Now, this is a topic that has been discussed at length by many. When I was about to sit for my first interview, I like you went searching about the skills that would guarantee a job to me. I will not say that the articles I read were not of help, but they all seemed to be rather technical and spoke of skills that were in a way not satisfying my needs for knowledge. Do not get me wrong here, I was looking for my first job, and skills like coding or digital marketing were something that would require time to acquire. I wanted something that would help me to survive my first job, and thrive in it.
In this blog, I have tried to list ‘five skills’ that amidst this pandemic will help you land a job. I am going to list very basic skills, ones we often overlook. But believe me, when I was hustling every day, my knowledge of science and English did not come to aid as much as my knowledge of automobiles and smartphone usage came.
So here’s numero uno… Communication skills.
From the very onset, our parents and teachers told us to focus on our communication skills. Indeed it is difficult for you to succeed without mastering the art of communication. And by communication, you are often forced to think by society to focus on the language of English. Communication does not mean being great in English. Yes, it is the global language, the emails you send and the letters you type have to be in English. But the unhealthy emphasis on it is futile. For communication is about putting your ideas through the other person. And it does not always have to be in English, it has to be in a language the other person understands or is comfortable with. So the focus should be on developing the skill of communication and not getting a master’s in English.
For instance, doing a job in Kolkata, it was important for me to understand Bengali, which I was not thorough with. I like you were forced into believing that English would come to my aid at all times. Yes, it did help me, but knowing the regional language is very important to get results in a job. And if you are into a job which requires talking and explaining things to people, the more regional languages you know the better. For your client will understand your idea in the language he is comfortable in. So it’s very important to know your audience. Not everyone will be impressed by a Shakespeare sonnet.
Number two on my list is something that no blog told me. And that is owning and knowing how to handle a vehicle.
Now you can argue with me about Global warming and traffic jams, but owning a vehicle even if it’s a two-wheeler has become of utmost importance. Reason? The amount of time it saves. Public transport has improved by leaps and bounds but we yet do not have come up with a mode of transport that would take you anywhere you want to go in a stipulated amount of time without hurting your pocket.
I understood the importance of a two-wheeler, on rainy days especially when buses were difficult to get on to and cab fares were more than the worth of my Kidney. Then that occasional meeting which would go on late at night and of course a visit to that client’s office/house where transport is not frequent, are some of the times you will feel the need for a two-wheeler. With the advancement in technology, electric scooters and four-wheelers are slowly coming into vogue which would not destroy mother Earth. Owning one and knowing its use will go a long way in making you punctual and a dependent individual for your organization.
We are done with uno and dos, now it’s time for tres. And number three is something you have already come across in most blogs and that is the skilled use of technology.
Now because you already have come across it, I will get to the most important piece of technology you possess. The smartphone in your hand. Yes, you use it the most. From calling to emailing to even relaxing by laughing over memes. The problem is you still haven’t cracked the code to make the most out of it, despite using it for 26 hours in a 24 hour day. The trick to making the most out of it is to use it to improve your productivity. The fingers have to be quicker than a cheetah in typing and your eyes have to be focused like an eagle about to catch its prey when looking for applications. I have seen my colleagues struggling with their smartphones and only using it for entertainment. That smartphone in your hand holds innumerable possibilities, spend some time knowing it fully, and make the most out of it.
An additional tip, get a power bank if you have an outdoor job. “The number you are calling is switched off” are a set of words your boss and client dread to hear.
For number four, I will pick up the most basic skill that you tend to overlook almost every time. And that is dressing up.
Make no mistake wearing the right clothes and the right shoes is something we fail to do a lot of the times. Dressing well is a skill that is easy to acquire but tough to maintain. If you are into meeting clients, looking sharp and smelling well becomes very important. Understand the listener will first see you, and the impression you make is going to build a mental picture in his head. If you do not make a proper first impression, then no matter what golden words you speak, closing him on a deal will become very difficult.
“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” —Miuccia Prada
Am not pressuring you to dress up like James Bond, but an ironed shirt and a proper tie with polished shoes and a mild perfume are a must. And the handkerchief is a vital cog, for if your hands are sweaty at the time of that deal-closing handshake, chances are high of the deal to slip out from your hands.
Many may say, that clothes do not maketh a human, but understand light travels faster than sound, so people will see you first and hear you later. It’s basic science.
And the last of my ‘basic five’ is the skill of researching and acquiring knowledge.
It may not sound like much of a skill, but trust me it is as important as knowing Excel in a Finance related job. You have to know about your job well. You have to understand the role given to you. If you are a first-timer without experience, then it is of paramount importance to know about the product you are working with. Thanks to the internet, knowledge has become very accessible to gain. Chances of your client knowing about your product are high. In such cases, you not only have to have a Ph.D. in your product but have ample knowledge about its competitions to make it the ‘one to go for’ for your client. So spend some time knowing your product and your role. The more you know the better for you.
So that was my list of the skills you need to have to land a job. As I said, I will not be telling you about technical skills, that depends on the field you plan to go in. But I have often seen people with tremendous technical knowledge fail miserably for overlooking the basics.
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