It used to be that you had one career until the day you reached retirement, but these days it’s not uncommon for members of the workforce to switch jobs or even fields during their employment years.
This can be a difficult yet satisfying move, but if you have the right set of skills in place, it will be that much easier to find a new direction that you love. If you can do these five things, you’re right on track to make it happen.
There isn’t much micromanaging that goes on these days, and who would want a job with someone hovering over them all the time? If an employer can see that you can get organized on your own, manage your time, and take the initiative, you’re off to a great start.
Someone who can work independently means other employees can focus on their own projects, increasing the productivity of the company.
Teamwork & Communication
Interpersonal skills are a big selling point. Very few jobs let you sit in an office without interaction anymore. It’s great if you know how to work alone, but what if a project requires a group effort? Showing that you can work alongside others and communicate with them may make all the difference.
Communication skills involve more than just making small talk or exchanging information. Employees at all levels need to be proficient in conflict resolution and demonstrating empathy when dealing with co-workers and customers. The modern world is focused intensely on the customer experience, so being able to negotiate and be persuasive while making clients feel comfortable is a must.
Perhaps you think you do really well with both of the above, but how do you keep them balanced? Employers want to work with individuals who can see what they see as workloads change and deadlines approach, as well as a healthy balance between their work and personal life.
The ability to smooth out the details is great, but if you’re flexible and can recognize when the big picture requires your manpower elsewhere, you’ll quickly become an asset to the team. This demonstrates that you can think smart and solve problems, and that you’re ready to face any challenges that may come your way.
Believe it or not, there is still a good deal of dishonesty on resumes and in interviews, and employers are looking for a sincere, honest person who is dedicated to doing good work. If you don’t have the appropriate specialized skills, your eagerness to learn could make up the difference. If you have special circumstances or a disability, employers are happy to work with you, so don’t be afraid to say you might need some extra help. You may even be taking part in placement services that are helping you to learn necessary skills.
Other personal qualities they look for are professionalism and confidence, but just as important is your level of respect for the people you work with and the customers you serve. If you can’t do small things like be on time or wear the appropriate attire, you may be out of the job sooner than you think. They’ll also keep an eye on you to see if you know your own limits. How are you at accepting feedback or asking for help? If you’re not sure, spend some time learning something new so you can practice using and improving those skills.
21st Century Skills
Twenty years ago, the list might have ended there, but with the 21st century’s affinity for technology and global outreach, you should have at least a basic knowledge of standard software and the internet.
It’s very likely that you’ll use the Microsoft Office suite, and if you want to work in digital design on any level, you might need to know a bit about Photoshop, the full Adobe InDesign suite, or navigating a Mac system. Luckily, it’s easy to find classes to brush up on these skills, either in your community or online.
Another skill that can boost your chances is experience with a second language. With your expertise, the company may start reaching out to new countries and audiences they couldn’t have tapped into otherwise.