‘Professional Development’ outlined the value of employability skills and their relevance to establishing a career. Employability skills are classified as “general job skills” which are “common skills needed to do most jobs” (Youth Central: 2017). Through different employability training within and prior to the module, I have developed and enhanced practical skills that can be further developed in the future.
Within the module I have enhanced my problem solving skills through a mock group interview activity. Each member of the group represented a different department of a company and the activity required us to divide a budget between these departments, each pitching for a certain amount. As a collective we had to decide the best way to divide the money. By evaluating the benefits of each department to the company and the effects of receiving their desired budget we were able to compromise a suitable budget between each department that would ultimately benefit the company as a whole.
Another key employability skill I developed during the module was my listening and communication skills. Throughout the module we had a variety of guest speakers informing us about the different post-graduate routes, benefits of internships and different schemes available to help develop our CVs. By attending these guest speaker events, I was expected to engage with the speakers and their open-floor discussions whilst simultaneously listening to their presentations to understand the advantages and disadvantages of their career opportunities.
It is essential that employers have evidence of an individual’s capacity and skills, commonly demonstrated through their experiences (Trought 2017). Whilst developing skills on the module, I have also gained employability skills through different experiences.
During Sixth Form, I was part of our Student Leadership Team as the Events Manager where my role consisted of organizing and overseeing all the major events including fundraisers for Children in Need, Grenfell Tower and Breast Cancer as well as our annual Student Theatrical Design Art Show, enhancing my leadership skills. My role required me to frequently liaise with the other members on the team to ensure the delegated tasks were being completed to meet crucial deadlines, improving my time management skills. I also assisted the finance team, which improved my overall budgeting and money handling skills as well as leading the marketing for these events by creating flyers and speaking in assemblies. Being on the forefront of the marketing developed my public speaking skills as well as introduced me to learning new computer software skills such as Adobe Photoshop.
As well as taking up leadership roles, being part of the Musical Theatre Society (MTS) at University has allowed me to develop these general skills. Being a society member requires the characteristic of being “open to try new things” (Youth Central: 2017), and to part-take in activities outside of your own comfort zone. By learning new dances I surpassed my comfort zone to work in a collective team and ultimately improve my self-confidence, an integral aspect associated with public speaking presentation skills. This is reflected in throughout my degree where I am expected to give assignments in the form of presentations and due to the skills developed in MTS, I am able to successfully deliver these presentations.
Another experience where I am able to develop my skills set is through my job as a personal tutor. Self-management is defined as the “readiness to accept responsibility” (Trought 2017) and as a tutor, my self-management skills have been integral to ensure that all lessons are effective for the student to understand the content. I have to remain organized with marking and feedback to ensure that any teaching improvements can be made within a suitable timeframe. Being a tutor, requires working towards a deadline, the student’s exams, and therefore I have to be able to adapt my teaching techniques to the their preferred learning style within short periods of time. My ability to adapt is an integral skill required in the workplace as it aids problem solving as well as other skills and how they can be applied in a variety of situations.
In conclusion, I have been able to develop new and existing
employability skills throughout different experiences both within and outside
of the module. Although these experiences range differently from each other,
the skills developed are transferrable and can all be used effectively in the
workplace when shaping my future career.
Trought, F. (2017) Brilliant Employability Skills: How to stand out from the crowd in the graduate job market. [Coventry University e-brary] Harlow: Pearsons. available from <https://bibliu.com/app/#/view/books/9781292158921/epub/OPS/html/chapter-001.html#page_19>
Youth Central (2017) Job skills you should have [online] available from <https://www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au/jobs-and-careers/plan-your-career/8-job-skills-you-should-have>