Work readiness skills, or soft skills, are personal, interpersonal, and professional capabilities necessary for a person to gain and maintain employment. A person can develop these traits before going into the workforce to help them find job opportunities or while they are at work to help them advance in their careers.
For example, if you’re a recent graduate and still in the process of finding architecture jobs in Manila, developing the ability to communicate effectively will help you prepare a compelling cover letter and answer interview questions well. This may help you stand out among other applicants. Even if you’ve been working for a while, developing work readiness traits like critical thinking and problem-solving skills will make you a valuable worker to your employers. If you’re changing careers or companies, having these qualities may even help you adapt to your new environment and make recruiters more likely to hire you.
A person can apply work readiness skills to any job or career, so it’s very important to develop them continuously. Read on to know more about the six work readiness skills you need to succeed in your career.
1. Verbal and Written Communication
Verbal and written communication skills are necessary for properly relaying important information and conveying creative thoughts and ideas to the people around you. These skills also help you when presenting reports and coordinating projects with your teammates because it ensures that you give clear instructions and explanations. Communication skills are developed with practice and proper training so if you want to improve on them, consider taking classes that teach business writing or presentation skills. You can even improve on your own by using writing practice books and looking for opportunities to speak in public.
2. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
It’s not uncommon to run into problems at work, and it’s important to resolve them before they get out of hand. Critical thinking enables you to assess information, ideas, thoughts, and situations, allowing you to question these things and find points of improvement. If you’ve found a problem, you can also determine solutions to amend the situation. You can develop this skill by asking the 5WH (who, what, where, when, why, and how) questions and using them to make an objective assessment.
Once you have all the facts in place, you’ll have a more complete view of the situation and be better able to customize a solution. It’s important to approach problems with a critical but cautious mindset, as making a hasty or poorly-considered decision can have serious repercussions on your company. Hone this skill by applying it to decision-making and problem-solving situations that you may encounter in your personal life. This will help you develop the proper mindset necessary.
3. Time Management
Time management is a personal skill that enables you to devote enough time in your day to accomplish your tasks. If you can manage your time well, you reduce the stress you feel, as you’re not rushing to finish work or submitting work past the deadline. You can develop this skill by practising how to prioritize your work and balancing them with personal responsibilities. Make a habit of doing your most urgent and important tasks first. You can also practice managing your time by scheduling your day-to-day life or setting alarms and reminders on your devices to help you remember important dates or meetings.
Having initiative shows that you are someone who can accomplish tasks without being told to do so or with minimal supervision. It also means being proactive by asking for things to do instead of waiting for them to be given to you. Showing initiative in your work indicates a willingness to take on responsibility and an eagerness to contribute to the company’s success. You can develop this skill by doing more than what’s expected of you, like organizing work-related documents to make workflow easier between you and your peers. You can even volunteer to do tasks such as creating and conducting presentations for work or meetings.
5. Information Literacy
As a professional skill, information literacy can help you look for essential facts and details, evaluate the reliability of your source, and use this information accurately in your work. This is essential for helping you avoid mistakes, which can be costly to a business. You can develop this skill by knowing what sources can provide credible data and questioning the information you read. You can go so far as to compare facts and news from other reliable sources to see how accurate and factual a piece of information is.
6. Information Technology
Information technology is a professional skill that enables you to use computers, software, and other technology-related to work. Advances in technology mean machines and programs can help you work more efficiently and accurately, so it would be a loss if you don’t know how to utilize them in your job. For technical professionals like architects and engineers, it can be especially crucial to stay up to date with the newest technology.
Keep your skills updated by following industry news and attending conferences relevant to your profession. You can also take classes or workshops that help you improve existing skills or teach you new ones. It’s also helpful to ask your colleagues about how they optimize their work processes and learn techniques that are different from what you normally use.
Having work readiness skills helps you prepare for the career you’re pursuing and become a better worker and teammate. As these qualities are not industry-specific, you can develop these traits on your own, using online and offline resources, or through the help of formal classes. Practice these skills as early as now and apply them whenever you can to further improve yourself and your work performance.