Are you working on your e-factor? - Life skills
There are a range of skills that employers look for regardless of the industry you want to work on. So have you got the employability factor?
Particularly when employing young people, employers hope that they’ll have some technical knowledge they can use as part of their job. Make an effort to stay connected and dip into the different social networks, websites and technology that’s about, as you never know when it could help you out at work. College has loads of great devices and resources for you to use.
On top of this, English and maths are important, even if you don't think you’ll ever use them again. Employers want you to be literate and able to calculate things, and communicate with customers and clients efficiently.
Some people are naturally great with people, and others would happily go a whole day without speaking to another human. Whatever end of the scale you’re on, it's totally fine. But as a rule, you need to be able to communicate with people through email, be okay on the phone, and present yourself in a good manner. It's business etiquette and is mostly universal. Being friendly and polite isn't hard, and if you’re very shy, work on trying to speak to people when you’re doing little things and try to grow your confidence that way. We guarantee if you ask a check-out assistant how their day is going, it will be well received.
Again, there are some who are natural team players, and other people who prefer working in an environment where they are on their own. But you need to be able to respect other people’s ideas and behaviour and listen and contribute whatever career you're in. You can build these skills in your lessons, with your team mates, or even at home as part of a family.
What happened that time you went to catch the last bus home and it didn’t turn up, leaving you in the middle of nowhere? That’s an example of a problem-solving situation. You would have had to think about where you were, what other forms of transport there were around, and who would be best to contact to help. Be prepared that in the workplace you may have to deal with problems and find solutions.
Initiative and enterprise
Initiative can translate to ‘thinking independently’. Work on beginning to rely on yourself more – you’ll be surprised if you stop leaning on your parents or friends for certain things how much you are capable of doing.
Planning and organising
Are you someone who leaves everything to the last minute? That’s a habit you might want to work on before you start work. Business owners often know that time equals money, so it's good to practice staying on top of things – even if it's keeping the cat food topped up all week! Or you could take the lead on organising a day out with your friends.
This sounds a bit technical, but really, it’s understanding yourself and how your personality and style changes how you work. Start to think about how you react to situations and the kind of environments you work best in. For example, if you’re very loud or like to chat (which we love!), you might not work well in an office with three people who like to work in silence.
Don't forget to catch up with the careers team if you need a little guidance!