Group Blog # 2 – Employability Skills

Introduction

When it comes to the topic of employability skills it’s hard to have one general idea in mind. As a group, we narrowed down what we thought were the most important and successful parts. Starting off with time management and how you can properly prepare for that dream job, to making that first impression in your interview. Leading on to how to focus on the proper goals and values in your life to better your own personal well-being at home. Lastly, there’s that one question everyone asks, how to work effectively in a team environment? We have an answer, and if you follow these steps we guarantee your employability skills will be much more efficient in the end.  

Goals
What Are Goals?

Dictionary Definition: The object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Not only is setting goals important in your personal life. Setting goals is important in your professional life. S.M.A.R.T goal setting is an abbreviation for the phrase “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based”. Setting goals aids in motivating yourself in completing tasks in a timely fashion. There are two types of goals; long term and short term goals. Starting small with goals in your personal life gives practice and basic knowledge of goal setting that can aid in setting goals in a professional setting later.

A Few small things you can do to practice goal setting in your personal life.

  1. Create a daily to-do list.
  2. Finish tasks on daily to do list.
  3. Set health goals.
  4. Create spiritual goals for yourself.
  5. Plan everything in advance.
  6. Distinguish between short and long term goals you desire to achieve

Working in a Team:

No matter what your job is, chances are at some point you’ll be required to work with other people, as a team. Being able to be an effective and helpful team member is an essential skill that is highly recommended you develop. When you are able to work efficiently independently as well as in a group setting, it shows diversity and flexibility. It is quite an adjustment from being able to make a plan of action for yourself versus a group of people, so here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Divide Up the Task

  • If you can assign each member of the group a specific job, it will be a lot easier to make sure that everything gets done, and that there are no overlaps with parts of the task.
  • Try giving each group member a role, so that each person has something that they are in charge of looking over. For example – Editor, Coordinator or Research Leader.

Communicate

  • Effective and open communication is key to a group dynamic; each group member should be included and up to date on the progress of the task
  • Ask for clarification – your group members are there for a reason. They would be more than happy to help assist you if you’re having difficulties.

Get Creative

  • When brainstorming with a group of people, there is the opportunity for new fresh ideas, and perspectives you may not have considered before.
  • Make sure to acknowledge everyone’s input, and not turn it down before careful consideration
  • Recognize strengths and weaknesses within the group, and appropriately plan

Give Feedback

  • If you are open and honest with constructive criticism, it will not only help the person to better perform their task, but it will benefit the group overall as well
  • If there is a conflict within the group, always recognize it and try to resolve it as soon as possible. The situation will only grow and become worse if left alone.

Respect

  • Working closely with others give you the opportunity to see another way of doing things, and it’s important to respect other people’s values, beliefs, and opinions
  • Always support and encourage your team members, treat them as you would wish to be treated

Set Goals

  • As a group, set goals along the way to completing your final task, it will keep group members on track and motivated
  • When you reach your goals, it will help to further bond the group, as it takes everyone’s participation to get there

Workplace Values

Having workplace values are one of the most important segments in being successful. Being able to problem solve and lead your coworkers. Conducting yourself in a professional manner as well as being a team player. All listed skills are great skills to have in order to be an asset to any company you apply for a position with.

Values: Examples:
Accountability
  • Being responsible for his or her actions in the workplace
  • Owning up to your mistakes versus blaming a co-worker.
Respect
  • Important to respect your coworkers also equally important to respect yourself in the workplace.
  • Treating others how you’d want to be treated is a key to being successful in the workplace.
  • Accepting all coworkers regardless of differences.
Integrity
  • Following the moral or ethical set in place in the workplace.
  • Doing right in all situations.
  • Being true to yourself.
  • Taking pride in your work.
Diligence
  • Persistent, hard working, and careful employee
Perseverance
  • A steady and consistent employee no matter how difficult task at hand seems.
Discipline
  • An employee that behaves in a manner that obeys rules
Collaboration
  • Able to contribute ideas and work well with co-workers.
  • Team player
Conduct
  • Personal behavior in the place.
  • Being able to manage yourself. (Time management also critical to success)
  • Ability to lead coworkers.

Acing That First Impression

In today’s busy world finding a job can be a long, grueling, and  difficult process. Employers of today have a large pool of highly educated candidates to pick from. They use simple but effective tools to select the perfect person or people that are most fit for the job. Having a strong resume is important at displaying your education and knowledge but lacking interview skills can limit the candidate’s chance altogether. Remember, your interview starts the moment you walk into the room so let us look at some ways we can improve interviewing skills.

 “Like it or not, you are being judged by how you look, how you dress, and how you carry yourself—and, if you’re lucky, how you do your job”(Kissel,2013). It’s unfortunate that your skills can be looked over by someone having a nicer haircut, or because you had a stain on your tie, but first impressions count. Luckily there are simple ways on how to turn a nerve wrecking experience into a simple and successful interview.

Smile: When you walk into an interview a smile can make a person appear more attractive, sociable and confident (Harris,2015). It is known that people who smile more during an interview look confident, and are more likely to be hired. Looking grumpy or sad will instantly get your potential employer a negative reaction to your personality (Harris,2015).

Strong HandshakeA strong firm handshake tells your employer that you are confident, social and a professional (Harris,2015). If your handshake is too strong or too week this can show a lack of confidence in yourself or you are over confident (Harris,2015).

Body Language: Body language shows that you are confident and competent in what you are discussing with your future employer. You want to sit straight upright your feet planted firmly on the floor with your arms at your sides (Harris,2015). Never cross your arms, this can give your future employer the thought that you are uncomfortable or hiding something from your conversation. Keep eye contact when appropriate, especially when talking to your future boss. Without eye contact, they might feel that you are uncomfortable or that you have no interest in being there (Harris,2015).

Positivity: Be positive in your interview. Turn your discussion into a pleasant one because an employer is more likely to hire someone whose company they enjoy (Harris,2015). Be sure to ask questions and be engaged in discussions. Confidence can make you feel more self-fulfilled and make you more confident in your interview (Harris,2015).

Energy: Show energy in your interview (Harris,2015). If you looking excited and energetic give your future employer the idea that you are really looking forward to this position and you will give it 100%. By doing this you will give the right first impression (Harris,2015).

First impressions are important in an interview. From the moment you walk in the door with a smile to the end of the interview where you give a firm confident handshake, your employer is evaluating you. Just remember, when you take those first steps into your next interview, your employer is not only looking for a great personality but also how you present yourself to them and others around you.

 Time management

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          Time management is an important quality to have when applying for a job and to keep that job once you are hired. Sometimes time is the deciding factor in the workplace when it comes to deadlines and even just applying for a job at the perfect moment. Here are a few steps that you can take to hopefully help you in some way to achieve this.

  1. When looking for a job it’s important to continuously check job boards and job listings for the most recent updates. Being the first person to show up at the location with your resume or the first to apply online, will make a good impression and create a higher chance of employability. 
  2. Once you have a job it is important to realize that no matter how much you procrastinate or put a deadline of the due date will eventually come. There is a Chinese proverb that says “no amount of gold will buy you time once it has passed.” (Siang, 2006). This means that the more time you waste there will be less time to be successful. Don’t forget that just because you got the job doesn’t mean you can’t lose it to.   
  3. Realizing which projects are more important than others and prioritizing is a key tip to remember (Siang, 2006). Try to divide things up into categories, what is most important that needs to be finished first? What task comes second to that? What you can do later, and what is something that you can scratch off the list altogether if possible?
  4. Having a daily planner, an agenda or some form of note system can help you stay up to date on tasks and is a great way to always stay on schedule(Siang,2006). Here you can write down all the important dates for deadlines, meetings, doctors appointments and more. This can also help you plan your vacation time and or to book time off for important events that you may have planned in the future.
  5. Mental health and overall health is also a big factor when thinking about time management. Remember to try to eat healthy foods, stay hydrated, exercise and get plenty of sleep (Siang,2006). You must take care of yourself first before you can be successful in your daily activities.

 

Conclusion:

In summary, if one follows the given material, success in finding a job will come easily to them. Keep in mind that when meeting with a potential employer for the first time, first impressions are very important and crucial to furthering your career. Secondly setting goals and having workplace values will  guide you in succeeding in the workplace. Finally, Time management skills will aid in keeping your job and staying organized and keeping on top of tasks.

 

 

Bibliography

Amico, S. (n.d.). Workplace Values & Ethics. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/workplace-values-ethics-4887.html

Dilenschneider, R. L. (n.d.). 5 Core Values for the Workplace. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-l-dilenschneider/business-advice_b_3829655.html

Dogra, A. (n.d.). These Personal Goal Examples Will Help You Prioritize Right. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/personal-goals-examples.html

Gregory, A. (n.d.). Here Are Some Business Goals That Follow the SMART Criteria. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from https://www.thebalance.com/smart-goal-examples-2951827

Harris, P. (2015, October 16). Four things employers decide about you in four seconds. Retrieved November 12, 2016, from http://careers.workopolis.com/advice/first-impressions-four-things-employers-decide-about-you-in-four-seconds/

Kissel, T. (2013, March 20). You are judged by your appearance. Retrieved November 13, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/tykiisel/2013/03/20/you-are-judged-by-your-appearance/#285ff1f30f0c

Siang, L. Y. (2006, March 30). The importance of Time Management for Career Success. Retrieved November 06, 2016, from http://www.career-success-for-newbies.com/importance-of-time-management.html

The, B. (n.d.). Understanding Workplace Values: Finding the Best Cultural Fit. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/understanding-workplace-values.htm

University of Wisconsin-Greenbay. (2006, February 7). Managing Time for Success in College. Retrieved November 06, 2016, from https://www.uwgb.edu/tutoring/resources/managing.asp

(n.d.). Personal Goal Setting: Planning to Live Your Life Your Way. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from https://www.mindtools.com/page6.html

U. (2011, July 11). Back to School – College & University – Effective Time Management for Mental Health. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from http://www.cbc.ca/backtoschool/2011/07/effective-time-management-for-mental-health.html

U. (n.d.). Effective Team-Working Skills. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/team-working.html

U. (2015, September 08). Working with others tip sheet. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/essential_skills/tools/wwo_tip_sheet.page

 

Group Members

Chelsey Wilson

Diamond Fortier

Jason Newbold

Kirby Silverthorn

 

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