital assets to companies.
Why it is important to improve Employability skills? Job skills necessary for success!
In this rapidly changing world, we can see competitiveness has increased at the international level in every sector to face these challenges enterprises are adapting new strategies which include, multitasking, greater automation, and workforce restructuring. All of this led to changes in jobs by making more people work part-time jobs part of the year, workers making living through a combination of different types of work, keeping customers happy is becoming more important, fewer opportunities for lower educational skills, and greater emphasis on trades and technology.
The education field is also now a service sector so to become a successful teacher one has a set of employability skills along with a degree.
Employability skills can be categorized in many different ways but are generally divided into three sets:
1. Basic Academic Skills: Essential for high performance, gained from school
Reading, Writing, Science, Math, Oral Communication, Listening, Foreign Languages, Information / Communication Technology Handling
2. Higher-Order Thinking Skills: To do well and advance, important to job success, gained by self-experience, development, and learning
Self Learning, Reasoning, Creativity, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Logical Thinking
3. Personal Qualities: To effectively utilize the worker
Responsible, Accountable for the action taken, Self Confidence & Self-esteem toward growth, learning, and personal health, Self Control, Social Skills, Honest and Personal Ethics, Integrity & Reliability, Adaptable & Flexible, Team Spirit, Punctual and Efficient, Self Directed, Positive Balanced Attitude, Personal Presentation, Cooperative, Self Motivated, Self Management, Enthusiasm, Ability to deal with pressure, Loyalty, Commonsense, Commitment.
The most common skills sought by employers are:
Key Skills Basic Definitions – Ability to…
Communication: Convey information in both verbal and written formats as appropriate for the needs of the target audience. It includes: Listening and understanding, Speaking clearly and directly, Writing to the needs of the audience, Negotiating responsively, Reading independently, Empathising, Using numeracy effectively including graphs, charts, and displays, Understanding the needs of internal and external customers, Persuading effectively, Establishing and using networks, Being assertive, Sharing information, Speaking and writing in languages other than Arabic.
Interpersonal: Develop a rapport with others and form working relationships, listen effectively, manage conflict, understand human motivation, understand and respect cultural differences, and have a global focus on interpersonal skills.
Teamwork: Work in groups towards a combined effort. It includes;
Working with people of different ages, gender, race, religion, or political persuasion, Understand and contributing to the organizational goals, Planning and making decisions with others and supporting the outcomes, Respect the thoughts and opinions of others in the group, Exercising’ give and take’ to achieve group results, Working as an individual and as a member of a team, Knowing how to define a role as part of a team, Applying teamwork skills to a range of situations eg, crisis, Identifying strengths of team members, Coaching, mentoring, and giving feedback when appropriate to raise the performance
Leadership: Influence, supervises, direct, and motivate others to achieve a recognized objective.
Accuracy: Be precise and correct in approach to tasks, and have an eye for detail.
Creativity: Originate or imagine new ideas, methods, or products.
Problem-solving: Understand and deal with difficult questions or things, apply logic or reasoning to review information, identify problems, and their causes, evaluate options and select the best solution. It includes;
Developing creative, innovative solutions, Developing practical solutions, Showing independence and initiative in identifying problems and solving them, Solving problems in teams, Applying a range of strategies to problem-solving (Technology, Instruments, Tools…), Using mathematics including budgeting and financial management to solve problems, Applying problem-solving strategies across a range of areas (Science, Social, Technology ..), Testing assumptions, taking the context of data and circumstances into account, Resolving customer concerns about complex project issues.
Initiative and enterprise: Act without prompting, readiness to be energetic and inventive, and contribute to innovative outcomes. It includes;
Adapting to new situations, Energy and persistence to get the job done, Developing a strategic long-term vision, Being creative, Identifying opportunities not obvious to others, Translating ideas into action, Generating a range of options, Initiating innovative solutions
Planning and Organising: Coordinate and give orderly structure to things or tasks. It includes;
Managing time and priorities – setting timelines, coordinating tasks for self and others, Being resourceful, Taking initiative and making decisions, Adapting resource allocations to cope with contingencies, Establishing clear project goals and deliverables, Allocating people and resources to tasks, Planning the use of resources including time, Participating in continuous improvement and planning, Developing a vision and a proactive plan to accompany it, Predicting – weighing up risk, evaluating alternatives, applying evaluation criteria, Collecting, analyzing, and organizing information, Understanding basic business systems, and their relationships.
Flexibility: Vary or adjust one’s approach or style according to situational demands, and welcome and manage change. Suggest new ideas to get the job done – creatively
Self-management: Cope with, prioritize and meet one’s work and personal commitments, have clear personal goals and strategies and measure performance in regards to these goals, be proactive in career planning, time management, and setting challenges, and show personal and professional restraint and seek balance in all life aspects, including health and fitness. It includes;
Having a personal vision and goals, Evaluating and monitoring own performance, Having knowledge and confidence in own ideas and vision, Articulating own ideas and vision, and Taking responsibility.
Ability to learn or acquire additional new knowledge or skills via study, experience, or teaching or training. It includes:
Managing own learning, Contributing to the learning community at the workplace, Using a range of mediums to learn – mentoring, peer support, networking, IT, courses, Applying learning to technical issues (eg, products) and people issues (eg, interpersonal), Having enthusiasm for ongoing learning, Being willing to learn in any setting, on and off the job, Being open to new ideas and techniques, Being prepared to invest time and effort in learning new skills, Acknowledging the need to learn to accommodate change.
Technology and Computers: Work with new technology and demonstrate proficiency with computer programs. It includes;
Having a range of basic IT skills, Applying IT as a management tool, Using IT to organize data, Being willing to learn new IT skills, having the occupational health and safety knowledge to apply technology, and Having the appropriate physical capacity.
What Is a Self Assessment?
Self-assessment is the process of ‘knowing yourself.’ It involves taking an inventory of your likes, dislikes, personal characteristics, values, wants, and needs. It is the first part of the career management process. Before you can decide what you want to be, you first have to discover who you are. People are constantly changing, growing, and developing. Therefore, it is necessary for everyone to re-assess themselves periodically about their career goals. Self-assessment includes;
Interests: Things you enjoy doing can give you important clues about work or career interests. Fixing things, using computers, cooking, and caring for children are just a few examples of everyday activities and skills that can be transferred into a career. For example, an outgoing, friendly person who enjoys meeting and talking to people all day would be suited for jobs in sales, customer service, or public relations.
Finally, self-assessment is the process of gathering information about you to make an informed career decision. It is the first step of the Career Planning Process. A self-assessment is often conducted with the help of a career development professional.