The Building Blocks of Any Career: Employability Skills

Emily McKinney
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Depending on the type of field you’re in, there are a variety of skills you need to excel at your job. Those can range from certifications and degrees to technical skills. But the skills that everyone needs to build a successful career – no matter the field – are the employability skills.

Employability skills, better known as soft skills, are skills that aren’t necessarily teachable, rather something you need to work on throughout your career. And, employers look for these skills when hiring because, while they can teach the technical aspects of the role, they can’t teach employability skills. So, what exactly are these skills?

1. Working Well with Others

More precisely, this involves communication and interpersonal skills. No matter the position you hold, working well with your boss and coworkers is going to be your partial key to success. Getting defensive or refusing to help out your team will reflect poorly on you, no matter how good you are at your job. This employability skill is one that employers consider highly important – and they will probably ask for examples of your teamwork skills during the interview.

2. Dependability

Dependability is an important skill, and it works in two ways. The first is how well you get your work done by your deadlines. Can the employer trust you to meet deadlines or will you need extra hand holding? Hint: employers definitely don’t want to have to hold your hand to meet a deadline. The second is how well you help others (see above). Can your teammates count on you to stay late if they need help? The answer should be a resounding yes! if you want to go far in your career.

3. Willingness to Learn

If you’re one of those who assumed the learning stopped once you graduated, you are going to be sorely disappointed. In order to succeed at any job you take on, you will need to learn. A willingness to learn is important to any future employer – it shows them you take your job seriously and want to do what you can to improve and master it. That often includes learning, especially if you work in a  role involving technology, which is always changing.

Whether you’re already in the workforce or still in school, these employability skills are something you can (and should) improve upon every day. Not only will they help you grow in your career, but they also will make you well liked by your bosses and coworkers alike.


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