Looking for a job? Here are the 21st century skills you should consider acquiring
Skills needed for employment in Kenya
The world of work is constantly changing, and we must always be prepared to adapt to these changes.
For this reason, every graduate/college-leaver must be armed with content knowledge, essential skills, and expertise in his/her chosen field.
Alongside technical skills, it is also critical to develop what are popularly known as soft/transferable skills.
These are simply a set of behavior or personality traits you apply in everyday situations.
Put another way, they are personal attributes that enable one to interact effectively and harmoniously with others.
Most importantly, research has shown that employers give preference to applicants with these skills in Kenya (just as it is across the globe).
We therefore encourage you to find a way of learning them.
The following are examples of soft skills that you should prioritize:
Skills needed for employment in Kenya – 8 skills that could give you a competitive advantage in the job market
Here are the most important skills you need to achieve success in 21st century:
These refer to the skills you require in order to share information, ideas, and experiences with others.
They include written and verbal skills.
Remember that excellent written and verbal communication skills are required at different levels in all careers
To be specific, essential communication skills includes the ability to do the following:
- Deliver messages clearly and effectively;
- Manage one’s emotion in order to communicate effectively and avoid stressful situations;
- Say the right thing, at the right time, and with the right tone/voice.
- Respect other people’s views/opinions;
- Listen carefully and with open mindedness;
- Ask helpful questions
- Give constructive criticism.
Note that the above list is not exhaustive and it is good to do further research on other vital skills that fall under communication skills.
Problem solving skills
Employers prefer to engage people who are solution oriented.
That being so, problem solving skills can give you a head start in an increasingly flooded job market.
There are many ways of learning problem solving skills including observing how colleagues solve problems, reading widely about the best problem solving techniques, and playing games that stimulating one’s problem solving abilities like solving puzzles or chess.
You can also a relevant short course online.
Plan on acquiring this crucial skill- it may be the game changer during your next interview.
These are skills that are required in order to meet the demands of a changing working environment.
These skills include being able to deal with criticism, work smoothly in a team, adjust to changing circumstances, etc.
Remember that nothing in today’s workplace is constant and employees who embrace change are every employer’s dream.
Here is the thing: there is no single best way of learning adaptive skills so you are free to explore and find what works for you.
These tactics can help you improve your adaptive skills:
- Asking for feedback.
- Challenging yourself to achieve more.
- Taking leadership roles when opportunities present themselves.
- Maintaining a positive attitude.
- Listening and observing.
Teamwork skills (collaboration)
This is the ability to cooperate and work with others on a task or a project in order to achieve a desired goal.
Of course, teamwork is required in almost every factory/office hence you are expected to be a good team player.
Okay, your job description may require you to work alone in some instances.
However, there are various projects that will require you to work in a group- indeed, numerous tasks tend to require a great deal of consultation.
Thus, you should try to build on your workplace collaboration skills – you can look for a coach to guide you, join industry groups, attend communication classes online, watch YouTube tutorials on the subject, etc.
That way, employers will be fighting over you!
Creative thinking skills (innovation)
Creative thinking is what is sometimes referred to as thinking outside the box and it is simply the ability to look at a task/an idea in a new way.
This is again important when it comes to the workplace since creative professionals have the ability to create new ways to carry out tasks and solve problem- and this helps companies stand out from the crowd.
Here is a blog with tips on how you can become a better creative thinker.
Employers engage candidates who can successfully interact with colleagues, clients, and others within and outside the workplace.
And because it is hard to succeed without having selfless leaders in their teams, they tend to favor employees who demonstrate great leadership skills from the word go.
Perhaps you can buy a couple of leadership books – they should give you useful pointers on how to become a better leader.
Keep in mind that people with leadership skills are required to put other people’s concerns first.
Team management skills
You have probably come across the quote, Time isn’t the main thing.
Truth is, time is a priceless resource and every employer desires to employ workers who can effectively use the time available to them to plan, prioritize and carry out the given tasks within the specified timelines.
Why? Proper time management ensures that the organization’s goals are achieved in a timely manner.
And so it is time to act on your time management skills if you have been a poor time manager.
This is the ability to do things without being influenced or coerced by other people, and regardless of the prevailing circumstances.
This skill enables you to achieve personal goals and those of the company because a self-motivated individual is self-driven and does not require close supervision to do their work.
What I’m saying is: find ways to stay highly motivated since you’re likely to find doors opening for you more often if you can prove that you’re a self-motivated person.
This article has handy tips on self-motivation.
Tags: Skills needed for employment in Kenya , What Kenyan employers look for when hiring graduates?