5 trusted ways to get job-ready for 2022 - Employability Skills

“Stanford Research Institute and the Carnegie Melon Foundation joined hands to conduct a research with Fortune 500 CEOs, which established that 75% of long-term job success depends on the level of soft skills/people skills you have.”

5 trusted ways to get job-ready for 2022 - Employability Skills

India has one of the largest youth populations around the globe.

35.3% of the country’s population has been in the age group 0-14 at the Census,2001.

In 2020, the average age in India was 28 years compared to 39 years in the US, 46 years in Europe, and 48 in Japan.

These facts indicate that India is very much at the forefront of the rapidly changing landscape. The power of youth has propelled nations before and probably it’s time for India to reach her true potential. 

Millions of people are hustling, aspiring for better education, careers and jobs every day. Imagine the enormity of the situation.

Millions trying to find success, build recognition, and score their career goals at the same time. People who have dreams of traveling the world, people who wish they could buy the latest gadgets, and people who want to make a difference in their societies. (We’re a diverse group, aren’t we?) 

However, one needs to have some level of financial success to even move towards these goals. One needs to cross the bridge that exists between education and employment.

A significant majority of students are not able to do that. 

Every year, 10 million graduates come out with degrees to their name, and less than 1 million of them get placed. Now, India is a fast developing country and jobs are not scarce but the companies offering these jobs can’t find the right talent they’re looking for among the lot. 

Why does this happen? 

First, let’s give you a perspective on how the job market has changed over the years. 

In the mid-90s our economy was liberalized and that brought manifold companies to India that was offering ample job opportunities. These companies were hiring left, right, and center, and their selection criteria were primarily based on degrees and academic credentials. If someone had a degree with good grades, they were welcomed.

Moreover, they went through a year of training and bench period before actually starting to work for the company. 

Fast forward to 2021, the employment scenario has experienced tremendous change. There’s cut-throat competition in the market and the companies want you ready and firing on all cylinders from day 1. They want people who are action-oriented, people with a growth mindset, and people with good social skills. Yes, more than your degree or grades, they prioritize your all-around skills and how employable you are.

You must be wondering – “What should I do exactly to fit companies’ requirements today?” 

No worries, we’ve got your back. 

The key to staying relevant in this ever-evolving scenario is to build your employability skills.

Employability Skills

‘A combination of skillset, mindset, and toolset that makes people most likely to gain employment and progress their careers.

These skills go beyond qualifications and experience and are the paramount metrics for companies to evaluate a candidate.

From a life’s perspective, developing these skills enable a person to get infinite growth and find true success throughout their careers.

In short, these are the “codes’ to program life.

Masai School’s Co-Founder & SVP, Yogesh Bhatt drops detailed and precious industry insights on the ‘employability’ subject in this video.

But, what constitutes employability skills?

We’ve broadly classified them into these 5 different categories :

  • Hard skills
  • Communication skills
  • People skills
  • Mindset
  • Toolset

Now, let’s understand each of them in detail so that you can work on them and boost your chances of getting a placement in the year 2022.

Hard skills 

The specific knowledge & abilities required to perform a particular job/activity come under hard skills. They come from the domain in which you’ve received knowledge.

For instance, if you are a Web Developer, building websites is your hard skill. Most job listings comprise a list of hard skills that a candidate must have to qualify for the role.

Largely, these skills can be defined, evaluated, and measured.

But what’s important is – are you able to translate that knowledge into an activity?

If given a chance, will you be able to perform a quality task?

Unfortunately, this is found lacking in a majority of students and our education system is to blame to a certain degree. The need for practical education has been emphasized time and time again but it has mostly remained the same.

Theories can shape your insight, no doubt. They can introduce you to strategies, let’s say, strategies in cricket; theoretical knowledge will give you all the necessary inputs and techniques and pitch guides but what makes you a real player on the pitch is your practice, your ability to track the ball, and performance under pressure which comes from experience.

So, if you’re not the one making excuses and want to be a real player instead, here are 3 ways you can hone your hard skills :

  1. Online certifications – Today, there are lots of certifications and courses available for the specific skills that you want to build. Earning a certification is a great way to improve your skills and also provides the recruiters with evidence of your ability.
  1. Practice – It takes no rocket science to understand that regularly practicing your craft builds speed and efficiency. If you’re asked to perform a task that you’ve already done a hundred times before, you’re most likely to succeed.
  1. Self-assessment – Keep a track of the hard skills you’re learning. Evaluate your progress. We’d recommend giving yourself deadlines while practicing. Set shorter and shorter deadlines every day. This will equip you with the caliber to perform under pressure in a company environment.

Communication skills 

Do you remember how we were as kids, we used to speak our minds out. We used to express ourselves with unbridled confidence.

As we grew up, we started suppressing our thoughts and ideas more and more.

This happens due to a multitude of factors surrounding our minds. 

Some of us experience the fear of being judged, some people have language barriers and some others are not able to structure their thoughts into speech. 

We start developing a habit of these inadequacies and it gets to the point where we feel like it can’t be fixed anymore.

We forget that we’re an evolving life form and there are solutions to each of our problems; it just depends on whether we want to solve it or not.

Exemplar – Mohammed Tanveer, one of Masai School’s alumni, learned English communication with his sister’s help at a later stage in his life as he had to drop out of schooling in 5th standard. 

Disclaimer – At present, Masai School only accepts students who have cleared the 12th standard.

So, if you’ve decided to improve your communication skills as well, first you need to look at these 5 fundamental elements that make up the communication quotient :

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Presenting
Pie-chart showing importance of communication skills
Communication skill ratio

In order to be a good communicator, one needs to strengthen all these pillars as they’re all interdependent on each other. Focussed listening will bolster your speaking prowess and good speech will lead to better presentation skills. 

However, you can’t take this leap of progress overnight. Good things take time.

That’s why we have this 12 months’ action plan for you which will help you break the communication barrier :

  1. Read 10 pages every day. You can read anything of your choice from novels to newspapers and e-magazines. Reading will allow you to get to the depth of the language and build better structuring.
  1. Listen to podcasts for 15 minutes. Listening is the most important element in the communication process. If you tend to drift away from conversations, you wouldn’t be able to take active participation and suggest ideas or solutions.
  1. Watch a Ted Talk/Powerful speaker. Watching how they construct their sentences, structure their content, and present in an impactful way will help you immensely.
  1. Zoom call with a practice buddy for 15 minutes. Implement the things you’ve learned and ask for their feedback.
  1. Write a one-page summary of your day mentioning the things you did or you can also write on any topic of your choice. 

Note: All of these steps have to be implemented on a regular basis if you want to experience proportional growth in your communication. 

It’s about being 1% better every day rather than feeling overwhelmed and staying where you started.

People Skills 

How good are you with people? How can you influence them in a good way? 

People skills include subsets such as :

Interpersonal skills – These are the skills and behavior we use to interact with people, both individually and in groups. Today’s fast-paced jobs require consistent interaction with colleagues and clients. Despite you having good credentials, employers won’t hire you if you’re a disaster to work with. 

People skills - two people working together
People skills needed in a company

How to develop interpersonal skills?

  • Conflict management – Conflicts are common in the workplace. At some point, you’ll have differences with your colleague or manager on work issues. You’ll also get situations where two of your colleagues are not in good talks with each other. You’ll need to be able to resolve such conflicts using creative problem solving, counseling, and mediating.
  • Leadership – You don’t have to be the CEO or manager of the company to be a leader. Leadership is reflected in your personality, your ability to connect with people and encourage them to achieve team success.
  • Teamwork – It is the individual ability to cooperate, communicate and coordinate effectively with others in a team to achieve a common goal. Teamwork creates synergy and builds trust.
  • Collaboration skills – Some crucial collaboration skills include open-mindedness, adaptability, and intelligent debate. They’ll enable you to work with your peers and colleagues despite having differences in ideas and operating norms.

It is your people skill that sets you apart from the crowd, builds reliability and recognition.

Mindset 

Mindset refers to the collection of beliefs that influence how you perceive the world and yourself. It has an impact on how you think, feel and act in every given scenario.

People can have two different mindsets 

  • Fixed mindset 
  • Growth mindset

Someone with a fixed mindset thinks that their skills are permanent qualities that can’t be modified while having a growth mindset means the person believes that their talents and abilities can be developed over time with hard work and perseverance.

Developing a growth mindset is fairly simple and you can incorporate these steps to achieve that :

  • Reflect on yourself. Single out your core strengths and weaknesses. Accept your failures and list your key areas of improvement.
  • Take on challenges. Put yourself in situations that invoke fear in you. You’ll see that fear vanish with time. As Elbert Hubbard once said – “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make a mistake.”
  • Develop a habit of Positive self-talk. Bring out that optimistic voice in your head that motivates you to look at the bright side of things. Integrate the word ‘yet’ into your sentences, it affirms that the certain skill you don’t have at the moment can be acquired over time through practice and efforts.

E.g. –  I don’t know how to build a website ‘yet’.

In the professional world, people expect you to have problem-solving skills, adaptability, and flexibility so you can continuously upskill yourself and contribute to the organization. 

You simply can’t move forward with a fixed mindset. Practicing these activities will help you make that shift from a fixed to a growth mindset. 

Now that we have covered the skills and mindset, let’s look at the important toolset you must have to gain employment in today’s industry.

Professional Toolset 

Having an apt toolset enhances the effectiveness of your candidature as it sends out a signal to the recruiters suggesting the candidate is ready and familiar with the tools used for work.

Following are the key ways to get better at your toolset :

  1. Create an impactful resume – And not just the print but the content inside it should have a structure that describes you in the best way possible. A resume opens opportunities in today’s world. 

            We’d recommend you using this RUB rubric to highlight your achievements 

AspectTo Do’s
RelevanceShowcase the skills that are being asked in the JD or the transferable skill the recruiters are looking for.Talk about your past experiences in a customized way to fit the requirement of the job role. 
UniquenessState facts about yourself that are hard to find in the large pool of applicants.If there are generic facts, present them uniquely by mentioning accomplishments/outcomes related to them and learnings gained.
BelievabilitySupport your inputs and achievements with quantitative and qualitative data.Helps the recruiters analyze you better and know that you’ve worked for stakeholders before.Example – Published 3 marketing campaigns at Performics resulting in a 14% quarterly growth for the client. 

Besides, strengthen your resume by collecting additional certificates and other credentials whenever you get the opportunity. This shows that you’re an active learner and would be a great addition to the company.

  1. Build your LinkedIn profile and presence – It’s the age of social media and your social profiling matters to companies. Even before the interview, they go through your LinkedIn profile to know your interests, connections and, motivations as 

LinkedIn is the largest professional social media network.

Create your account (if you haven’t already) and refine it in a way that best suits the placement you’re looking for.

  1. Participate in projects & internships to gain firsthand experience.
  1. Efficient practice on tools used for work like MS Office, Google suite, etc.
  1. Get familiar with virtual platforms like Zoom and Google meet.

Career Development

Times have changed drastically, we need to evolve as well. Today, the market has different requirements from a person than it did a decade ago.

“Stanford Research Institute and the Carnegie Melon Foundation joined hands to conduct a research with Fortune 500 CEOs, which established that 75% of long-term job success depends on the level of soft skills/people skills you have.”

This figure settles all the debates regarding placement criteria in companies. 

Now that you’re acquainted with the in-demand skills, you need to start working on each of them using the steps we’ve mentioned in order to be job-ready for 2022. Start preparing yourself for the career you want.

Though this can all seem overwhelming in the beginning, you need to remember that development is a step-by-step process. Once you take the head start, things will start coming together and everything will make sense.  

We, at Masai School, follow the same principles in crafting and fine-tuning ambitious students into software engineers with our ‘study now, pay later’ system (Income Share Agreement). Refer to get detailed information on this.

You have a high chance of getting placed as a software developer in reputed companies following the full-time and part-time courses in coding/web development, with our last batch’s placement record being 92%.

Masai builds all-around employability skills in a student and equips them with the best grade weapons to dominate their career paths. 

   “The distance is nothing, it is the first step that is difficult” 

A famous quote by Roger Bannister, the man who broke the 4-minute barrier in a mile race for the first time in history. A feat that was considered impossible by many doctors and sports scientists in the 20th century.