Personal development for employability is often ignored until the later stages of adulthood. It is something we think about only when we face unemployment for long periods.

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Furthermore, there is great pressure on fresh graduates to secure employment to kick-start their career. Instead, universities should focus on personal development before students enter the corporate world.

As students enter the race of climbing career ladders, personal development for employability takes a backseat. They focus on being a trophy graduate. Often, they try to outshine among thousands of students rather than investing time on their personal growth.

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Unfortunately, that’s not the wisest way to proceed in life.

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Personal development can surely make a positive impact on employability. There are many reasons why it can be a key factor for success.  

If you’re interested in knowing what skills you need to boost your employability, you should focus on the following skills:

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1. Communication Skills

Communication is a core skill to master for your personal development for employability. It is a skill that is most commonly listed in job advertisements. Furthermore, this skill is demanded across most industries and professions.

This particular set of skills greatly impacts how well you receive, comprehend, and transmit messages. These skills help you avoid misunderstandings. You should enhance your communication skills to pave the way for more polished skills such as negotiation and persuasion. These skills are highly-valued for career growth and help you secure leadership roles.

Strong communication skills are essential for personal development and can increase employability drastically

Communication helps you in landing a good job by impressing your interviewers. It is also crucial for career growth. Jobs requiring enhanced communication skills such as presentation skills also tend to pay more.

With advancing technology, it is common to work with people from different cultures. Your coworkers may also often be living in different regions with different time zones. Effective communication is required to work with people from diverse backgrounds. One must know how to use the various new channels of communication.

Furthermore, in a digital era, the demand for effective communication skills is bound to increase. This is because the number of service-based jobs are rapidly increasing.

2. Organizational Skills  

Organization skills are important to carry out your routine work in a proper order to meet your deadlines. If you are more organized, you will approach your workload more systematically. This will help you in accomplishing your goals. You can also multitask if you are organized.

Organizational skills can help you manage tasks better and adhere to deadlines

Organizational skills allow you to break down important larger goals into simple daily to-do lists. This will help you keep track of your work progress. it will also ensure you work on the right pace to meet your deadline.

Being organized also helps you be well-prepared for important commitments. You can mark the date on your calendar for such events. If you highlight important events on a daily planner, there’s no chance of missing deadlines. You also won’t forget important events. Moreover, you will always be prepared for everything well before time.

Being organized ultimately leads to lower stress levels. Employees feel more in control of their day. This leads to a better overall performance. In short, organizational skills greatly impact your productivity in the workplace. Therefore, they are essential for your personal development for employability.

3. Research Skills

Research skills can be a core component in building your career. These skills include the capability to write reports, collect data, and analyze information. Information is usually gathered from different resources on the internet.

Research skills are also being focused on in the academic syllabus of universities. In fact, learning methods are moving from spoon feeding to an initiative approach.

It is a common practice to research a company and its products before your interview at a firm. Managers also have to find possible solutions to problems faced at work. Therefore, it is necessary to have research skills to survive in the workplace.

Research skills and information literacy help you make better use of the data already available to you. They allow you to critically analyze information to make more sound decisions.

Strong research skills can help you land and retain a better job in more than one ways

As a result of strong research skills, you become a more proactive employee. You can solve problems on your own. More and more researchers are taking measures to ensure that research becomes more applicable and helpful to practicing managers. You can only make use of such material if you have the required skills to research.

Furthermore, research-supported insights strengthen your decision making.

4. Teamwork

Working well in a team ensures all the employees enhance the performances of their colleagues and pave a smooth way to reach organizational goals.

Organizations highly depend on teamwork as they are often made up of a hierarchy of people who have interrelated roles. The product of one employee’s work is often the input for another employee or function so it is important to make sure that everything is in sync.

Employers look for people who are cooperative and can collaborate and coordinate with other people to complete different work activities.  A person can only work well in a team if they have developed the traits of honesty, responsibility, and empathy.

team work leads to success in work place

A big part of working in a team comes from being emotionally intelligent and knowing how to deal with people in the best manner. Building strong work relationships with your colleagues will lead to higher work morale in the office. This will facilitate the formation of an effective team which results in better performance of an organization as a whole.

5. Digital Literacy

In the modern era, digital literacy is crucial to surviving in the corporate jungle out there. As technology advances day by day, workplaces encompass more and more technology in their daily work. Simple tasks such as booking appointments, banking, and personal communication have all moved to online platforms thus making digital skills more important than ever before.

Digital literacy is a skill employers look for

Digital innovations provide organizations with the speed and ease to improve their efficiency. It changes the way routine tasks are done and shifts routine procedures such as keeping track of attendance from manual logins to a simple swipe of a card.

More and more organizations have developed and incorporated Enterprise Management Systems to manage their business processes. Therefore, employability highly depends on the ability to use such digital platforms confidently in the workplace.

Polishing your digital skills can not only help you succeed in securing a job, but it can also enlarge your opportunities by allowing you to work from home and indulge in freelancing.

Employees who can display strong digital skills, through online portfolios, infographics or video graphics have a much higher potential to succeed in the current job market and become highly valued individuals for the organization.

Make a digital portfolio to create a better impression on your prospective employer

6. Problem-Solving

These are the skills needed to identify, define, and resolve a problem. This also includes deciding the best course of action to resolve a problem in the most effective manner. To polish your problem-solving skills, you must have a proactive approach and a problem-solving mindset to allow you to find a solution to complex situations.

Enhanced problem solving skills make an employee more independent

To solve a problem, the first and most important thing is to identify and define the problem. A problem usually arises when multiple people have a conflict of interest and it is important to consider everyone’s interest while finding a solution to the problem.

Then you must find possible solutions and evaluate their impacts. The best solution is often an option in which the positive impacts outweigh the negative. Lastly, you must select the option and make sure you document justification and agreement on the selected solution to guide others who face the same problem.

7. Networking

Networking is an important skill that you must master to tap into the right social networks. It is important to keep in contact with individuals who are well-placed and may help you get access to more opportunities for finding work. Networking and employability have been known to be closely related and it is no secret that you are only as good as the company you keep.

Effective networking gives you boosted access to resources and information which ultimately help you in the job searching process. If you know someone who works for the firm you are interviewing for, you can inquire a little bit about the firm and get an insider’s scoop of the landscape.

How effective networking is important for higher employability

Being a social and memorable person as early as in your school life can lead to forming instant connections over mutual friends in the workplace. It is important to be approachable so that people are not intimidated from starting a conversation with you.

You never know who might end up being your boss years later so always try to remember the people you meet and don’t be afraid to reconnect and foster such relationships. It’s important to build a personal brand at the workplace to help you with networking.

Three pillars to help you build strong personal brand to help networking at the workplace

Throughout your career, the networks you tap into will greatly determine your growth opportunities. Even when you switch jobs, it is important to have a cordial relationship with your previous employers as they might offer you a higher position when you have more experience years down the lane. So the ability to network is a useful skill to have.

8. Conflict Resolution

These skills are required to solve a disagreement which involves other people. Whenever there are multiple people working on a project or in the same place, differences in opinions may arise. It is up to you to handle the disagreement in a calm and professional manner.

Conflict resolution is necessary to solve disagreements between coworkers

The best approach about conflict resolution is to discuss it with the concerned person to come up with a solution that is acceptable to both parties. It is best to solve conflicts promptly so that they don’t turn into a personal adversary.

The last thing you should do is hold onto a conflict for months and let it become something bigger than what it initially was. Unresolved conflicts can turn minor disagreements into constant disliking for people in the workplace. This can result in personal attacks and unprofessional behavior.

So it is important to address the real problem and not let a minor disagreement trigger a chain of reactions to permanently damage a working relationship. Having a strong conflict resolution can help you fit into a work environment and ensure that there are no grudges against you in the office. This, in turn, results in an unbiased attitude towards you and ensures that you receive deserving career growth.

9. Time Management

Time management skills are highly valued by employers

Time management is a crucial skill for personal development for employability. It improves your performance and helps you deliver timely results at work. Effective time management also reduces overtime costs for your employer which, of course, reflects positively on you.

A core responsibility of every employee is to manage their time effectively and strive to do their best work in the minimum possible time. There are various elements of time management which include setting realistic goals, planning out your day, creating deadlines, prioritizing certain tasks, and avoiding procrastination.

The key to time management is minimizing distractions. If your fully focus on the designated task then surely you will be able to complete it on time. It is a good idea to minimize noise and cut down distractions to help you focus.

The next important thing is constructing a clear timeline with the correct estimations and following it with commitment.  If you plan your time accurately and have realistic expectations then you can easily meet your deadlines.

Prioritizing important tasks and setting accurate goals is a crucial step towards effective time management. If you constantly multitask, then it might delay your work as your attention is constantly divided. If you wish to accomplish your goals, you need to identify the most important task at hand and work on it with complete focus.

Time management is mainly planning work and doing it in a manner that is mindful and conscious about the time you are investing in it. Taking control of your time and making the best use of it will surely take you one step closer to employability.

10. Stress Management

Numerous studies show that the most common source of stress for American adults is their jobs. Dealing with the burdening responsibilities and constant pressures of a job can lead to unwanted stress. This can become a hindrance to your performance. Your perception about your control in a situation can highly determine the levels of stress you experience. Higher stress levels impact your productivity which, in turn, can affect your employability.  

Stress management is necessary to survive in a high pressure corporate job

Stress is highly personal. Two different individuals can experience very different levels of stress while being in the same situation. It is important to recognize what causes you stress. Being able to identify your triggers can make stress prevention a lot easier.

Some people may thrive in a highly demanding job that requires risk-taking decisions on an everyday basis. To them, this job may feel like a roller-coaster ride and they enjoy the thrill of it. In fact, they might become more stressed when they are working in a job that is monotonous and very repetitive. On the other hand, some people may dread being in the same position.   

There are many stress management techniques such as trying to keep a positive mind, exercising regularly, eating healthier and sleeping more. Some people like to relieve their stress by actively taking part in aggressive hobbies such as kickboxing whereas others may want to listen to classical music and meditate. Finding the best stress relief strategies may be time-consuming but it is important to find out what works for you.

11. Delegation

Delegation is simply assigning a task to someone else and making them responsible for it. It gives the other person the authority to carry out the task and they become accountable for it.

As you progress in your career, you take on more leading roles. This is why you must know how to make others work for you.

Delegation skills are a basic need for leadership roles

It is important to understand that you cannot do everything on your own. Sometimes, the nature of the task at hand may be beyond your scope and in such situations, it is important to delegate.

Working in an organization, your work is often dependent upon some documents from another function. In such situations, it is imperative to know how to get them to do their work on time in order to do yours.

Another mistake that a lot of people make is that they take on the excessive workload. And as deadlines approach, they realize it’s impossible to complete it all on time. That is when you need to ask your colleagues for help. Another person’s take on a project or task can help bring in new innovative ideas that you couldn’t have thought of yourself. This will help you learn new ways of doing things from others.

A big part of securing jobs in leading positions has to do with the ability to delegate tasks. It is important to know the expertise of the people you’re working with to assign and delegate tasks effectively. Knowing people’s strengths and assigning them the correct work can make you a very successful manager.

12. Leadership

Leadership requires the ability to guide, manage, and control other people. To be a successful leader, you need to have the ability to take initiatives and be assertive. Employers are looking for young and talented people who can transition into higher roles in senior management to create a true impact in their firms.

Leadership is a skill that enhances employability

Displaying leadership skills will give you rapid growth in your career. As an employee looking for career growth, you must depict the these skills. You must have the ability to motivate and mentor others to be able to manage a team in the future. You must also have a positive approach and be able to take initiatives on your own.  

Leadership skills are necessary to survive in a hierarchy and practice your authority effectively. If you don’t implement your control over your subordinates then you will not transfer your wisdom onto them. This will hinder the development of other employees.

13. Project Management

Project management is the ability to manage a project from the very start to its end. It involves initiation, planning, executing, controlling and closing a project. It is crucial to meet the project’s predetermined goals on time.

Project Management skills are needed to manage and control a project

Heavy lies the head that wears the crown. Similarly, while project management may give you extra authority, it also makes you responsible for the whole team. To have competent project management skills, one must have sufficient experience. It also requires expertise and the aptitude to lead a team.

Team management, risk management, planning, leadership, and personal organization are the key elements of attaining project management skills. To acquire project management skills, you must excel in these certain areas first.

Personal development for employability is a journey that has many steps. It is a lifelong process that requires the effort to constantly develop new skills. Polishing the skills above will undoubtedly enhance your employability and guarantee a brighter future for you!

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