Cindy Hawthorne, Recruitment Agent, Liberty Lending
Did you know, by some estimates, more than half the workforce will be comprised of millennials in 2020? Did you also know that landing jobs is tougher for millennials despite having access to high-speed internet and other technological advancements? A look at the recruitment field shows that some millennials looking for jobs are not ready for the job market. This begs the question: why not?
Despite differing opinions on the demand for “soft” and hard technical skills, some millennials looking for new employment opportunities lack the basic skills. Recruiters and employers argue that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get entry-level job seekers with strong and solid foundations (build on trust and soft skills) on which the other essential professional or technical skills can be developed.
A millennial reading this might raise their eyebrow wondering, ‘which skills must I have?’ Fret not, in addition to traditional skills like communication, leadership, and collaboration, you should focus on these areas:
1. Customer Service
Long gone are the days when your finance degree would land you a job instantly. Being able to learn the theory of most business and finance aspects is crucial, but the workforce and the entire entrepreneurial field requires that you know how to deal with customers, how to build and support client relationships, and the willingness to learn after graduating.
Employers emphasize that they will only hire college graduates with the willingness to learn. Work curiosity and commitment, as well as basic knowledge of how the “real world” operates are also sought after features.
Heard of this a lot, right? Are you attentive? The ability to focus is perceived as the new IQ by experts and it is reported to be lacking in most millennials. Despite the increase in automated systems, there has been a significant reduction in focus. Consequently, the demand for workers capable of concentrating is high.
You need to be attentive to details as well. Formatting and typing errors cost many individuals their jobs. Being attentive also translates to better time management and the capacity to prioritize at work. Employers are looking for someone who can execute deliverables from the start to completion.
3. Agility and adaptability
Technological advancements have led to rapid changes in the workplace. You have to be an expert at something by learning and applying the new knowledge and skills instantly. You will face setbacks as you transition, but you must overcome the pressure. Cope ability; having the grit to cope in an agile work environment is crucial.
Your employer wants an employee who will admit that they aren’t able to complete a task and ask for assistance. You shouldn’t take yourself too seriously and you should also ask for help whenever you are stuck. Don’t be a ‘know-it-all.’
If you have been turned down for job offers in the past, it could be because you lack these on-demand soft skills. Take time, re-evaluate, and learn how to hone them.