image source: coursera

 

Upskilling has never been so important. With the digital transformation of the economy, job duties and requirements are changing at a faster pace than in the past. If you want to stay current with the latest market trends and increase your value, upskilling is mandatory. Thanks to the ease in remote learning and thousands of free online courses available, there is barely any excuse to start training. To save from the headache of rummaging through the Internet, Jobiness handpicks these 5 free online courses from Coursera you can enroll to upskill yourself in 2021. 

 

What is Coursera?

Coursera is an online learning platform that provides courses from world-renowned universities. It has a very active portfolio of 6,000+ web-based courses and is best known as a MOOC (massive open online courses) provider with over 76 million students worldwide. All Coursera courses feature pre-recorded learning material that you can watch anytime, anywhere at your convenience. While there are classes that require you to pay a certain amount of money to enroll and obtain a certificate, some courses are free and the quality is no less excellent.

 

1 . Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success

Growth starts from the mind and if you know how to maximize your mindset with creative thinking, success is just one step closer. Being able to think creatively and innovatively is a crucial quality in today’s ever-changing environment. This course will provide you with an introduction to a variety of behaviors and approaches that will enhance your natural creativity. Four skills to obtain after this course are useful for your career advancements, such as Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Creativity, and Brainstorming.

 

With a 7 week syllabus, the approximate time to finish this course is 20 hours, divided into mini videos, reading and quizzes. Out of 185,043 course participants, 15% started a new career after completing it and 22% got a tangible career benefit from it.  By the end of this course, you should be able to choose a kind of brainstorming that you believe would be beneficial for a challenge, utilize the TRIZ contradiction matrix, and use SCAMPER to solve problems. 

 

If you are interested, you can enroll here.

 

2 . Job Success: Get Hired or Promoted in 3 Steps

This course will help you stand out in a competitive talent pool and be hired or promoted. The materials are written by industry specialists and relied on potential employers’ and recruiters’ recommendations. They drew on the creator’s own experiences as professionals who have sought for and recruited great individuals, as well as informal research on best practices. This course will provide you with an improved social media presence, a visually appealing infographic résumé, and a professional pitch that showcases your strengths and talents in three steps. The four skills to gain from this course include Infographics, Professional Development, Elevator Pitch, and Social Media.

 

The course has a 3-week syllabus, with each week with short video lessons and quiz in every step or week. These three steps for each week are: Upgrading Your Social Media Profile, Create an Infographic Resume, and Your Professional Pitch. If you have very little time, but a very great desire to learn and upskill, this course is very suitable for you, as it can be completed in approximately 5 hours. 

 

You can enroll in this free course here.

 

3 . Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand, and Behaviour

If you are new to brand management, this free course on brand management will help you improve your knowledge faster. Brands are more than just an external commitment to customers; they are also a method of executing business strategy through internal brand-led behavior and culture change. The main objective of this course is to shift the perception of brands from being a company’s visual identity and image to an experience given by people throughout the whole company along the customer journey. It will help you get a better knowledge of the developing concept of brand management, which goes beyond what is currently performed in most businesses. The four skills to obtain from this course include Corporate Branding, Brand Marketing, Brand Management, and Brand Identity. 

 

You can enroll here.

 

4 . Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

This course will teach you how the brain employs two distinct learning modes and how it wraps or chunks information. You can alter your thinking and improve your life by using the lessons from this course, regardless of your skill levels in the areas you want to master. If you are already an expert, it will give you advanced suggestions to boost effective learning, including counter-intuitive test-taking strategies and insights that will help you make the most of your time. There are four main skills you can enhance through this course, which are Test preparation, Learning To Learn, Pomodoro Technique, and Meta Learning.

 

This course has a 4 weeks syllabus that can be completed for approximately 15 hours. The format of the lesson is short videos, less than 10 minutes each, with reading and quizzes for every weekly syllabus. This is suitable for learners who find it hard to focus on lengthy videos or those who have limited time and can only learn bit by bit. With a total of 3,006,018 people who have enrolled, 10% of students began a new career following completion of this course. 

 

You can enroll in this course here.

 

5 . Introduction to Personal Branding

Personal branding steadily gains prominence among top talents. Though the notion of personal branding is not new, there are concerns regarding what it means to sustain personal branding. Participants in this free course will learn how to establish oneself on at least three social media networks and build a personal brand mission statement. The four skills to learn from this course are Personal Branding, Social Media, Management, and Brand Management.

 

It takes approximately 7 hours to finish and is divided into 5 weeks’ worth of syllabus. The outcomes of this free course are excellent: 31% got a tangible career benefit and 27% started a new career after completing it. 

 

If this course piques your interest, you can enroll here.

 

Upskilling is not entirely about hard skills; there are plenty of soft skills that will improve your quality, either as a candidate or employee. These 5 free online courses can help you advance in your career while not taking up too much time for you to work on something else. Taking this kind of course surely takes time to complete, but is it worth it? Absolutely.

 

Read Also: How to Write a Thank-You Email After a Job Interview

 

image source: polina zimmerman via pexels

A business’ success goes beyond sales; it also depends on how it manages its people and operations. When it comes to engaging and overseeing the workforce to ensure the business runs effectively, relying on people management software can be a great help. Also known as human resources software, it combines a set of technology systems that enable your company to manage activities, projects, and operations related to its employees. So, how does the tech solution work? Here’s what you need to know about people management software.

 

Essentials of People Management Software

People management is described as a set of procedures that covers the end-to-end processes of talent acquisition, optimization, and retention while also providing ongoing support for the business and direction to the employees. The core principle of this is to manage people better in ways that make work easier, more accessible, and more impactful.

 

Filling the Gap of Managers

Not only does people management software help support business operations and ensure everything has a record, but it also fills the gap of managers. According to a report by The Predictive Index, communication skill is the most pertinent problem faced by managers in 2021. 

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This is most likely due to the COVID19 pandemic, where communication is hampering since the WFH implementation. In filling the skill gap that managers lack, people management can be utilized. With people management software, managers struggling with the issue can ensure that business operation runs well, as it can be monitored regularly, from the hiring process until daily tasks. People management software can also make it easier for managers and employees to give feedback because data collection will be under one pool of big data in a system. 

 

Available Features in People Management Software

People management software comes in a variety of types. Some software packages are primarily concerned with a single aspect or function of the employee experience. There are applications designed particularly to assist you in hiring new employees, for example. Other software packages may include several different functionalities into a single service. Here are several common features available in people management software:

 

  • Employee directory
  • Employee profiles
  • Electronic signatures
  • Time off policy creation
  • Time off tracking (with ability to approve and deny requests)
  • Time clocks (clock in, clock out)
  • New hire onboarding
  • Performance management
  • Payroll management
  • Benefits tracking and administration

 

Choosing the Right Software 

In choosing the right people management software for your company, there are several aspects you need to consider. First, decide the size of the company. If your business is small, you may not need much other than payroll software to get started. Things may still be managed in-person or manually using spreadsheets or a single cloud drive since there are only a few employees. But for bigger companies, you may need software that provides more functions. This can include hiring and onboarding features, time-tracking and PTO tracking, as well as employee profiles and directories. 

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It is also important to consider the budget allocated to afford the software. It is critical to always consult your finance department on what types of software you need and how much it costs. Take a look at this overview by Software Testing about people management software features and pricing. 

 

Having considered the basics of people management software, it is noteworthy that your company might need one immediately. Be it a startup or a mature company, keeping track of people management-related aspects can make your workflow better.

 

Read Also: What You Need to Know about Working with Gen Z

image source: freepik

Early birds get the worm, the old adage said. But what about birds who just started learning how to fly? This metaphor can illustrate how experienced candidates and fresh graduates conduct their job search. Surely, these two are no equal comparison, as experienced candidates are more familiar with the industry compared to fresh graduates. Therefore, what does it take for you, as fellow fresh graduates, to land a job with little to no experience in the desired industry?

 

The answer is simple, yet very broad in meaning: potential.

 

Employers are well aware that fresh graduates cannot be compared to those who have graduated earlier and have more experience for a certain position. Thus, one thing worth looking for among fresh graduates is their potential for the long run. It is true that newbie candidates have a potential inside them. What makes some of them stand out among the others is the kind of potential they showcase: which one of them will grow the fastest? Which one of them will reach the highest peak of their abilities? 

 

As a newly graduate, one attitude you can live by and put into use to maximize your potential is the aptness for improvement. You need to understand where you are at, which is in the starting point towards more journeys ahead. Therefore, remember to tone down your ego and get rid of the thought that you already know it all, as this mindset will keep you from the willingness to learn. Fresh graduates are hired because of their openness towards growth, so remember to keep an open mind towards suggestions as this will help you improve better every day. 

 

Also read: Student-to-Employee Transition: What Can You Learn from an Internship? 

 

The next thing worth possessing as a fresh graduate is a zeal. Defined as an eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something, a zeal is one thing that can make you stand out as a fresh graduate. In showcasing this spirit, you need to master the skill of problem-solving. This means that you always know what to do in certain situations to solve problems that do not necessarily require an expertise in something or a certification. 

 

The ability to put the term “fresh” in fresh graduates into use by coming up with a groundbreaking problem-solving is one quality employers will surely favor. This also relates to the fact that a zeal can get fresh graduates to change the norms in a way that is beneficial to employers. As fresh graduates are not conditioned to certain behaviour or pattern, their ability to challenge the norms can get the company to keep up with the latest niche, thus leading to innovations and even efficiency gains. 

 

Having these said, fresh graduates are favored by employers when they are able to make use of the potential they have. In this ever-changing world, fresh graduates are expected to keep up with it for the sake of their employers. Stand out among other fresh graduates by showcasing your skill of problem-solving at any given time and strive to always improve for the better.

 

Also read: Students & Fresh Graduates’ Best Employers to Work for in 2021

Learn to Love How to Get the Most Out of Your Job

Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. In fact, working a job we love makes us content and everyone longs to find that perfect, meaningful job that is in line with our greatest passion. Having such work makes us spring out of bed every morning positively raring to go. Considering that we spend the majority of our lives at our jobs, it is crucial to find work opportunities that create personal fulfilment for ourselves.

But let’s reflect and ask this question: does following passion really make you live a fulfilling life? 

For some, following passion might do good, while for others, it might not be the case. Former Forbes contributor and entrepreneur Michal Bohanes wrote that ‘following your passion’ is dead. He said that “urging people to find their passion might lead them to find their eggs in one basket then to drop that basket when it becomes difficult to carry”, meaning that following your passion equals following a fixed mindset. And fixed-minded people are much more likely to give up when an obstacle arises, thus hindering them to achieve greater success. 

Silicon Valley investor Ben Horowitz also mentioned that following a passion will not necessarily lead to happiness and success. Our interests can change over time and we can find meaning in so many ways. When we glorify a passionate calling, it leaves too many people out because of responsibilities that might outweigh their absolute freedom to choose something else. Hence, those people who glorify passion likely fail to live up to their potential because they are choosing to prioritise the other things that matter in their life. 

See also: 6 Practical Ways to Find Hidden Job Opportunities

These opinions are not to say that passion does not matter. The key takeaway is that you should not blindly follow your zeal wherever it leads, nor should you necessarily make career moves based on things you love the most. 

Learn to love the job you have…

As Steve Jobs advised, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” When you love your work, this will affect productivity and performance. When enjoying what you do, you are more likely to be optimistic, motivated, learn faster, make fewer mistakes, and make better business decisions. 

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi believed that being able to enjoy one’s work is the main factor in getting into a state of flow. If you can create a passion for the work, you will be energised, giving you more fuel to put towards success. The trick is figuring out how to make yourself love your work – even the most tedious of tasks. 

Some simple yet practical things you should do to ensure you enjoy your job include: 

  • Work with your supervisor to set goals. Work can feel like a real bore if you do not feel like you have something to strive for. 
  • Make a list of things you want to improve because you cannot begin solving a problem until you define it. 
  • Figure out what makes you choose that job in the first place, ensure you have a growth mindset when putting in this thought, such as for development over money. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for support. If you feel overwhelmed, swamped with work or are struggling with a particular aspect of your job, do not be afraid to consult a trusted co-worker. 
  • Expand your network to help you build a support system that you can consult or simply commiserate with when times get tougher. 
  • Don’t waste the benefits your employer gives you. For example, if there is gym membership, enrol yourself because a fit body means better focus. If your employer covers self-care practices, make sure you join one or a few of them.
  • Create a vibe that will make you productive, such as if you are easily distracted, you can put away a pile of paper or your toy under the table. 

…and build a mission for better success and life fulfilment. 

Developing useful skills, making a meaningful impact through your work, producing something of value, understanding and shaping your place in society – none of this might sound glamorous as chasing your innermost interests. However, these less attractive things lead to a far better quality of life. You can be really good at what you do and derive satisfaction in that – even if you do not absolutely adore it. Don’t let yourself be controlled by the glamour of “following passion” and be satisfied where you are at now. 

Read also: Industries with the Most Job Opportunities in 2021

Your Personal Brand Matters - Here’s How to Build It  

In a world of fast passing fads, quickly evolving trends, and short attention spans, aspiring leaders should care more in building up and strengthening personal brand to help them stand out from the noise. A personal brand is an extension of who you are and what makes you different from others. It is what makes you memorable and unique – something that will likely stick in people’s mind after you leave the room.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos 

Why does personal branding matter?

Some people might correlate personal branding as a person’s identity as it is within an individual, encompassing one’s passions, strength, and purpose in the world. Numerous experts believe that developing personal brand is essential for the advancement of career and development as a leader. In today’s competitive world, having a unique personal brand can get you hired for your next job or help boost your own business projects. 

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43 percent use social media to check on current employees. The survey also cited that personal branding is beneficial from the employer’s perspective. Thus, employers often prefer to hire candidates who have a strong personal brand. 

See also: Passion vs. Paycheck: Which One Should You Pursue?

The growing gig economy also contributes as one of the reasons why personal brands are valuable. Diane Mulcahy told the Washington Post that the gig economy is big and getting bigger. Companies will do just about anything to avoid hiring full-time employees. Add to that the fact that there is no job security anymore, workers are increasingly aware that they need to work differently if they want to create any sort of stability for themselves. For example, strengthening their own brand so that they can progress in a competitive world of gig economy. 

So, how does one build a personal brand that stands out? 

Personal branding is an ongoing process of establishing an image in the mind of others. It can be done online and/or offline, for example via social media, networking, forum, etc. Here are tangible ways to build up and strengthen your personal brand: 

  1. If you are new to the world of work, you should develop a bio statement. Make it appealing by using positive words arrangements. If you are an expert in one area, it will be great if you have a slogan to brand yourself. But remember, personal branding is not a resume. Your personal statement gives a snapshot of who you are, what you do, and what value you bring to others. Personal brand statements are usually three to four sentences long and clearly communicate the vision of your personal brand. 
  1. You do not need to be an active social media influencer but be present on social media. It is the 21st century where there is no reason to not subscribe to social media channels. You can, for example, follow someone or a group of your choice to get a better look at how professionals do their job. It will be great if you reach out to your chosen influencers on social media and build a professional relationship with them. You can both expand your network and get free lessons from experienced people. 
  1. Be an attention grabber, talk about what makes you interesting. You might think that networking topics in business are around projects, professionalism, and things that are associated with work. But that is not necessarily true. Great networking also talks about passion, hobbies, personality traits and other things that will make you look interesting in the eyes of others. 
  1. Identify your core values and put them into action. For example, if you care about social causes, find opportunities to volunteer at a local organisation that supports and advocates for these causes. Actively looking for platforms that match your passions and traits will help you connect more with like-minded people. 
  1. Attend industry events - obviously because attending an event expands your networks for professional development. The more you expand your network, the more you position yourself for opportunities. 

Whether you are a job seeker actively looking for a job, an employee who looks for promotion, or an entrepreneur who wants to expand your business, you should always be mindful to have a good, authentic personal brand. Personal branding is more important now than ever because first impressions matter, be it in the professional worlds or personal life. 

Read also: 3 Tips to Get Hired by Big Tech Companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.

Creative Ways to Show Your Appreciation to Colleagues 

The word appreciate is linked to being grateful or thankful for; to value or regard highly. At work, our colleagues play a vital role – being our motivator as well as a supporter to ensure our days at work run  smoothly. They are the ones we turn to whenever we need help with a project. They help us in time of need and teach us how to be grateful in a working environment. If you are an intern and your supervisor is a very welcoming and helpful person, you might want to show gratitude to appreciate their help and guidance. 

As you ponder over how to show appreciation to fellow colleagues, seniors, or boss, there are at least five practical ways as mentioned in The 5 Languages of Appreciation of the Workplace book. 

  • Words – simply thanking your colleague or writing a note is a very personal way of expressing your appreciation.
  • Gift – a gift need not always be something expensive. It is the thought that counts. By getting your colleague a gift based on their likings or preferences, it shows how much you value them as a colleague. 
  • Time – your colleagues might just wish for someone to spend time with them or to lend them a listening ear. If so, give them your time to show appreciation.
  • Acts – as a way of expressing your gratitude, you could assist your colleague in a project or work together with them to complete a task.
  • Touch – you have to be careful with this. While some might abuse it, we want to do so appropriately. A pat on the back after a work well-done is a way to appreciate your colleague through touch.

See also: Passion vs. Paycheck: Which One Should You Pursue? 

Our colleagues are the ones around us at work every day. We do not want to take them for granted. Here is some gifts idea if you decide to buy your coworkers present to show appreciations: 

  • Amplify box – a beautifully packaged snack box that helps boost mood and motivation. 
  • An eco-friendly box – a highly functional gift that might delight your coworkers and helps reduce plastic pollution. 
  • A mug – a handy little gadget that your coworkers will love. 
  • Comfortable socks – especially if you live in cold areas. 
  • Indoor plants – it helps boost the view in your coworker’s desk, and probably their productivity. 
  • A candle that smells like their favourite state – regardless of intimacy level, a therapeutic candle helps brighten one’s mood. 
  • A game of miniature golf – it can help your workmate escape from the comfort of their desk. 
  • You can also prepare tools to keep your coworker’s electronic devices neat like handy charging, desk cable clips, portable battery, a charging stand, etc. 

The idea for appreciation is endless. As long as you keep the relationship professional and show your feelings in the right manner, whatever you give, do, or say will be of your colleague’s delight. 

See also: 6 Tips to Respectfully Disagree with Your Boss

6 Tips to Respectfully Disagree with Your Boss 

In a discussion, one often finds it easier to agree than disagree. At some point, you have a feeling that your manager’s plan will not work out well due to particular reasons. But is it okay to hold differing opinions against a supervisor? Some might say it is foolish to disagree with your boss, because such disagreement could put their job in danger.

The truth is, most bosses and managers are open to receiving different perspectives and ideas from their team members. Instead of a bunch of yes-men, managers want their staff to voice out their opinions and concerns. In the end, truly collaborative teams are those who work together to find solutions. If you disagree with the decisions your supervisor has made, then have the courage to express your thoughts. Presenting alternate solutions can provide an opportunity for your entire team to grow.

See also: 7 Things to Never Say to Your Boss 

Here are some tips to voicing disagreement positively and respectfully:

1- Clear understanding

Have a clear understanding of the issue that you disagree with. Do not speak to your boss about your disagreement until you can put it into words. You should also make sure to speak up your ideas clearly and carefully. 

2- Right place, right time

Don’t discourage ideas, especially from a supervisor, in front of other teams. It might sound unpleasant and the person you disagree with could lose face. You should talk to your boss in private so there will be no interruptions and you can accentuate your ideas better. Don’t go to him when he looks frustrated or interfere with his schedule by hitting him up just before a major meeting. Find the perfect time, like a lunch break or watercooler chat. 

3- Keep emotions out of the equation

Learn to control your emotions when there is something that you violently object to, even if your boss is obstinate. Keep in mind that you are addressing the issue and not your boss.

4- Start on a positive note 

You should not bluntly tell your boss that his idea sucks or that you disagree with them. First, you should discuss what is working well before you move on to your recommendations on how to improve the situation. Try to stay positive and respectful and lead off with a negative comment, then point out the reasons why it will not work. 

5- Provide solutions

Disagree, if you must. But you have got to provide alternative solutions. If you have nothing better to offer, you have to go along with what you have now. Don’t be discouraged when your ideas are not accepted. At the end of the day, it is your boss that makes the decision.

6- Know when to move on 

As mentioned, it is your boss who has the final decision. Once you present your argument, understand that your supervisor will ultimately decide whether to implement the approach or not. Do not force him to accept your ideas, but give him some time to think about it. Repeatedly reminding the same issue will only add tension to your relationship with the manager and team. Let go of your ego and move on once your boss makes a decision. 

Read also: 3 Tips to Get Hired by Big Tech Companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. 

Things to Never Say to Your Boss

Your boss is not your friend. 

Many will find this statement agreeable, but some others often overlook this point when they get too familiar with their bosses. No matter how close or friendly you are with your employers, a boss is a boss. Manager Joelle Zarcone in her article said that she likes her employees but she does not want to be their friend. There are a number of reasons why managers do not want to befriend their subordinates. 

  • It will be more challenging to manage the team and enforce rules. 
  • Being a friend can open up the potential of favouritism which can endanger the team collaboration
  • It can be difficult to provide honest feedback to a friend. 

Those are the reasons why managers do not want to befriend employees, and here are some good reasons why your boss should stay to be your boss and NOT your friend. 

  • Friends do not require a progress report, while your boss needs it. Without the report, there is a good chance you will not develop professionally in your career. 
  • Managers also play as a role model and leader, while friends are there to support you, not to be your role model. 
  • Managers will always try to change your behaviours and habits to suit the company culture. Friends will accept you as you are. 
  • Friends are equal to each other but your boss is superior to you even if they might be younger than you. 

All in all, if you treat your boss as a friend, you might end up losing the opportunity to progress professionally – which you don’t want, right? 

Now that you understand why your boss should be as they are, you should always treat and speak professionally to them. Your boss might be friendly but maintaining your professionalism will save your future in the company – besides, what has been said could never be taken back. Aside from the obvious, like profanity and insults, here are 5 phrases you should never say to your boss, even if they are super friendly: 

1. “I just can’t stand working with…..”

This statement will backfire at you. You might think that complaining about your colleague is going to get him into your boss’ bad books. But that is not true because complaining about your colleague will most likely ruin your reputation rather than his.

2. “It’s not my fault…”

Your boss is going to see you as a childish 6-year-old if you were to make such a statement. Take full responsibility for the mistake you have made. Even if it is not your fault, avoid saying this. Take an active role to be part of the solution instead.

3. “I can’t……”

When you are not able to complete certain tasks that your boss hands you, never say you cannot do it. You might be in a situation where you have other tasks at hand. Explain the situation to your boss and ask which is more important.

4. “That isn’t my job….”

The tasks asked of you might not be limited to what is in the job description. As long as it is asked of you, it is part of your job.

5. “I emailed you about it last week.”

Your responsibility does not end when you have sent that email to your boss. When you do not get a reply, it is your duty to follow up on the matter.

6. “That’s impossible.” 

Your boss does not want to hear negativity or lack of conviction; most likely they do not even want to hear you complaining about problems over and over again. Thus, if you have concerns, state what they are and ask for input. 

7. “No” 

This is just a plain word of rejection but it could affect your job in many ways. Your cooperation is expected and so is a polite tone. Even if you and your boss tend to joke around, telling him no is inappropriate. It is better to say that you have a matter that is more critical to be done first and that you can handle it later. 

One important note to remember when you speak with your boss is think before you speak. 

Read also: Student-to-Employee Transition: What Can You Learn from an Internship? 

Career Decision Making Tips for College Graduates 

Career decision-making is a complex and lifelong process. Statistics indicate that the average worker will change careers five to seven times in their lifetime. In today’s fluid and rapidly changing workplace, those statistics are expected to increase over time. Hence, the best career decisions are informed career decisions. Being informed means entering into a process of self-assessment (looking at yourself) and career exploration (researching careers) to find the best match.

Many career professionals view career decision-making as similar to putting together pieces of a puzzle to form a clear picture of what those pieces represent. Many also agree that the primary puzzle pieces in the career process are your interests, personality, values, and skills. Each piece needs to be explored carefully and thoroughly on its own, and then looked at in terms of its interrelationship with the other pieces in forming a picture that is clear and understandable, such as a picture of “who you are” in terms of your career aspirations.

Here are four considerations of career decision making that college graduates should pay attention to.  

Interests 

Interests are those activities in which you like to spend most of your time and from which you gain pleasure. John Holland, a famous career theorist, believed that all of us fall into one or more of six broad interest areas: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. He also believed that all work environments could be classified into the same six areas. So if you can identify your interest areas, you can readily identify work environments (and careers) that might match. The Strong Interest Inventory, a formal career assessment based on Holland’s work, is a valid and reliable tool that can help you make this match. 

See also: 7 Hard Skills That’ll Guarantee You Job

Personality 

Personality is the specific way in which you think and act, that makes it very complex. One aspect of personality is what’s called your “clarity of preferences,” or your tendency to be one way or the other. Research showed that personality is very closely connected to career choice, as people of certain personality types are attracted to certain types of careers.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a formal career assessment, is another valid and reliable tool in the self-assessment process. With the MBTI there are sixteen different personality types. Each type is considered to be good as they are simply different. By taking the assessment you will find out your type, and thus the clarity of your preferences. You will then discover what kinds of careers your type is attracted to. 

Values 

Values are the principles or standards that drive your decisions, actions and behaviours. It is the ideals that guide and give meaning to your life and work. We all have a specific set of core values that serve as our “compass” in our personal and professional lives.

A career consultant, Ed Hallenbeck, has developed “values inventory.” It is a list of common values; some of which might resonate with you. The values inventory can be found as a separate career handout. It will help you identify values that are important to you, and thus characteristics that are important to you in careers and work environments. 

Skills 

Skills are the abilities we use to produce results in the things we do and the things we believe we do well. These things (or skills) come from a variety of sources including, but not limited to: natural ability and aptitudes, formal education, training/professional development, work experiences, volunteer service and leisure activities.

Your skills can be “technical”, such as management, accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, engineering or teaching. They also could be “soft” skills like time management, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, multi-tasking or working well in groups.

Skills can also be classified into motivated and unmotivated. Motivated skills are those things we do well, and we truly enjoy doing. Unmotivated skills are those things we do well, but really have no interest in doing.

In this area, Ed Hallenbeck developed a “motivated skills inventory.” It is a list of common skills. The motivated skills inventory can be found as a separate career handout. It will help you identify those things in which you have confidence in doing (and enjoy doing). By having an inventory of your motivated skills, you can then identify careers where those skills are both needed and valued.

Read also: How to Turn The Tide When Interview Goes Wrong

7 Hard Skills That’ll Guarantee You Job 

Hard skills are defined as specific knowledge and abilities that are learned through education or training. Given that many industries and professions have a specific list of abilities that are necessary to properly perform the job, hard skills can also be thought of as job-specific skills.

Putting the right hard skills on your resume is essential. Without hard skills, landing an interview or even getting passed on applicant tracking systems becomes almost impossible. Hence, when building your resume or preparing for an interview, make sure you have a list of hard skills. Consider incorporating some of the examples compiled below as these hard skills are essential in today’s tech world. 

1- Computer technology 

Many companies require candidates to apply for jobs using technology-based platforms. Therefore, it is vital to at least possess a basic grasp of computer technology. Show your prospective employers that you are prepared to embrace the technologies needed to perform your job effectively by mastering these important technology-related hard skills: 

  • Microsoft office suite 
  • Social media 
  • HTML 
  • Analytics 
  • Pivot tables 

2- Data analysis 

Our world is driven by data and data analysis skills have become highly valued across a wide variety of industries. The ability to analyse data and use that information for the benefit of your company is extremely useful. Here are data analysis areas that you can learn: 

  • Data mining
  • Data presentation 
  • Resource management 
  • Data engineering 
  • Database management 
  • Any use of data to explore a problem or make a decision 

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3- Marketing 

Personal brand or employer brand, both need good marketing strategy. The ability to convince customers, clients, or prospective employers will always help you in your world of work. After all, success in marketing directly correlates to an increase in revenue. There are a number of hard marketing skills that have become incredibly sought after, as follows: 

  • Search engine optimisation 
  • Search engine marketing 
  • Marketing campaign management 
  • Google analytics 
  • Content management systems, such as WordPress

4- Design 

While being artistically talented is a natural ability, there are certain design elements and tools  that must be learned through education or training. As technology has advanced, consumer’s standards for design aesthetics have also increased. Not to mention, having design skills will help you land a job easily. Here are some of examples of the hard design skills most desired by employers: 

  • User interface design 
  • User experience design 
  • Adobe creative suite, such as Photoshop and InDesign
  • Digital product design software, such as InVision and Zeppelin 

5- Cloud computing 

As network and internet technology has advanced, more and more businesses have turned to cloud computing as a convenient data storage and management solution. This means that people who have the skills to build and manage cloud networks are in high demand. Following is some of cloud computing skills: 

  • Cloud architecture 
  • Storage and data management 
  • Networking communication 
  • Cloud middleware technologies 
  • Cloud applications, such as JSON, Rest, and RPC 

6- Mobile and web development 

New websites are created every second and thousands of mobile apps are released per day. All of these websites and apps can only be created by people with the necessary mobile and web development skills. Here are examples of mobile and web development skills you can master: 

  • Software revision control systems 
  • Android development 
  • iOS app development 
  • Web architecture and development framework 
  • Angular and node apps 

7- Network structure and security 

Cyberattacks have become a hot topic during pandemic and there is an increased need for cybersecurity experts from time to time. IT professionals who have the skills to protect data are in higher demand than ever before. Being a company’s data shield is no easy feat, so you need to learn some of the following hard skills: 

  • Encryption algorithms 
  • Authentication systems 
  • Risk assessment 
  • Cryptography 
  • Virtual and host-based firewalls

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