Simply having a degree is no longer enough to secure a job offer in today’s world. Pertinent skillset has become just as valuable as your degree and exam results when it comes to building a successful career.
While trends come and go, and the economy and culture can change, there are some skills that every person will need to have to get ahead - life skills.
Life skills help you effectively deal with challenges in the workplace and are essential for a steeper learning curve. While you acquire certain life skills in schools, others come to you through experiences such as internships, study abroad, and research projects.
Life skills (also known as soft skills) are the foundation of professional success, and they happen to be the most desirable skills employers are searching for in potential candidates. Each of us has the opportunity and ability to choose to develop these life skills, no matter where we are and in what way we hope to achieve our success. So, whether you're completing an internship or working a part-time job this summer, use your time judiciously to develop these essential skills:
Communication skills: Developing your communication skills can help all aspects of your life, from your professional life to social gatherings and everything in between. Communication includes listening, writing, and speaking. Employers want to see you articulate your thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively. Thus, to be able to communicate verbally, through body language, and writing is an essential life skill critical for success in your life and work.
Time management: Among other soft skills, time management skills - such as prioritizing, scheduling, task management, and delegation - are in high demand. Time management means working efficiently. Companies in every industry look for employees that can make the most of the time available to them on the job. If you can manage your time well, you may find it easier to be more productive and more likely to finish your projects by the deadline. Developing time management skills will help you focus on time-sensitive tasks and reduce wasted time.
Adaptability: Adaptability means being able to change to achieve success. Adaptability is important because as technology continues to advance, companies that embrace new processes can often stay competitive in their industry. Companies are seeking employees who can show strong adaptability skills and become company leaders. If you are a person who learns quickly, it means you know how to adapt. You can improve your adaptability skills by trying new things or practicing your ability to solve problems in various circumstances.
Critical thinking: No skill is more valuable and harder to come by than the ability to critically think through problems. Critical thinking helps in good decision-making at the workplace by allowing you to recognize barriers and find solutions to overcome them. It teaches you how to think instead of what to think based on the in-hand information. Critical thinking is self-directed and self-disciplined, so you will need to be able to think for yourself in a realistic and meaningful way. Being able to think for yourself is a key skill at a time when the concept of career and the workplace is constantly changing.
Technology skills: In the digital age, computer literacy and technology skills have become just as important as academic qualification and life skills. You must know how to use basic technology, including computers, the internet, and smartphone. Also, you must be comfortable using word processing software and other technology skills like spreadsheets and social media platforms, among others. While technology skills vary based on industry and job role, basic knowledge has become imperative for success.
With the job market constantly changing, one should stay up to date on the top in-demand skills of the market and strive to learn or improve on them. Here are a few reasons why life skills are important:
Add relevant skills to your resume: You can use these skill words in your resume. You might want to use some of these keywords in the description of your work history or include them in your resume summary if you have one.
Highlight skills in your cover letter: Life skills can be highlighted in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, mention a couple of these skills, and give a specific example of the times when you demonstrated those skills at work.
Use skill words during job interviews: You can use skill words in an interview. But before doing so, make sure you have at least one example of a time you demonstrated the skill in your life.