Work SkillsPosted: 30th of December 2014 by
In 2012, work experience was made optional – now 57 % of companies complain that young people lack work skills - what do employers want? Find out what kind of skills you need generally for work and make sure that it's you that gets that job! There are some skills that people need to have regardless of where they work or what they do and these fall into two categories - skills that help you do your job efficiently and skills that help you get along with people, communicate effectively and make the right impression.
Literacy and numeracy are vital skills not just for work but for everyday life - I'm not talking about pure maths or algebra; I'm talking about basic arithmatic - how to add up, subtract, multiply, divide and work out ratios and percentages.
An example of the value of good basic arithmatic skills in the workplace is the salesperson who wants to close a sale. Being able to quickly work out how much something is effectively going to cost someone on a daily or weekly basis can make all the difference in getting them to put the cost of something into perspective.
Literacy is critical to many job roles and poor literact skills can literally cost lives in some jobs - if you're administering medication to people for example (in a care home say) and you mix up one medication name with another similarly named one, the results could be disastrous. On a more mundane level - being able to spell and punctuate properly is necessary to any kind of office related job. See our article on grammar and spelling here for more information on common mistakes made.
Good organizational skills will come in handy for just about any job - it will make your working day easier and your employer value your presence in the workplace. Being able to juggle (or rather manage) a variety of tasks, plan your time effectively and prioritise is an important skill to have no matter you do.
Decent computer skills in useful areas, rather than gaming and using using social media for fun are required for just about - employers are looking for people who know their way around word-processing software, can input information into a database and perhaps use spreadsheet software for some basic numerical work. In addition to this many firms are now hot on using social media for promotion and engagement with clients.
Skills check: Can you?...
Answer the telephone appropriately and politely
Manage your time effectively
Dress suitably for work
Communicate appropriately with staff and clients at different levels
How do you develop these skills?
You don’t have to be at work to build these skills or to take a course. You can develop these skills through everyday tasks.
You can develop your organisational skills alongside your numeracy skills by taking charge of the meal planning and food ordering at home and if you want to become confident when communicating with people then practise. When you go out for a meal then take the lead in ordering and if something needs fixing at home then take charge of arranging for the plumber (or whoever it is) to come and sort it.
To find out more about making yourself employable read our article on employability here.
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