7 characteristics of employability

It’s obvious that change is accelerating unabated.  I don’t have to convince you of that. No area is immune to its reality- particularly in careers. People change careers an average of six times in a lifetime. One reason is the increasing importance of being a “free agent”. To remain marketable in today’s business client means adjusting to change through reinvention. Employment is no longer defined in terms of spending an entire career with one organization. It is marked by a serial ability to flex and shift according to the changing needs of the organization. It is becoming self-reliant.

Those who are career resilient are the ones most employable. The following is a list of seven characteristics of employability in today’s day and age.

contributing team member Business gurus have been advocating for effective team work for some time now. The reason training in team work continues is because it’s so difficult to accomplish effectively. Relationships are messy and to congeal all personality types into a cohesive whole is tough. We are also conditioned away from team work. Think about education. We are penalized for collaborating with others in our school work. We are marked down for cheating if we do. We then ask our graduates to collaborate with others or they get marked down if they don’t.

effective communication Effective communication occurs when a clear message is delivered. We live in a noisy world. The value of most information today has collapsed to zero. The only scarce resource today is attention. We capture it with clarity. Work on refining every message you send so that it makes sense and there is little chance for miscommunication. A great resource for this is the SCORRE conference.

adaptability to change. One of the competencies I deal with in my training and keynotes is a persistent adaptation. This is part and parcel of resilience. In careers, employability becomes enhanced when we can “turn on a dime” and go in a different direction if need be and learn new skills. It’s easy to get set in our ways. We miss important opportunities because we refuse to budge.

positive and flexible attitudes. We become more employable when we are optimistic and open to new ideas. Continually scan the horizon for emerging trends that will require a “reboot” in your thinking and be positive about what you can learn from them. Don’t let a resistance to change turn you into a sour puss.

continuous learning, This never stops. We are students of life and life changes all the time. We may think we got it all figured out, but the reality is we are only scratching the surface of what can be known. Seek out opportunities to learn whether it’s through a class at the local university or in the school of hard knocks. Write down the lessons as you learn them.

self-confidence, It’s so easy to second guess ourselves or become emotionally paralyzed by the pressures inflicted upon us by our culture. Being self confident is different from being cocky. Self confidence is compelling to others because it focuses outwardly. Self confidence allows us to focus graciously on others and release our true selves.

willingness to take risks Five frogs were on a log when one of the frog decides to jump off. How many frogs are left on the log? Five. There is big difference between deciding to jump and actually jumping. We can make all kinds of decisions but unless we act on them they will never come to fruition. Step boldly into the unknown and be part of its development

commitment to personal excellence. Don’t settle for second best. Personal excellence isn’t a competition to best others. It is the relentless stewardship to be our best. It’s also not trying to be something we are not. Taking consistent care of ourselves emotionally, spiritually, and physically helps our lives to matter.

Being perpetually employable is up to you. It is being career resilient by embodying, displaying, and enacting particular characteristics.

What other ways are there to become more employable? What are roadblocks that keep us from being more so?

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Posted in adaptation, Attitude, Behavior, business, Change, Cognition, Communication, Community, Competencies, courage, Future, mind set, Relationships, resilience, self-reflection

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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