8 Essentials towards Employability

After working in the field of employability for the past one and a half-decade, I realise that you cannot “train” someone to become employable. Well, that’s not a startling revelation. I just meant that the current model of ” Placement Training ” doesn’t yield results for the simple reason that employability cannot be attained in a two day or five-day crash course( well, that’s what most educational institutions do now ). And with due respect to all trainers and coaches who work in the field, I am just reminding the fact that most of these training are just icing on the cake and if the cake is bad, however good the icing is, no one can eat it. 

Similarly, a crash course of one day or five days doesn’t help you get a job, especially if you are on a career break or are planning to shift to a new career.

My experience says that employability is a quality that gets enhanced by the following factors. 

  1. Self-awareness -If we can identify and match the aptitude, interest and personality of the individual to the work/ skill, the motivation to work for any skill gaps becomes easier.  Gone are the days when people take up jobs based on availability and probably end up working an entire life in a field in which they are not interested at all! Today, the internet economy gives us the opportunity to pursue our passion and work towards that. But that needs us to first identify and be aware of what we are! What are our qualities, our passions, our preferences and our capabilities!
  2. The clarity in Career Goals – Giving clear career goals and clarity on why one should work on their skills. Career goals can be set up by attending self-awareness workshops including Personality assessment, life and career coaching and also information about various career opportunities while in school and college. This is a very important first step that many people, unfortunately, do not take seriously. Getting a professional coach or mentor is even now considered a “costly” affair whereas we forget the fact that making a career mistake is even costlier! Imagine the days, months and years you end up working hard in a wrong field- the kind of wastage of resources and mental struggle one has to undergo without knowing where to go! 
  3. Opportunity to practice and exhibit employability skills – Let’s understand this: The skills and behaviour needed to survive in an educational institution are different from those needed in a workplace. For Eg: Most educational institutions focus on competition whereas the workplace focuses on teamwork. So, the best way to learn workplace skills is to be a part of a workplace while you are on campus. This can be through internships by taking up freelance projects or by starting up. This is the same for someone after a career break. 
  1. Right Role models and influencers – It is said that every human being is the average of the five people with whom he/she interacts on a daily basis. So, if you deal with passionate optimistic achievers, you also strive to become that. And if you deal with pessimistic, career failures or people who ended up in a profession because they were pushed into, you also end up thinking that way. I said this because I understand that most of the faculty of a college became a faculty for one of the three reasons – (Thinking so) 

One:-. I can go home at 4 pm. Comfortable job. 

Two:-Not much tension. Just repeat the same subject and syllabus every year. 

Three:- I am unemployable by the industry. 

And these three mindsets are exactly the opposite of what is needed at the workplace. Is there a Solution? Well, from the institution side: Hire faculty who are passionate learners and doers. Also, provide inspiration and opportunity for the faculty to grow their career. They will ensure that the students follow them.  

From the student side: Get mentored by such faculty. Am sure there will be at least 10% in this category in any educational institution. Go chase them. Another easier option is to find mentors outside campus and talk to them when in doubt.  And for those who are in a career break, get networked and mentored by established mentors. Follow them and ask them for guidance. Or even better, join networking communities and mentor support.

5. Self-Learning: If a student is given more opportunities to learn by themselves, two things happen: 1. They learn  2. They learn to learn. And both of these skills are very important for survival in today’s world.

6. Perception of Soft Skills: Even though we keep reiterating in every forum about the importance of soft skills, most students are not aware of their own soft skills competencies and how they can get them a job. Most soft skills training are a fad and devalued by students. If we can give a better perception of their soft skills, it enhances their employability.  

7. Above average technical skills: Technical skills are equally important and employability depends to a great extent on your technical foundation and your willingness to build on the same.  

8. Get out of the syllabus: Let me put it simply. All that you do as part of your syllabus will fetch you marks. And all that you do out of the syllabus will make you employable. Go out and do things that you love to do. (But ensure that you get the marks needed as well) 

Now, coming back to my first statement: As I said, we cannot “train” someone on employability skills. But we can help them arrive at the above points while they start or restart their career. And most importantly, career-building is a purely personalised process of evolution that one undertakes and we cannot have a “one size fits all” approach 

So here is my learning from the past one and half decade of being a trainer/coach in employability :

EMPLOYABILITY CAN BE PERFECTED ONLY BY GETTING EMPLOYED AND BY HAVING EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT & COACHING METHODS ALONG WITH INSPIRING THEM WITH GREAT ROLE MODELS 

This methodology is what we have been practising at #Prayaana Collective and we have hundreds of success stories of girls and women who perfected the art and science of career management.  

Our proprietary module known as Prayanaa Fellowship Program aims at helping women and girls to identify their best career and also build skills needed for the same. If you are interested to know more, do contact us by shooting an email to joinprayaana@gmail.com 

#CeeVee

#employability #skills

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