Career Readiness

Did you know that employers look for career readiness in new hires? Career Readiness is defined as in the following competency areas:

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: 

Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.

Oral/Written Communications:

Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.

Teamwork/Collaboration:

You might be the best in your field. In fact, you may be the person who can get anything done and your track record speaks of success after success. Or it demonstrates an intrinsic competitive personality. Well, all that is good but it would be great if you can work well within a team.

Employers want to know that you can be trusted when things are going well and you will still help steer the ship towards safe waters when things go wrong. They do not want a person who has great skills but fights with everyone else. Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure and can negotiate and manage conflict.

Information Technology Application:

Select and use appropriate technology to accomplish a given task. The individual is also able to apply computing skills to solve problems.

Leadership:

Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.

Professionalism/Work Ethic:

Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behaviour acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.

Career Management:

Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

Ability to grow:

Employers are not looking for the person who can do a job well in the same way for the rest of their lives. They want a person who can adapt to the changing times. A person who can learn new skills and employ it at work. Being good at what you do is great but an ability to gain more knowledge and skills and utilize them is very important. Employers want a resourceful person. A person who can be trusted to take on a challenge and grow from it.

Ability to learn:

Everyone makes mistakes but it is important to be able to learn from them and grow. Employers want a person who is ready to be taught and people who do not mind learning constantly. A rigid person cannot grow and this stifles the company. Employers want to know that you can be corrected and that you are open to help.

Strong work ethic:

The business world is fast and the ability to get on with it and simply get things done is a very attractive trait to employers. No employer wants to follow you around to do your job. Deadlines are to be respected. A strong work ethic means that you can be trusted with work that has long and short deadlines. It is not enough to say that you can work well under pressure and deliver as expected. Demonstrate it by giving examples of how you get work done on time and how you manage your time. As an entry-level job seeker, you can demonstrate how you always complete your assignments in a timely manner of how you get work done in your environment.

Unlock your career potential — Are you career ready?

  1. Using the above information, pick one competency area.
  2. Read the description.
  3. Write down one job, academic assignment, volunteer or community activity you had done that demonstrates you have competency in the area.

4 Steps to Being Job Ready

Understanding your job

It really should be a given but it is alarming how many people actually do not have an understanding of the role they perform and why it is needed within various organisations. This means that they also do not understand what skills are required today or in the future to be able to continue to effectively perform your role. Job readiness here can be achieved by staying up to date with systems, knowing the technical and practical side of your role and understanding where this positions sits within organisations.

Understanding the labour market

This is another key area that people need to be truly job ready. By understanding the labour market and labour market trends you will be able to understand the demands on your role in the industry and also what is required for the role in the future. This will assist in responding to questions such as “Where would you like to be in 3 years time” by understanding where your role needs to be in 3 years time.

Skills and development

Being able to articulate your skills, your gaps and areas of development will also help in not only ensuring you are job ready but that you can demonstrate this. One thing that is really frustrating is that individuals are not able to demonstrate during an interview that they have the skills required to immediately transition in to a role, or talk to the gaps and how they will be able to address these gaps to still be able to meet the demands of the role.

Presentation and communication

Fundamental to your success at the interview, being able to present in a way that reflects your understanding of the role, your level of professionalism and your personal etiquette assists in demonstrating you are job ready. Building from this, being able to communicate confidently, articulately and with clarity is also important for job readiness. Practice the interview skills and start to develop yourself from there.

Lifelong learning, career development and personal leadership are imperative to your success; and taking ownership of your own career is key to achieving this.