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Employability Skills Check List

| by Victor Cherubim

( December 26, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) We know that as an essential prerequisite for working for oneself, or someone else where wages are minimal and/or real income dependent on market forces, the need to use as many methods to seek an occupation, is becoming the norm. As they say, all the best employers as well as entrepreneurs are all the time looking for talent in the workplace.

One sure way researchers maintain employability can be guaranteed, is when human intelligence outperforms computer technology. As we review products and services which cannot be computerised, we design our skill set to add to the way we secure a living and are on demand.

If you work from home doing as much or as little as one wants or for an employer for a competitive or a mule wage, it revolves round getting your expertise to answer and get paid. You can set your price for your labour, if you can command the skill set.

Types of Skills

There is a variety of skills on demand in the marketplace of today.

First of all are the Practical Skills. These include stamina, agility, fitness and ability to build things, using machines/tools and/or resorting to mundane jobs skills.

Secondly is expertise in the Arts. These can be categorised as creativity, design, inquisitiveness and cultural taste.

Thirdly, are the Analytical skills. In this category is Logic, interest in Maths, Forecasting, Budgeting, and Administrative skills.

Next we may add Computer orientation skills and dexterity of use of computer programmes.

There are the skills akin to Performing Arts, including Improvisation with Visual Arts and Crafts among them.

Emotional and aptitude skills comprise interpersonal, teamwork and team-building.

Another skill-set is Negotiation and personal listening. We may include Problem Solving
and similar service within this category.

Last but by no means least of the above skills is Coaching, Teaching, Managing others and
Self Management.

What are skills that cannot be computerised?

Though there are few skills that are not technology savvy for computerisation, research shows more and more skills, including replicating how the mind functions, are beginning to be processed and analysed. It used to be that humans could not be cloned. But some human characteristics have attracted much research in science laboratories recently. Artificial limbs, body parts, stem cells transplants and grafting and many more technological advances are in the pipeline.

The job assignment that cannot be computerised is, perhaps, not up to us, but up to the technocrats. Jobs requiring interpersonal and intuitive skills, because of the human interface, such as Nursing and other non repetitive functionality of work, plus any human interactive work, may fight hard to keep up the pressure on innovation.

What is most important in a Job?

There was a time that job satisfaction was paramount in a job. What is seen today as important comprise 1. Salary. 2. Hours of work. 3. Location and lastly, Job seekers’ Interests. How you approach work opportunities, part-time, full-time and or several jobs to supplement wages or going self employed, is the choice in the market.

The way job applications were forwarded is a thing of the past. With email and online contacts, prospective applicants are now front of mind to hear about work. They let would- be employers know well in advance, that they are on the lookout. While job scouts are looking for talent for difficult to fill vacancies.

Be your own boss

Today, being your own boss is “cool”. But how many could turn a hobby into a job? How many could stand the strain of up’s and downs’ of being in business. Of course, what you are good at will always count. For those who prefer a “soft landing,” being on an Employer’s radar, being interview ready is the best preparation for a job. For the business minded, they appear to have researched their niche.

Spectrum of opportunity

To sustain and broaden the recovery in the UK jobs market and perhaps, in Sri Lanka, the oil price fall is generally good for employment. On the other hand, prices could slump to as low as $43 in first half of next year, testing the shale producers producing oil at these price levels. The result can mean oil companies spending cuts, defer significant investment. In this scenario, employment could be affected.

But what we are seeing, as Japan is ramping up production of auto spares, US at long last is creating more jobs, China is outsourcing some jobs, India is slowly but surely building new cities, President Rajapaksa and the Common Candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, both have committed to cheaper pump prices, oil is a growth booster. Cheap oil, cheap food and cheap money, is good for jobs and taking a Skills Check List is not a bad idea. The winner in the Presidential election is the one who can deliver employment.

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