Career Readiness And How To Achieve It
Career readiness is when a college graduate successfully demonstrates the attributes that help them transition into the workplace.
The lack of career-readiness is a greater challenge than unemployment in India today.
This is mainly because students do not have the skill-set required to transition into the workplace mainly due to the disparity between mainstream academic courses and the requirements of the industry.
According to a recent survey by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), half of India’s working-age population (i.e 15-64 ) is not contributing to any economic activity.
If this skill gap persists India may have to forgo nearly $1.97 trillion in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth.
For instance, every year 30% of 15 lakh engineering graduates alone do not find jobs and many others work jobs which fall below their technical qualification. A lot of graduates do not hold a position related to their major. In fact, large numbers of engineers between 50-75% are absorbed by the IT sector.
This, however, makes perfect sense! Twenty years ago, Google did not exist. Facebook was not around 15 years ago. The Apple iPhone did not exist a decade ago and neither did all the apps that were to be created to support it. The point being the workplace is dynamic and many of the jobs of the future are yet to be determined.
Today, with the world changing at a rapid pace, career readiness isn’t something you acquire after a period of time or after completion of a degree from a certain educational institution. A career-ready person has a clear understanding of their talents, interests and weaknesses and a solid grasp of the skills necessary for participating in today’s fast-paced, global economy.
Competencies that prepare you for a successful transition into the workplace:
College graduates with the same educational qualifications are not necessarily equally career ready. Besides the educational background required for the chosen profession, there are other competencies listed below that you will need to demonstrate to be fully career-ready.
1.Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Problem-solving is a result of critical thinking. Critical thinking is a form of a mental exercise of actively conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach a proper conclusion.
The definition is a wordy one because it involves complex mental processes.
In simpler terms, it is the deliberate and systematic processing of information that helps you make better decisions and get a better understanding of things.
Deliberate thinking requires cognitive energy. Hence most of our thinking is not done critically. But there are numerous advantages in applying this method of thing:
- Intellectual growth
- It helps you make better decisions when you critically weigh the pros and cons of available options.
- By evaluating information carefully you reduce the risk of falling prey to manipulations of others.
- It makes you more employable. The best employees use critical thinking to solve existing problems but more importantly, they also know how to come up with solutions to problems no one ever imagined.
WAYS TO THINK MORE CRITICALLY
Ask Basic Questions
When the answer gets too complex, ask the basic questions. Some of the greatest innovators of the past were those who simply took a moment and wondered if one of everyone’s general assumptions were wrong.
Be Wary of Biases
Be wary of cognitive biases: Cognitive biases are our brain’s attempt to simplify information processing. It can lead to bad decision making and poor judgement.
An example of cognitive bias includes favouring information that conforms to your existing beliefs and discounting evidence that does not conform.
A critical thinker is aware of how their brain works and avoid falling prey to such biases. We all have biases in our thinking but becoming aware of them is what makes critical thinking possible.
Evaluate Existing Evidence
Evaluate existing evidence. Sometimes solving a problem from scratch when someone has already laid the groundwork can provide tremendous insight.
Many organizations value a person who is a team player. Building a collaborative relationship with people around will result in achieving a target goal much easily. Good teamwork skills will give you more chances to move forward in your career.
WAYS TO DEVELOP TEAMWORK SKILLS
WORK IN A GROUP
Find opportunities to work in a group. Then make sure you contribute to the group and help others to get involved.
DEVELOP SOFT SKILLS
Communication, planning, problem-solving and negotiating are some of the skills you will need to develop. Work on these skills and your teamwork skills will improve too.
3.Knowledge of Digital Technology
With the world rapidly changing around us and almost every business now getting digitized, skills in data analytics and information management are now highly in demand. Because data helps to drive innovation and change, developing and learning digital technology is vital while transitioning into the work world.
Some people are natural born leaders. But for many, it doesn’t come naturally. The ability to lead effectively relies on a number of different skills. There are many different leaders with different ways of leading and what works in a given circumstance may not work in another. But what is common to all of them is their ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
Good leadership skills involve:
- Decision making
- Strategic thinking
- People management
- Persuasion & Influence
- Planning and delivery
WAYS TO DEVELOP YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS
A good leader realizes that no one can be good at everything. A good leader must know how to delegate tasks and also empower other people on the team.
In any organization, interpersonal conflicts are a common case. Everyone cannot be expected to agree on different things all the time. The key is not to avoid conflict but rather to handle it in a respectful and positive so that there’s a strengthening bond between people.
TAKE ON MORE PROJECTS
Another way to increase your leadership skill is to take on more responsibilities. This could mean doing more than what fits your job description or role. Doing so will get you noticed by executives as someone who takes initiatives.
LEARN TO FOLLOW
If you learn to value and respect others on your team, they’ll be more likely to step up to the plate for you. A good leader has no problem giving control to another person when appropriate.
A person’s work ethic is a representation of his/her character. Good work ethic suggests that the person places a high value on doing a good job. Professionalism is a component of good work ethics, which describes how a person conducts himself/herself on the job. There are different ways by which a person can adopt good work ethics.
WAYS TO DEVELOP YOUR WORK ETHIC
Being on time is one of the most fundamental qualities of professionalism. It is an indicator of good work ethic if a person is punctual to make appointments with clients and meetings with staff and management and complete his work on time.
Be Well Organized
Being well organized means doing a job efficiently and effectively.
Being responsible means taking responsibility for one’s own assignments, actions and any problems that arise resulting from the work. A professional person will take action to resolve the issue.
When someone has a strong work ethic, they make sure the work gets done properly. This means that work is consistently done well and efficiently executed.
Getting a job unarguably requires that you must have good communication skills(written/oral).It is important to be able to communicate your thoughts and ideas with clarity and focus. This allows you to be engaging and connect and convince other people. the growth of cross-office collaboration and social media tools increases the need to communicate effectively.
WAYS TO DEVELOP COMMUNICATION SKILLS
The better you listen, the better you are at communication. Don’t just listen for the sake of replying instead make sure you understand the complete message of the speaker while he/she speaks.
Know who you are talking to
It is very important to match your tone with the person you are talking with. You wouldn’t talk to a client the same way you would with your boss.
A lot of the workplace information gets communicated via text and email. Learn business writing and keep your email messages short but easy to comprehend.
Keep it positive
No matter how stressed you are, or how difficult the situation appears to try to stay positive. Always put your team first and never make it personal.