7 human skills you need to stay employable

Do you think you're employable? These 7 skills could help you more than you know

Since the pandemic embedded itself into our world, talk of career satisfaction and financial security seems to dominate our everyday lives. The realisation of the fragility of our existence and how it can change overnight has forced us to examine established life choices, especially the importance of our jobs and careers. For many people, the feeling of insecurity will remain, no matter our economic times. And that is not an entirely bad thing―it keeps us from becoming complacent. Australia’s economy is now enjoying a solid bounce-back and recovery, bringing with it a renewed sense of job security. While low unemployment rates are, of course, highly desirable, they are not the sole indicator of job security and indeed not of employability. For ongoing success in your career, there are 7 key attributes to consider:

  1. A thirst for knowledge.
    In a rapidly changing world, be a ‘forever learner’ or risk being left behind. Forever learning is not a button that can be switched on and off. It means having a curious mind and a real hunger for knowledge that goes deeper than simply collecting information from a quick online search. A thirst for knowledge encourages and motivates you to keep questioning while you dig deeper in exploring new ideas and opportunities. It will help you adapt and stay ahead of the curve. When you have this learning mindset, you are open to feedback; you improve and better yourself while self- confidence increases. All of this clearly puts you on the path to career success.
  2. Dependability
    A dependable person is accountable and trustworthy. Dependability is not a fair-weather attribute, and it shines through best when people are under pressure or even in temptation. Trust is a critical component of this attribute. Dependable people build trust by holding themselves accountable, which in turn saves employers valuable time and resources. With trust in place, your credibility and engagement strengthens, and you receive greater responsibility. The result is your learning, decision-making ability and self-confidence all increase. It’s a win-win all round.
  3. Resilience
    Being resilient is more than just coping. It’s how you cope and bounce back. In some circumstances, there is no choice but to get through a dark or difficult time, but how do you handle it? Do you apply grounded optimism? Do you learn from a situation and pivot to reduce stress and lessen the impact? Do you maintain and conserve your energy? Coming through the other side with depleted resources
    is not being resilient―it is just surviving. Resilience will help you grow and develop a healthy mindset of optimism and self-confidence to achieve. We don’t build successful careers by taking the easy route.
  4. Interpersonal nous
    How do you relate and communicate with people in the workplace? Your tone or a misused emotive word in an email or conversation can send the wrong message and trigger an unexpected response. Usually, we are unaware of these actions, only realising their impact after the fact. This is precisely how our relationships, dealings and negotiations at work come undone and cause unnecessary conflict, delay, inefficiency and tension. In addition, our time-poor state often prevents us from seeing and observing our surroundings. Therefore showing empathy and compassion is vital. With exceptional interpersonal nouns, you will have a more meaningful and prosperous career.
  5. Self-awareness
    To ensure higher EQ, self-awareness is needed. And, unfortunately, as humans, we are not geared to be great judges of ourselves. Self-awareness is the ability to recognise and understand the impact you have on others. Self-awareness is crucial for life and wellbeing at work and also integral to our interpersonal nouns. Possessing this attribute is a great way to set yourself apart in the employability and career stakes.
  6. Self-confidence
    Without self-confidence, we tend to give up much quicker than we would if we had faith in ourselves and our abilities. Self-esteem is a necessary ingredient for self-confidence. Having high levels of both allows you to recover better from setbacks because you don’t view them as a personal weakness but as a set of circumstances. Believing in your abilities affects your motivation, determination and drive, which are critical for career success.
  7. Optimism
    Not to be confused with the Pollyanna theory, optimism is our ‘balance’. You can still be a critical thinker and be an optimist. Optimism is part of our wellbeing―both mental and physical. When the chips are down, optimism provides a view from the other side of the spectrum. It shines a light on opportunities and the pathway ahead. It allows you to problem solve, stride through challenging times, have faith, and something to look forward to.

These 7 attributes―otherwise known as our human skills, are the foundations for career and life success. They are all linked and assist in supporting and strengthening each other. It’s impossible to hold all 7 of these attributes in perfect order. As we push, pull, squeeze, stretch, and, of course, nurture these attributes, it’s a constant WIP. By doing so will significantly improve our employability for the future.

Roxanne Calder, author of ‘Employable – 7 Attributes to Assuring Your Working
Future’ (Major Street $29.95), is the founder and managing director of EST10 – one of
Sydney’s most successful administration recruitment agencies. Roxanne is
passionate about uncovering people’s potential and watching their careers soar. For
more information on how Roxanne can assist you in your career visit