In an evolving business landscape candidates are now sought after in several ways. No longer does an employer know about a candidate from a faxed resume, but social profiles, college fairs, and filling out information from a career portal page. Employers are looking for more than book knowledge. You can be the smartest person in your class, but have zero human skills or “common knowledge.” In the workplace human skills can be just as important as work skills because you’re constantly interacting with people whom might even be of many different cultures.
Here is a list of what I consider to the be the most important skills in today’s world as it relates to the workplace and life in general:
Adaptability: This is probably the most important skill someone can have in and out of the workplace. Working with people whom you might not have similar interests can be a difficult tasks. Being able to adapt to any situation will not only allow you to be a better co-worker, but will help you fit into the company culture which helps you be more successful and productive then those hired simply because they fit a job description.
Interpersonal Skills: Being able to get along with everyone in the workplace and interactive with them on a daily basis is another top ranked human skill. Being able to form relationships with co-workers creates better cohesion and team dynamics. Having characteristics like empathy, cooperativeness, respect, and show significance in relationships is one of the major things employers look for when hiring. All of these are forms of interpersonal skills that are necessary for day-to-day operations to work smoothly and efficiently.
Communication: Communication is essential for effective functioning in every part of an organization. There are multiple forms of communication that go on daily in an organization and being able to use each properly is critical. Some things can be addressed via email, some in person, and others over the phone. Learning the proper way to communicate will create a dynamic work environment that will stand the test of time. Breakdown in communication is bound to happen, but it’s how you act and resolve the issue.
Learning: Most people don’t understand that the ability to learn is a fantastic human skill to have. The ability to learn quickly and efficiently is something that most people would kill for. Some people pick up new material a lot faster then others and being able to learn is just as important in today’s workplace as everything is changing. Technology is outdated every month, if not sooner, so being able to learn new processes or ways of doing things is important in a competitive workplace.
Adaptability, interpersonal skills, communication, and learning are all-important skills in today’s workplace and could keep a candidate from getting a job if they don’t possess certain skills. Having some of these skills will sometimes get you farther then experience will. Recruiters are constantly looking for candidates who fit in well with their corporate culture. That is what will get you the job.
What skills have you found to be the most important in the workplace?
Article by Eric Friedman
Eric Friedman is the Founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of Web-based skill testing for pre-employment and training. The company's founding vision was to create software that can customize a skills test to fit the knowledge requirements for any job position. Holder of an MBA from MITís Sloan School of Management and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Brown University, Eric has helped launch five startups since 1992. With 20 years in the game, he is now sharing his vast experience on eSkill's blog, while mentoring his team and constantly expanding his company. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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