In Uganda, what sells you to employers is not only the academic transcripts that you carry but also the skills that you posses. Your academic documents show how good you are at passing exams but your skills show the quality in you.
With hundreds of thousands of students graduating every year in Uganda in different disciplines, there are several candidates who studied what you studied and even got better grades than you. To beat them in the labor market, you need to acquire skills that every employer is looking for in an employee which will make you a suitable candidate to be chosen.
There are very many qualities needed by different employers but these 10 basic skills are needed by every employer wherever you go.
1. Communication skills. This is the most important skill in every industry. It involves verbal, written and body communication. How you talk to your bosses, how you listen, explain to customers, how you write necessary communication documents etc. With poor communications skills, it’s not even likely that you will go beyond the job interview. Look for your weaknesses in this skill and if possible enroll for short courses that will help you improve on your communication skills. Online courses, e books and articles can also help you improve these skills, engaging yourself more with people, joining social groups and engaging in public debates are also some of the ways to increase your communication skills.
2. ICT Skills. Computer has become part of the daily work that customers do. A considerable percentage of jobs advertised in newspapers and online require computer skills as an added advantage. The most required skills include knowledge on Windows basics, Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point. Become a friend of computer, online courses and YouTube tutorials are some of the ways to improve your computer expertise.
3. Business Acumen. There is nothing that beats an employer like finding you acquainted with the information about the industry. You already know how the markets behave, consumer and producer relationship, key players in the industry and other related information. Get insight of the industry you are interested in to be able to appear on top of employer’s choice.
4. Team work skills. Goals are not achieved by individuals; they are achieved by a team. A chief human resource objective of every company is creating a strongly tied team of workers. Therefore having that skill of being able to get along with others helps to get chosen. You can improve on your Team Work skills by doing group assignments, doing voluntary work for the community, joining support teams etc.
5. Problem solving skill. Employers like employing workers who have ability to analyze solve logical problems. Problem solving skill becomes more essential when applying for a job that involves management.
6. Flexibility. The world is changing so is conditions of work. The ability to adapt to changes matters a lot to employers. You must be flexible ready to blend easily with new working environment, new technology etc.
Read: How to write a good job application that meets employers requirements
7. Ability to work under pressure. Most people in their applications say they are able to work under pressure, but that’s not the case with most of them. You need to develop a strong sense of self control such that in crisis days, you will remain calm not stressed or moody.
8. Self Confidence. Having confidence in yourself is a key to success at your workplace. However you need to show self confidence in appropriate way since it might turn into arrogance. Having confidence in your seniors, juniors and other workmates is also a good skill.
9. Leadership skills. Can you become a group leader? Stop even thinking about managerial positions, can you command respect, delegate duties, and motivate fellow workers? You also need to portray an example for others to follow.
10. Self-management. No employer wants a worker that he will need to inspect time and again, give every simple instruction. Developing a skill of being able to work under minimum supervision, time management, goal setting and achieving them in a set time scale is one of the skills that makes you marketable and desired by employers.