The Skills Your Future (and current) Employer want you to have
By Alan Olsen
Do you ever wonder what skills your current employer or future employer want you to have? Ensuring that you have the right skills can be the difference between a promotion or a pink slip. Many of the top skills and attributes would not be classified as those that would reinvent the wheel per se, but rather are common sensical and overlooked. Often individuals are proficient in one or two of these skills. However, for an individual to be a truly great leader and impress their current or future employer proficiency in all are required. It is understandable that not all skills can be demonstrated at one time or on command, (for that would appear that an individual’s skill in some would be farce and may disinterest an employer), most are easy to exhibit. The purpose of this article is not to go through each of these skills and attributes and how to acquire them but rather to reflect on why they are important in the workplace and why they are important for employers, either in hiring individuals or in conducting performance reviews on them.
Communication is an everyday occurrence and is important in the workplace. It occurs everywhere from a water cooler chat with a coworker to an email to the CEO. Individuals need to be able to communicate the status of their work, their interests within an organization and any issues they might be having.
If an individual cannot communicate clearly that is a huge warning sign for employers. Individuals who cannot adequately communicate, are less likely to let others know when a project or assignment is going wrong and more likely to not ask for help in these situations. This can leave employers in the dark on projects and if they are high stakes initiatives, this can result in a loss of resources or clients for an organization.
If an individual is being hired into a management position they have even greater need to be a good communicator. Members of management need to be able to understand information that is coming from individuals higher up on the chain and be able to clearly disseminate it to those that are below them. Additionally, members of management need to be able to gather information from those who are below them and be able to synthesize it and clearly express their concerns and opinions to those that are above them in the management chain. Clear communication improves work place relations, increases productivity and allows for greater collaboration
Knowing How to Influence
A mainstay in any professional setting of any industry is politics. With very few exceptions all jobs require the knowledge of how to navigate political landscapes of offices and work places to get anything done. Politics make the difference between a good roll out of a strategic initiative and the failure of one. They tip the scales of whether or not you get a promotion, or whether you will lose your job.
By knowing how to influence people and get them to like you, you are more likely to be successful in your work, and if you are successful your employer is successful. This reinforces that hiring you a good decision on their part and incentivizes them to promote you and continue to give you good work.
Do you Have a Clear Focus?
Employers hire employees to make their lives easier in a specific way. Whether that is in the management of a team, development of financial statements, or determining the strategic direction of an organization. However, while they might have a concept of what they want you to do, or what your role should be, you should have a concept of what they want you to do as well.
In an interview, the interviewer will want to know that you know what you are getting yourself into with the job, and the expectations for you.
In the job itself, your employer will expect you to know what your role is and what you should and should not be doing. Through having a clear focus of your employer’s expectations, and meeting them, you can ensure that you will perform to the level expected of you.
Continue to Part 2