Life Skills Employers Value in a Fast-Changing Corporate Environment

Rapid transformation can be considered the most dominant feature of our times. Factors such as technology, climate change, changing demographics and more continue to drive this fast approaching paradigm shift. Nowhere is this change and uncertainty more visible than in the world of work. On the one hand, there are unique trends in the century such as “The Great Resignation”, while on the other hand, there is a pronounced shortage of skilled labor in all sectors. Overall, there is a growing mismatch between skills and jobs. And for those who come from vulnerable backgrounds, these inequalities in the labor market are even more exacerbated. So the question now is how to help teenagers and young adults improve their chances of employability?

Education is almost immediately touted as the solution to all of these socio-economic problems, and while that is certainly important, we often fail to see how narrow traditional education can be. To meet current and future employer demands, learning must be a much more holistic experience, which includes life skills training.

Why life skills education is non-negotiable

Essentially, life skills are a set of cognitive and social abilities that can help people develop more positive behavior in difficult or dynamic environments. Adopting life skills at an impressionable age can be transformative and better prepare young adults for work, facilitating smooth transitions to adulthood or livelihoods. Life skills have the power to break the cycle of economic instability and poverty, which makes them invaluable for a country like India, which has one of the adolescent populations (253 million) and highest young people in the world.

Below is a list of life skills that are high on employers’ radars and are considered essential skills for life and work in the 21st century by the ILO (International Labor Organization).

Effective communication and participation

We often think that communication is just the ability to talk to each other. However, communication is much more than that; it involves verbal and non-verbal cues in both digital and offline environments. Offices today have a multitude of online work platforms to facilitate collaboration, and peer-to-peer communication is key to building healthy relationships with colleagues inside and outside the office space. work.

Problem solving

Traditional education models, especially in India, often focused on rote learning and pure retention of concepts. However, when placed in the real world, it is not very helpful to young learners. Today, companies are looking for people who can come up with innovative solutions to problems and who can analyze and objectively assess a situation.

Team work

Being a team player can give employees a definite edge in the workplace and help them advance their careers. And in a remote work setup, that’s more important than ever. Therefore, fostering a spirit of teamwork and collaboration through activities such as sports can have a significant impact in helping adolescents develop collaborative skills that can help them on their journey to the work market.

self management

Often overlooked as minor soft skills, these EQ-based skills are crucial in today’s work environments where burnout and work-life balance are major issues. Being able to assess your progress and identify areas for self-improvement is invaluable practice that can help people of all ages, especially young people. Add to that the ability to stay mindful, and we ourselves have emotionally intelligent individuals who can be resilient in stressful situations in a more balanced way.

Learn to learn

Learning to learn is defined as the ability to apply the cognitive processes of personal learning and to use guidance to continually pursue learning, explore new frontiers of knowledge, acquire skills and strive for self-improvement. to improve. This ability to persevere and keep learning is a valuable life skill that can enable young people to improve in the workplace and become assets to the organizations in which they work.

In the age of automation and the advent of Industry 5.0, life skills will continue to be valued alongside technical abilities because they cannot be replicated by machines. Therefore, the cost of not teaching them is just too high.

The author is the global CEO of Magic Bus Foundation.

(The one-stop destination for MSMEs, ET RISE provides news, views and analysis on GST, exports, finance, policy and small business management.)

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