Employability is the level of skills and personal attributes that enable you to find and retain employment.
These are the things you can do using the knowledge you have gained. Skills can be an extension of a natural talent or gained from acquiring knowledge through study or training. Skills are further characterised as Soft Skills and Hard Skills:-
- Soft skills are subjective, intangible abilities that need to be demonstrated by you and your actions. These are such things as work ethic, interpersonal skills, courtesy, punctuality, awareness, etc.
- Hard skills are abilities that are measurable and can be quantified, such as a qualification or a level of training achieved.
These are the qualities and characteristics of your personality that make you who you are. These come from your upbringing and natural personality, and can also be consciously developed. In relation to employment these are typically such things as:-
- Being organised – you have a plan, you prioritise, you are clear on the tasks, you make decisions.
- Having good time management – you know to divide your time between tasks & make good use of available time
- Being a problem solver – you are able to assess problems and fix the root cause
- Adaptable to change – you accept change happens and find ways to adapt as change occurs
- Having a positive attitude – you have a ‘can do’ attitude
- Being Self motivated – you are a Self starter, you take initiative and make decisions
- Being punctual – you are on time with your obligations
Some key points about Employability
- Employability is best viewed from the employers perspective, in terms of what employers are looking for in candidates and their current employees. What employee skills and attributes does the employer need – to fill new positions, and/or to move with the strategic direction of the organisation?
- Employability is in itself a skill. Recognising your employability is vital to long term employment, by adapting to the work environment around you. Employability includes being able to build the necessary skills employers require, to gain initial job offers, to remain employed, and to move jobs as required.
- Employability is time bound. Businesses and employers have to move and adapt with the times, either just to stay in business or to change their business all together. These changes may or may not include you! Continuous employment, either with the same employer or new jobs, comes from adapting your employability as the world changes around you.
- Employability is demonstrated differently depend on the situation you are in.
- Finding first job. Having a Resume (CV) presenting your hard skills (qualifications) and describing your soft skills. List any roles or unpaid experiences. Learn how to applying for jobs, read and practice interview skills, find out what employers are looking for.
- Remaining employed. Continue to ‘up-skill’ and to be relevant in the business needs.
- Finding new work – either for your own choice or being ‘let go’. Go back to the basics (1) but now one your Resume demonstrating you skills and achievements, tap into your network (aka LinkedIn), and look to up-skill in the process.
Employability and Personal Well-being
These two go hand in hand for a majority of us. Our well-being can suffer due to our employment status and employability level in the current employment market.
Please be particularly mindful of the impact employability has on you mental health.