*This is a guest post
For years, parents have embraced specific skills and subjects that they’ve believed would lead to a successful career life. Parents have pushed their kids to learn hard skills like maths and science since they thought it’s the only way their children could get “hot” careers. However, surviving the millennial evolution requires more than that. Today’s children face a global achievement gap, which is the difference between what they learn in schools and the skills they actually need to succeed in a faced-paced world.
Today’s workplace environment has developed from rote learning and now relies on one’s wits and skills. That’s why 21st-century skills require schools, and most especially parents to not only emphasize on hard skills but also soft skills, character traits, and cognitive skills. Parents should raise their kids to be resilient and resourceful. The world ahead is not a bed of roses, and you need to challenge your kids on every level to make them learn how to fend. There’s no better time to start preparing your children for the future except for now. You can start nurturing qualities and skills that will be on-demand 15 years to come. Therefore, the skills required to be successful in the workplace include:
1. Technical Understanding
Parents appreciate technology but their understanding is superficial. Our children, on the other hand, don’t have that luxury. Technology will definitely become part of everything; hence most job opportunities will only accommodate those who understand technology. The problem most parents have is introducing computer skills later in their children’s lives. You can raise a creative child by letting their imagination run wild during playtime even when they are still toddlers. They can also learn basic computer skills as early as possible or let them be part of coding clubs to feed their interest in computers.
2. Comfort with Complexity
The 21st century isn’t driven by simple cause and effect, not to mention, big questions are not always black and white. Examining and understanding the world’s subtlety and complexity is the key to succeeding at work. Parents must stop pampering their children and challenge them at every level of life.
3. Open Mindedness
No amount of success is possible if you don’t raise children who are agile, open-minded, adaptable, and thoughtful. The world is full of change and challenges, therefore, being strong and prepared for change is the only way our children can manoeuvre their way to success.
4. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to one’s ability to perceive and manage their emotions appropriately and understand how their emotions affect others. High levels of emotional intelligence coupled with technical skill attribute to a higher percentage of what makes someone move up the career ladder. EQ is an essential skill to develop at a young age, so that your child can have the ability to handle interpersonal relationships in the workplace compassionately and judiciously.
5. Effective Communication Skills
Communication, whether oral, written or even visual, is fundamental in all kinds of jobs. Employees have a problem with young people’s fuzzy thinking and their inability to articulate their thoughts. What’s the need for great ideas if you can’t communicate them? Parents have to teach their children how to express themselves clearly in writing and verbally.
6. Cognitive Flexibility
This is the ability to adjust to different ways of thinking to match a fast-paced work environment as well as changing circumstances and situations. Parents can instil this skill in their children at an early stage through proactive engagement in group activities such as sports and music. These activities require them to adapt to and rely on others’ behaviour to achieve desired results.
7. Decision Making
Decision making is among the most important skills to learn, especially if your child is to hold a leadership role at work. The best way to instil this skill is to teach your children how to take ownership and responsibility for their actions. You can also sharpen this skill by presenting them with simple issues and ask them how they would solve them to make a difference in the society.
8. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
In a fast-paced world, where companies are continuously improving products and services, the workplace needs quick thinkers who can deal with different situations in different ways and adapt successful strategies. This requires our young people to have critical thinking skills and effective problem-solving skills. Encourage your children to analyse information from different angles through debates.
9. Curiosity, Imagination, and Inquisitiveness
These are the key skills for children that drive innovation and improve problem-solving skills. Young children are very inquisitive and parents should take advantage of that time and keep the curiosity and imagination alive. Integration of these skills at a young age allows your child to marvel, experiment, ask questions, investigate, and come up with extraordinary solutions/ideas.
10. Hard Work
Social media has corrupted the minds of our young people into thinking that there are shortcuts to succeeding in life. Parents should teach their children about the power of effort and hard work. You can do practical skills for children, for instance, by assigning them chores and ensuring they do them efficiently and on time. You can also share your own success stories that establish hard work and accompany them with actions.
Children are curious by nature, so parents shouldn’t have a hard time instilling these skills into their young ones; however, a little help goes a long way. To completely eradicate youth unemployment, other stakeholders such as organizations and companies in public and private sectors, the government, and teachers should also offer solutions. One of which could be through youth employment support program. These programs will help young children build job readiness skills, have higher academic aspirations, and have a more positive attitude towards work and life itself.
The government can help manage the issue of youth unemployment by funding initiatives that support young people in finding work, creating tax incentives that will encourage job creation, and supporting young entrepreneurs. Organizations or companies in the public and private sectors should also incorporate youth employment support programs to support the aspirations of young people, which will help them gain employment experience, broaden their career horizons, and give them opportunities to exchange ideas. Lastly, schools should offer courses with real business value, and have partnerships with employers to help the young people find work.
It’s our responsibility as parents to find opportunities that will help your child learn and build on these skills to prepare them for a successful, fulfilling career life.
About the author: Riya is a writer who enjoys decorating her home, crafting, trying new recipes. She is also a runner who likes to enjoy the morning breeze. Her Twitter, @sanderriya.