It’s easy to see why parents rely on colleges and universities to make their children employable. Higher institutions provide students with the technical skills to do their jobs in their various fields. But, while those technical skills are undoubtedly essential, there’s more to being employable. Let’s check out What Do Employers Want From Applicants.
These days, employers look beyond technical skills. They want candidates who are the right fit for their workplace culture, which is where parents come in. This article discusses how you can help your children improve their employability skills.
7 Employability Skills to Cultivate in Your Children
Outside the technical skills, your child will acquire in college, there are other skills employers will consider before hiring a candidate. A study by Harvard economics professor, David Deming, suggests that within the next 20 years, the highest paying jobs will go to those not with education alone but to those with people’s skills.
This means that there are specific social skills your child needs to possess to make them more employable. Below are some vital skills and how parents can develop them in their children. Here are guidelines for Developing Social Skills in Children
Solving problems is a vital skill that can set your child apart. Employers are always on the lookout for those who can develop creative solutions to unprecedented problems. Thankfully, children can develop problem-solving skills as they grow into adults.
One of the easiest ways to develop problem-solving skills is to break down complex problems into stages. Start with getting the child to identify the problem. Then let them define the goals they want to achieve in the end. After that, the child can explore different ways of solving the same problem.
Empathy might not seem like one of those skills that can make your child more employable. But it does.
Every business either sells goods or provides services, both targeted at people. And to fit into the culture of their company, recruiters would want to know if a potential employee can inhabit another’s shoes to understand what they want and provide solutions. “If you want to build a better salesperson, teach them empathy. That helps them relate better. If you want to build a better grocery cart, teach empathy,” says Anabel Jensen, president of 6 Seconds, an organization dedicated to teaching people to develop and use their emotional intelligence.
You can help your child cultivate empathy by encouraging them to imagine how others feel and be more compassionate. Here we discuss more for Teaching Children Empathy
- Self-Motivation and Discipline
Many people struggle with self-motivation in adulthood. And self-motivation is growing increasingly important as the world hurtles toward a gig economy. Employers will be looking for employees they can count on to get stuff done without constant supervision.
To encourage self-motivation, create opportunities for the child to feel successful and accomplished. For example, give them age-appropriate, fun, meaningful, and relevant tasks but avoid attaching a reward to them. Instead, make them understand the essential value of any assigned task.
- Coachability and Flexibility
Flexibility and being coachable are in-demand traits among employers. Recruiters want to know their prospective employees are flexible and open to being coached. In addition, they need to receive feedback without taking it personally. So, developing open-mindedness in your child will serve them in the long run.
You can start teaching your child to accept feedback gracefully and remain open-minded from early on in life. “Kids, by 5 or 6 years old, are ready cognitively to appreciate that other people are observing and evaluating them,” says Frances Stott, a professor at the Erikson Institute, a nationally renowned graduate school in child development. At that point, you can start offering the child criticisms and feedback and let them tell you what they will do differently next time. Here we discuss more about Teaching Your Child the Value of Time and Money
- Confidence and Leadership
Leadership and self-confidence go hand in hand. A leader supports others, communicates, gives credit, and is organized, accountable and confident enough to admit their mistakes.
You need to encourage your child to participate in team activities, practice confident communication, and hone their decision-making abilities. “Teach your children to weigh the pros and cons of each option in order to make the most informed decision possible,” says Kristy Rampton, founder of Buttercups. “This will help them to make correct decisions in everyday life.”
Other strategies that can help parents develop their children’s leadership skills include enrolling them in summer camps, volunteering, surrounding them with leaders, and having them deliver toasts during family gatherings.
- Presentation and Personal Branding
Presentation in this context is a lot broader. It involves knowing how to present oneself, skills, and ideas through speech, CVs, bios, cover letters, portfolios, and PowerPoint presentations. Having excellent presentation skills enables your child to brand and market themself, convincing recruiters of their abilities. And when hired, they’d be able to present ideas, shape thoughts, and introduce trends within the company.
Presentation depends on the strength of an individual’s written and spoken communication. Encourage your child to make reading and journaling their daily routine from an early age. They can even go further to create a blog, join a debate club, or write handwritten letters to extended family members from time to time. Watching TED talks is also an excellent way to learn how to present their ideas to an audience orally and visually.
- Adaptability and Initiative
Adaptable people can alter their behavior to fit specific changes in the workplace. While proactive people get things done without waiting for a supervisor to tell them to do it. These two qualities are especially important to recruiters because most employees will have to learn new technologies on the job in the near future. The ability to proactively reinvent oneself is like a superpower.
To instill adaptability, you need to teach the child to think of the opportunities a new situation might hold instead of seeing every change as bad. You can start instilling adaptability by observing and noting how your child reacts to change. A pattern will emerge, showing the exact trait you need to tackle.
The next step is to get to the root cause of their reaction. You can do this by talking with the child. Get to understand their concerns and why they’re reacting the way they do.
Offer Unconditional Support
The key to instilling all the above qualities is for your child to know and feel that they have your unconditional support and love. Your love and support shouldn’t be based on whether they’re meeting your expectations.
Listen to your child, validate their feelings, and be a sounding board. When they’re failing at something, encourage them. Acknowledge the task is difficult but remind the child that they can do difficult things.