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www.dailypioneer.com | March 29, 2017
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In a competitive world, you need to have an edge over others. Dr Devi Singh lists life skills that all college pass-outs must have to make themselves employable

Education is the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and preparing oneself or others intellectually for life. In India, a majority of schools and colleges still evaluate students based on methods that encourage memorising and recall. When a student graduates, there’s much more an employer seeks to find in him or her than just memorising. In order to maintain consistent progress in an uncertain future, students must be equipped with life skills.

Commercial awareness: A thorough understanding of the business is of utmost importance. This is about knowing how a business or industry operates and what makes a company tick. From what the company provides in terms of products or services to the values it upholds to its position in the market place needs to be known in depth.

Communication: Command over written, oral and visual communication is fundamental to work and continues to be emphasized today. The sheer ability to convey messages clearly and concisely; being able to tailor messages to the audience and listening to other view point is quintessential. In the digital age, having access to a wide variety of new ways to communicate from video-conferencing to social media, future employers need to be able to communicate with people within their team, as well as people outside effectively.

Team work: Most classrooms foster a culture of competition than teamwork and collaboration. Being a team player is of utmost importance since a lot of tasks involve working with people within and outside the organisation often using an array of new technologies.

An individual not only has to prove his ability to work with others effectively, but also manage and delegate responsibilities to others. Establishing and maintaining positive relationships around you further leads to achieving goals and objectives.

Critical thinking and problem solving skills: An individual’s ability to solve problems and resolve issues logically using analytical approaches is highly valued. In this dynamic, rapidly changing world, employers look for employees who can solve issues by themselves and provide ideas, thus contributing to organisational growth.

Leadership: A key trait employers look for is the potential an individual has in motivating their colleagues. Leadership is all about setting a good example.

Personal management: An individual must learn to plan, organise, create and execute independently rather than be dependent on someone. Employers look for self-directed individuals who can take care of tasks by themselves rather than ones who wait for directions all the time. Cultivating this habit is critical to success.

Ability to work under pressure: Interviewers frequently create a stressful environment for interviewees. This helps them judge which individual can remain calm and rational. There comes a time, while working, when things don’t go as planned.

If an employee panics, decisions may not be made logically. Keeping calm in a crisis and not getting overwhelmed helps to tackle difficult situations rationally.

Adaptive thinking: In the digital age, things change rapidly. Individuals must learn to continuously adapt to changing conditions as well as be able to learn new things quickly and efficiently.

Technological skills: In the digital age, technology is everywhere. Almost every organisation wants their employees to be skilled at using technology.

Perseverance and confidence: Employers value individuals with perseverance and confidence. Working life presents many challenges and employers want individuals who can find their way through challenges. Confidence is a must have in the working world. It is an existential necessity.

The above mentioned qualities definitely fall under the priority list. However, the list does not end here. Soft skills, creativity, innovation, empathy, curiosity, etc. are a few other qualities an individual must possess.

It’s not difficult to develop these skills. Make the most of your time at university to develop general skills. Plan early to get relevant work experience and voluntary work which will give you transferable skill sets. Take advantage of careers fairs and employer presentations. Talk directly to recruiters to find out what they look for and always do your homework before applying for jobs.

The writer is vice-chancellor, Flame University

(Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com/avenues/skills-needed-to-be-employable.html)