4 Life Skills Every Employee Should Possess
Regardless of the industry, business or career, most employers will expect the same traits from their employees: namely an eagerness to help, company loyalty, professionalism, and a good work ethic. These are often characteristics that are learned on the job, but one way to ensure that a job applicant can set themselves apart from the competition is to highlight their soft skills (skills such as communication, empathy and active listening, for example) and general life-learned awareness. Many employers will pay careful attention to soft skills such as these, both during the interview process and when a candidate is engaged.
To maximize the chance of a getting a job and later career success, life skills such as the four detailed below should be developed as they will benefit job applicants significantly when the time comes to take on a new role.
What are Life Skills?
In the most general terms, a life skill is something learned after exposure to a particular activity that takes place in a person’s day-to-day routine. For instance, learning how to deal with potentially confrontational situations in a calm, non-aggressive way can be an important life skill. Activities such as painting on a canvas, or using a GIF maker to produce entertaining memes, don’t fall into this category; they are more technical skills that can be put to good use in other ways.
Life skills aren’t all that matters in an employee, of course - they are complementary to key technical and professional work skills and experience. A graphic designer, for example, must know how to handle professional image and video editing software. Alternatively, they can use a free online video and image editor like CapCut or Canva - simple and easy.
Knowing how to make complicated tasks simpler is a crucial skill for any employee. For example, instead of training for months to learn how to use complicated software packages, choosing a more user-friendly alternative will get the job done faster without losing quality. For video and graphic design, CapCut offers extensive online editing tools. The sign-up process is fast and efficient and, once logged in, all new users will be able to select the option to sign up for the 7-day free trial, with no obligation to continue. However as most find the features and functions of CapCut to be versatile and beneficial for their content-creation needs, many continue with their subscription.
There are other tools available from CapCut that make creating content quick and easy, without sacrificing on quality in the process, from AI image upscalers that are able to enhance the quality and resolution of photos and clips, right through to text software that is capable of turning written words into speech, or vice versa.
But enough about practical skills and video editing - let’s take a look at some of the most important life skills all employees should also possess.
This life skill is one that people learn over time and it allows them to empathize with others. Empathy is especially helpful within a working environment as conflicts will arise and, when they do, someone that is empathetic to the thoughts and feelings of others will be able to better-understand the cause of their emotions. Skills such as empathy are learned throughout life and can be a useful tool for an employee to have in their arsenal. Although the ability might be unpaid, it can still help to contribute to a comfortable working environment that colleagues can settle into.
Another useful life skill is kindness, whereby an individual can combine the above with this one to provide a warm, comfortable approach to the way in which they deal with people. Not only can kindness be beneficial in the workplace, it can actually contribute to a safe and secure atmosphere. When someone exudes kindness, they will often be placed in positions where communication skills are key, such as an office psychologist. In some instances, just having a pleasant person around can affect the atmosphere and enhance the way that everyone feels. Kindness can also be an excellent way to de-escalate a potentially confrontational situation, as if one party involved is willing to drop their stance and show kindness, it can be difficult for someone opposing them to continue attacking.
Another good way to ensure good relationships with colleagues is with a genuine level of interest. There can be a huge difference between gossiping and simply demonstrating interest in someone’s life, and those with this skill should be able to identify the difference. By paying attention to how others think or feel, this can assist in a number of ways, from keeping morale high, right through to enhancing performance in the workplace, as those that feel appreciated will be far more likely to improve their efficiency as they’ll be safe and comfortable. Showing an interest also extends into other parts of a working environment, including being able to lend a hand if a workload is especially demanding. If someone in a supervisory role is good at showing interest, it can also be possible for them to delegate tasks to help lighten the load for colleagues and allow them to feel like things are a little fairer in the workplace.
4. Knowing When to Say No
It can be easy to agree to everything, but this can often lead to a person being taken advantage of. Assertiveness and knowing when to say no is a reliable life skill as the individual will be able to identify the right time to agree to something, and when to refute it. Knowing when to say no doesn’t have to be a harsh character trait, in fact, it can be beneficial to businesses of all sizes and most people in management roles will need to understand the importance of saying no to ensure a smooth working atmosphere. Knowing when to say no can also stretch outside of the workplace, for example if colleagues have been invited to an event and one or more don’t want to attend due to other obligations or responsibilities. Feeling obliged to do anything can actually detract from the comfort that an employee feels and so being able to say no is a good life skill to learn.
These are not the only important traits, others such as generosity, consideration, thoughtfulness and a willingness to help others, are equally important and each will play a role in day-to-day work habits. The more that someone works on themselves, the more likely they will succeed in the workplace, whilst also raising others and ensuring that they are comfortable and secure in their position.
About the Author
Al is a copywriter with many years of teaching experience. Currently, he combines his work with a passion for writing and explaining complex issues in an accessible and understandable language.