Exploring the world of employment and jobs can be depressing during these tough economic times. Most people have a common understanding of skill, but defined precisely what is meant by the word “employability” is problematic. A real difficulty is the lack of common terminology and the connotations and historic traditions behind the words “skill” and “skilled”. Historically, skill has been associated with being skilled having gone through a period of training. Choosing the right career path is more challenging and even vocational guides, recruiters and human resources professionals do not have all the answers. Strategically using job search engine and networking through online listing services, putting together a professional looking resume and practicing interviewing skills are valuable steps in securing a position.
“Education makes a person trainable; training makes the person employable; attitude and continuous learning keep the person employed.”
Human resources development, education and training contribute significantly to promoting the interests of young people, enterprises and society. Employers can contribute to youth development by ensuring that what young people learn actually boosts, among other things, their employability. Education and training should cultivate in them the skills that employers need to compete locally and internationally. Young people are most employable when they have broad based education and training, basic and portable skills including core skills such as team work, problem solving, knowledge of information and communication technologies and language skills.
“Education, Skills development and lifelong learning are at the center of all innovative and high productivity economies.”
Also constant adaptation to technology, thinking creatively and innovatively, having the can-do attitude, demonstrating personal discipline, practicing impeccable integrity, embracing diversity and assumption of responsibility and making decisions are some key factors that leads to the employability of a person. Other factors that helps to make person employable includes knowledge and abilities relating to a particular job, the ability to identify suitable job opportunities, self presentation, ability to manage others, ability to work under pressure, good oral communication and communication in writing for varied purposes.
One of the many initiatives that employers can undertake to promote the employability of young people is to become involved in initiatives related to their career guidance. This can include visiting individual schools for career days and providing information about specific occupations to school graduates. Other measures including taking part in recruitment fairs and inviting groups of young people at the work place.
Getting any job and staying in one of the current economic climate often means being realistic and expedient. But it becomes a vicious circle if you do not invest in yourself. Being employable creates far more security than simply being employed. It is vital to look past the task of simple “getting a job” and to take a strategic approach. That means being much clearer about who are you as a person, what you want, in which direction you are going and how you will get these.
Building and sustaining your employability is not a quick fix yet it is a lifelong commitment.
To be employed, you still have to be capable in your subject. The critical path to being employable is in knowing yourself, discovering the ‘sweet spot’ between your unique offering as a person and the needs of employers and then promoting yourself effectively. In a time with no guarantees of job security, when the very concept of a “job” is rapidly being replaced by “portable skills”, this is the prime quality that makes and keeps the person employable. Gender has also been seen to play a major role. Jobs dominated by women and often requiring softer skills in particular those which are regarded as innate abilities, have been seen as requiring little real skill.