You graduated… so what?
Employers are identifying a trend in their newly graduated employees— lack of soft skills. In particular, personal attributes that allow an individual to interact effectively with other people (i.e. transitional, transferable and foundational skills). Experts have also found that individuals change careers five to seven times in their lifetime. Regardless of what degree, career, field, job, or industry you go into, employers value soft skills.
Throughout my research, I have circled and come back to the soft skills employers, professional business bloggers, and labor analysts say are valued the most:
- Team work skills
- Critical thinking
- Social skills
- Interpersonal communication/ cultural sensitivity
- Problem solving
- Conflict resolution
- Work ethic
Despite common beliefs, soft skills can be taught and improved. Like with any problem, the first step is identification. Asking peers, colleagues and friends, as painful as it sounds, could be beneficial if you really want progress.
How CIS Can Help
The Idaho Career Information System (CIS) has information and activities that can help users identify and gain soft skills.
Here are a few helpful CIS activities:
Good Work Habits
Good Work Habits helps you identify work habits that will set you apart and help you succeed on the job.
Workplace Employability Skills
The Workplace Employability Skills Assessment can help you evaluate your employability skills.
Workplace Skills Worksheet
The Workplace Skills worksheet help you explore explore important basic workplace skills and identify improvement strategies
Remember: Your degree will get you the job, soft skills will keep you there.
– Inessa Palnikov, user services coordinator
Idaho Career Information System