Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn, a quote by P. Sweet
“So, how do I prepare for jobs of the future?”
This is a question that is understandably on the minds of many young people.
Researchers, educators, and politicians are trying to guess and prepare for what the future may bring. Their focus remains on the fourth industrial revolution and with it the technological innovations in fields such as artificial intelligence, 3D technology, nanotechnology, and innovation biology. And while they are mostly guessing what type of technological skills could possibly be needed, they are certain about the importance of what they like to call Soft Skills.
No Clear Definition
The problem with soft skills is that neither the definition nor the label is clearly stated.
Some define soft skills as people skills such as, communication and interpersonal skills. Others believe that they are professional skills such as, leadership or mentorship. And others call them transferable skills highlighting the importance of teamwork and adaptability. You may also find them defined as self-management skills, such as developing a growth mindset or building resilience.
Skills for Success
Government of Canada proposed the Skills for Success model which focuses on “skills needed for work, learning and life”.
According to the Government of Canada website, these Skills for Success are the nine skills employers are looking for:
Rather than calling them soft skills, another label is suggested for communication, collaboration, adaptability and creativity and innovation, namely, Social Emotional Skills.
The good news is that research is showing that with a little bit of focus and hard work, we all can develop these skills. So there is no need for you to worry if you feel that you may be underperforming in these skills
What's My Definition Of Soft Skills?
In case you are curious, my definition of soft skills incorporates all the stated views. I have yet to write a clear definition and a definite label.
Regardless of the label, everyone agrees that soft skills (I choose to use this label for now) are the skills that you need to succeed in any career, now and in the future. Whether you are a chef, a mechanical engineer, or a family physician, soft skills will help you navigate your day to day challenges.
Utilizing Soft Skills
A chef, for example, will need communication skills to be able to communicate his recipes to others. He will need leadership skills to lead his partners or employees in the kitchen. She will need to adapt to deal with any problems that may arise in her kitchen. And finally, he or she will need to keep revisiting the recipes in order to stay competitive and successful.
The Future Is Now
Looking into the future, you know you need to prepare yourself for a career that is unstable. A career that will require you to move from one position to the next as new skills are required. A career that you have to manage yourself, because no one has experienced it before. And most importantly, a career that reflects a challenge and purpose of your choice. Developing and strengthening your soft skills will get you ready.
Take Charge Or Go With The Flow
You may choose to ignore all of the above and go with the flow. I see nothing wrong with this choice, as long as you are content to wait and adapt to the new changes as they come along. All things considered, if you are happy, then you are probably doing what needs to be done. Another option would be for you to reflect, take charge of your future and create your own pathway.
To me, the choice is clear! Be your own agent for personal development by committing to lifelong learning as well as a lifetime of reflecting on your personal value and the particular challenges you choose. You will be glad you did!
It actually starts with us understanding what makes us happy - Dr Ingo Rauth
Looking for a tool that helps you find out what makes you happy?
I Have a Question for You
When was the last time you checked in on your BEAVI©?
It is crucial that you review your BEAVI© once a year if not more often.
What Does BEAVI© Stand for?
It is an acronym I came up with for an assessment tool I use with my clients. Feel free to play around with the words and create your own acronym.
What’s the tool’s name? Discover your BEAVI©
The acronym and tool facilitate reflection on what makes you happy, what gives you meaning and what motivates you to act i.e., the thing that prompts you to get up and elevates your energy to start doing stuff.
BEAVI is an acronym for:
B - Beliefs
E - Experiences
A - Abilities/Skills
V - Values
I - Interests
How Do I Use it?
With my support and assistance clients proceed to unravel the value of these five factors through powerful inquisitive questioning and exercises that raise awareness, stimulate reflection, and provide in-depth insight into my clients’ BEAVI©.
A Discover your BEAVI© result underscores each client’s unique repertoire. The assessment tool is very simple and its power lies in its simplicity.
Clients are allowed to use technology to fill it up if they choose. However, I encourage clients to try it as is initially and only use technology as a last resort. This is because I believe that relying on technology may take away the opportunity to be introspective when reflecting on your BEAVI©.
Here is what the chart looks like. I urge you to print it and fill it up on your own.
Career Self-Assessment - Chart Discover your Beavi©
Answer the Following Questions
Self-assessment plays an important role in helping you discover what is most important to you. Your task is to focus on what you can do and choose the category that you think is a best fit. As you explore your self-assessment chart, think about your everyday behaviour. The questions below are provided to help you create your chart. There is no right or wrong answer. You do not need to answer the questions, they are provided to help you fill the chart.
Try it out, find your BEAVI© and get started in understanding what make you happy.
I look forward to your feedback! Connect with me if you have any questions or concerns.
As for the future, your task is not to foresee it but to enable it.
A quote by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
My clients, new acquaintances as well as many of you, my dear readers of my blog, often ask how did I uncover my career path. Here is a snippet of my career journey along with some tips that I hope will help you find your career path.
I work as a private practitioner.
When I decided to embark on a journey as a solo career management professional, I knew that before I put in the extra hours to ensure that my practice takes off, I needed to refine my reasons for starting a business as a solopreneur.
An excerpt of my reasons to help you write your own includes the following:
A Bout of Intense Reflection
How do you commence your career journey?
Simply put, you need a detailed action plan that starts with reasons similar to the ones stated above.
Wait! Do NOT rush into creating the plan yet. This is the final step in the launch of your career journey.
You have to do some exploratory work to discover your reasons. This can be an engaging experience if you come with the right mindset. Think of it as a bout of intense reflection.
Now Step Back
I was not sure what my likes, interests and values were. It can be hard to define them if you have never thought about it.
Like me, after your intense reflection and contrary to what many specialists suggest; start with the activities you dislike and the skills you are certain you do not want to be using in your future career rather than with your likes and interests. This is very helpful and I suggest you use this unconventional method if you are uncertain about what you need to do to move forward; dissect what you hate to find out what you like.
Now That You Know Who You Are
Once you get to know YOU, you are ready to move forward to uncover your skills, abilities and strengths.
Next step is to combine everything you have learned about yourself and start exploring possible careers.
You are well acquainted with YOU, now it is time to figure what kind of work makes YOU happy.
One of my joys was seeing others succeed whether in school or later on in life. Call me silly, but I cry at graduations and other similar work celebrations. I think of all the focus, failures and hard work that led to these special moments that I am overwhelmed with mixed emotions.
Anyway, I realized that my work has to include seeing my clients succeed.
What invokes similar emotions for you? It could be a sales pitch, a competition or even crying at weddings.
No emotional experience is too silly to explore! This is what it takes to enable your future career vision.
Come On...Let's Get to Know YOU
Once you have collected all this data, you are ready to design your career action plan.
Creating the action plan is for another blog post.
For now, how about you get to know what does YOU really like to do?
Dr. Hoda Kilani is a Certified Professional Career Coach. Transforming the way you craft your career.
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