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.

See which career path suits you

Dentist is our No. 1 job. Partly due to a low unemployment rate. Partly due to projected growth next decade. And definitely due to astronomical salary. As in other medical jobs, a dentist’s pay can fluctuate based on experience, location, specialty, and hours worked.

Financial analysts study current and historical data, economic trends, and investments to advise businesses and individuals on how to buy and sell investments. It’s a high-pressure occupation and those in it often work between 50 and 70 hours a week, but the stress and long hours are usually rewarded with a good salary. 

It’s fitting that those with the role of supervising the financial health of companies would be solvent themselves. To do their job, which includes preparing financial statements and forecasts, studying market trends, and approving budgets, financial managers must have exceptional organizational and analytical skills, and, of course, a knack for numbers. 

There’s a saying that you have to spend money to make money. Sometimes organizations need an outside assessment of how best to increase their revenue and decrease redundancies, and to do that, they hire—and pay—a management analyst. These organizations typically pay well for the service.

So-called “blue-collar professions” don’t equate to bill-paying blues. For example, the managers who coordinate, budget, and supervise the daily activities of a construction project earn really well. 

This job is not just well-paying, but fast-growing: The employment for software developers should grow by 30 percent by 2020, to meet burgeoning demand for more computer systems and applications (to be created and maintained) across various industries. The field is competitive, requires specialized training, and usually mandates working more than 40 hours a week.

This type of engineering elevates a mechanical device from conceptual to functional, and has duties that sometimes overlap with other engineering fields like aerospace, civil, electrical, and chemical.

A good developer understands a Web user’s browsing habits and uses that to design functional, informative, and aesthetically pleasing websites. The position requires creative chops, but ample analytical skills as well, not to mention a command for various computer languages. The multifaceted job description ensures a lucrative salary.

We’re a society dependent on technology. It influences how we work and what we work on, and if it fails, so does our productivity. It’s understandable that the person who triages our technical problems and maintains our computer systems, an IT manager, would be well-paid.

A focus group convenes to observe how and why women use Pond’s Cold Cream (in an episode called “The Rejected”) or how pet owners would feel about giving their dogs food made from horse meat (“The Gypsy and the Hobo”). Real-world marketing managers conduct this research, then use it to formulate a successful advertising campaign.

This collaborative career involves the analysis of computer systems within a business. That could mean implementing new systems, ensuring their proper quality through testing and software updates, training on proper use, and recommending new systems when the current ones become obsolete.

Civil engineers deal with infrastructure, and could be found working on the design side, knee-deep in construction, or heavily engrossed in research and education. This field will likely grow steadily for the next decade, with particular opportunity for engineers interested in rebuilding aging bridges, levees, dams, and transportation systems.

Working as a pharmacist and understanding how medicines affect a patient’s medical condition and lifestyle, plus how those medicines interact with other medications, is a tall task honed through study and experience. But running a pharmacy counter also requires exceptional customer-service skills and patience.

It’s a gross overestimation that all physicians are rolling in dough, since the pay scale in this field is affected by experience, reputation, geography, specialty, and even personality. Still, most medical doctors earn good salaries. Anesthesiologists, general surgeons, and obstetricians often earn good salaries. 

As kids, we simplify our career aspirations into generic terms, like doctor, fireman, policewoman, lawyer. We’re socialized to respect these professions for their assumed security, for how they serve the greater good, and also, for the comfortable salaries they often provide. This is certainly the case for lawyers. Specializations, such as criminal law, corporate counsel, taxation, litigation, or family law, can affect your compensation, as can experience level.

This job might be your calling if you don’t mind juggling. Working as a business operations manager requires the skill to manage both projects and people, and it’s best occupied by the super-organized. Being super-educated can also be an asset, as many managers have at least a bachelor’s degree, and often a master’s degree in business administration. Regardless of whether you possess the degrees or not, most ascend into this position from a lower-level job. Opportunities for business operations managers exist in a variety of fields

Sales managers don’t usually sell. But they do establish territories, set goals, and offer guidance to those who do. Most managers become qualified for their position through their own tried-and-tested experience working in the field—the employers often look for applicants who have spent up to five years working in a related occupation, such as sales representative or purchasing agent. Rising to a managerial position usually means less time on the road and more money in the bank.

Do you have more of an affinity for animals than people? Perhaps you’re more of a D.V.M. than an M.D. or D.D.S. Veterinarians (Doctors of Veterinary Medicine) don’t usually earn as much as physicians or dentists, but they do command handsome paychecks. And whereas human doctors could spend nearly a decade training to receive a stethoscope, animal doctors could begin practicing once they complete a four-year program, pass their licensing exam, and possibly—though not necessarily—finish a one-year internship.

Those professionals responsible for conceptualizing and actualizing the style and image of a publication. It’s not hard to understand why, when you consider the job’s assorted duties, which include spearheading the overall “look” of a publication, advertising campaign, or theatrical production (for the stage as well as the large and small screen), determining a budget and project plan, communicating with clients, and hiring and supervising a design team. The weighty responsibilities of the job usually require applicants to have the necessary training, creativity, and experience, so many become art directors after working as professional artists, photographers, and graphic designers.

Sports management professionals work as team managers, athletic directors, sports agents and recruiters, marketing and PR professionals, and more. People who work in sports management are interested in both sports and business. In school, sports management professionals learn about finance, marketing, law, and business as they apply to the world of sports. After completing their education, graduates can work in amateur, collegiate, or professional athletics in just about any type of sport organization and often find jobs as managers, scouts, coaches, and marketing and public relations specialists. Sports management is a great opportunity for many professionals to have very successful careers because the athletic industry generates hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

A project manager is responsible for grouping skilled workers into teams, constructing and instituting team plans, and facilitating the execution of all projects. This is all done to achieve the company’s goals. Specific duties and roles for each project manager depend, to a large extent, on the company the manager works for and the industry in which the company operates. In some instances, multiple departments within a business must work together to complete a project. Under these circumstances, the project manager must direct and oversee each department’s plans, ensure all departments are functioning effectively and staying on task, and combine all aspects to complete a project on time and within its budget. To succeed, project managers must have excellent communication and motivation skills, enjoy working with others while maintaining a leadership role, pay close attention to details, and be organized. Project managers often have an undergraduate degree/certificate in project management and some have a master’s degree. Internships, on-the-job training or experience in other areas of business management are also helpful. 

The education manager is a person who looks into the planning, organization, and management of the educational approach and strategies for school, college, or university. They are generally responsible for planning and deciding the development and resource of the academics. An education manager must be knowledgeable about the educational standards and regulations. He or she is responsible for guiding the management team in undertaking various researches to understand the essential requirements of the organization. The education manager is then a responsible person to implement the necessary requirements. They are also further responsible for ensuring that the implemented things are working perfectly. The education managers may also interact with the staff members to understand the teaching procedures, progress of the students, and changes to be made for further progress. The education manager is also responsible for managing the management budgets and present them before higher authorities for approval. Many a times the education managers themselves approve the budget bills after performing a detailed check.  The education manager must be a well educated and experienced candidate with all the essential knowledge about school management. The basic requirement for an education manager post is a bachelor’s degree in management with adequate experience in management. The area of study for an education manager also includes education, management, leadership, assessment, curriculum development, etc.