Category Archives: Skills Development

Life skills everyone should learn and know

Basic Life Skills

It is not surprising how many students leave the comfort of their parents home lacking the basic knowledge and skills of day-to-day life because they have always relied on their parents.

There are certain life skills that every child needs to be taught before they leave the secure and sheltered nest of their parents. We are not born with the knowledge of being able to take of ourselves, and you would be shocked by how many young adults need help and assistance with the most basic life skills.

This is in no way an insult on the intelligence of young adults. Just because you are no longer in school does not mean you have all the ruined life skills. It is alarming to how many students lack basic life skills because they have always relied on their parents to take care of them.

Some skills are handy while others are essential and can make the lives of any young adult easier. Here is a list of some (not all) useful life skills every high school student should before leaving the comforts and protection of home.

Home and personal care skills

How to use basic kitchen appliances.
How to wash and dry clothing.
How to clean a house including toilets, bathrooms and floors.
How to contribute to the running of a household.
How to shop for food and groceries.
How to cook basic meals.
How to clean up after yourself.

Life management skills

How to create a budget.
How to earn and manage money.
How to organize and keep financial records.
How to use a credit card responsibly and avoid debt.
How to manage and take care of personal taxes.
How to talk to strangers.
How to navigate and find your way around.
How to handle interpersonal problems.
How to cope with the ups and downs of life.
How to be resilient.
How to demonstrate good table manners.
How to respect your parents and elders.
How manage mange anger.
How to live within your means.

Student-Specific Skills

How to manage assignments, workload, and meet deadlines.
How to research and register for classes.
How to make clear and readable notes in class.
How to write an essay.
How to speak in public.
How to take a test.
How to maintain a healthy balance between academic and social life.

Professional skills

Ability to write resume.
Ability to handle a job interview.
Ability to draft a cover letter.
Ability to search for a job.
Ability to handle rejection.
Ability to network effectively.
Ability to make a good first impression.
Ability to persuade others.
Ability to be able to listen consciously.
Ability to communicate in clear and assertive manner.
Ability to get along with others and interpersonal skills.
Ability to learn basic time management skills.
Ability to set life and career goals.

General Conscientiousness

Ability to be aware of one’s surroundings.
Ability to see and recognize a potential dangerous situation.
Ability and knowledge to avoid drugs and alcohol.
Ability to be sexually responsible.
Ability to say in a respectful way.
Ability to ask for help.
Ability to start a conversation.
Ability to accept constructive criticism.
Ability to make effective decision.
Ability to take risks.
Ability to apologize.
Ability to change a tire on a car.
Ability to use a first aid kit.
Ability to give the Heimlich maneuver.
Ability to be honest.
Ability to be patient.

What country has the highest high school dropout rate?

High School Dropout rate

The percentage of people completing a secondary education varies significantly between countries. That system is designed to prepare students for a university level education and failure to complete it can create major challenges in finding work. According to a recent report, 17 percent of younger adults (aged 25-34) had not attained an upper secondary level education in 2013 compared to 34 percent of older adults (aged 55-64) across OECD countries.

The report also used UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) data to gauge secondary education completion rates in other countries. This revealed that in China, 64 percent of 25-34 year olds failed to attain an upper secondary level education. Indonesia and Mexico also had high rates of young people failing to complete secondary school. Elsewhere, early-school leavers are a rare sight in South Korea where only 2 percent of young people failed to attain a secondary education. In the United States, an average of one in ten students fails to finish high school.

HIgh School failure
Source: Forbes.com

How to convey confidence with nonverbal communication

nonverbal communication

It’s well known that good communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, be it personal or professional.

Interpersonal communication is much more than the explicit meaning of words, the information or message conveyed. It also includes implicit messages, whether intentional or not, which are expressed through non-verbal behaviours.

You cannot avoid sending nonverbal messages to others; however, it is possible to train yourself to send the right ones. The ability to understand and use nonverbal communication, or body language, is a powerful tool that can help you connect with others, express what you really mean, and build better relationships.

Non-verbal communications include facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, gestures displayed through body language and the physical distance between the communicators

Here are few nonverbal cues that convey confidence and credibility in the workplace.

  • Good eye contact.
  • A confident handshake.
  • Effective gestures.
  • Dressing the part.
  • Authoritative posture and presence.
  • Appropriate facial expressions.
  • Initiating interactions.
  • Appropriate voice tone.
  • Giving your full attention.
  • Responding to others’ nonverbal cues.

How Aging Workers Can Stay Employable

 

Aging Workforce

Are you afraid that one day you will lose your job, get fired, or retrenched? You might be in a growing and stable industry, however you are now in your mid 50’s with no Plan B. If that day arrives and you are laid off or retrenched, do you think you will be face an uphill battle and struggle to find another job? Remember, older people find it more difficult to work jobs and stay unemployed for longer.

Don’t fear or have a panic attack. There are a number of thing you can do to prevent being laid off or retrenched and stay employable. Here are few ideas:

Try to predict the future and make the necessary adjustments – Is your immediate superior all of a sudden giving you the code shoulder? Has your supervisor declined invitations to lunch? Are there meeting being help and you are not invited? All these things are not very positive signs and you have to accept that something is brewing. Do you feel that your job position is becoming less important, or your influence at work is diminishing. If so, then this is the time to volunteer for more assignments and tasks. Get involved with the more projects that everyone in the workplace is talking about.

Connect and team up with younger colleagues – Everyone has get along with co-workers and more often than not, older employees get far too comfortable  interacting with those people who they started out with. It is important to connect with the younger generation  and clients.

Accept and be open to new experiences – Don’t be afraid to get of your comfort zone and try  new things and experiences. Take advantage of new experiences and opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people.

Brush up on your technology skills – If you don’t keep up-to-date with technology it will quickly show. In today’s working you need to be able to do it all and technology is one of those things that is changing rapidly. One day you are using a fax to send documents, then the next day you are sharing via the cloud. The thing to remember is that it is not always experience that counts.

Make sure to highlight your experience and never dwell on the past – Make sure that you are able to show how valuable you are and what you contribute to your job and company without sounding like you still living in the past and a different era.

Accept that you will have bosses that are younger than you but don’t act as a parent – Have you ever been to a doctor that is younger than you and pass some sort of comment or joke how young the doctor is? This is exactly what you ever want to do when you find out that the intern from a few year back is now returning as a manager. remember there is a clear difference between being a colleague with a younger worker and not being a parent to them. make sure you understand this because no one want to work with parents around.

See the change and adapt accordingly – Always be flexible to change in the workplace. We all know that job description change over time and how to adapt and accept these changes is important. Older workers are generally resistant to change and find it hard to adapt and accept these changes. Companies today rely on new ideas and innovative ways to deliver their product and services. Accept changes in the workplace. Keep in mind, you bosses are not looking for your opinion about the changes. Rather they are telling you how things are going be moving forward and either accept this or move on.

Build and maintain company and industry relations – Always keep up your professional friendships in your work life. This mean both internal and external because these relationships can be highly important during difficult times. Firstly, the friendships can bring in new clients, revenue, and ideas. Secondly, these friendships can enhance your company’s perception of the value you add and this can improve by the  of you by number and quality of your associations and affiliations.

Adults As Learners

Contemporary business people working in team in the office

Part of being an effective instructor involves understanding how adults learn best. Compared to children and teens, adults have special needs and requirements as learners. Despite the apparent truth, adult learning is a relatively new area of study. The field of adult learning was pioneered by Malcom Knowles.

He identified the following characteristics of adult learners:

•    Adults are autonomous and self-directed. They need to be free to direct themselves. Their teachers must actively involve adult participants in the learning process and serve as facilitators for them. Specifically, they must get participants’ perspectives about what topics to cover and let them work on projects that reflect their interests. They should allow the participants to assume responsibility for presentations and group leadership. They have to be sure to act as facilitators, guiding participants to their own knowledge rather than supplying them with facts. Finally, they must show participants how the class will help them reach their goals (e.g., via a personal goals sheet).

•    Adults have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge that may include work-related activities, family responsibilities, and previous education. They need to connect learning to this knowledge/experience base. To help them do so, they should draw out participants’ experience and knowledge which is relevant to the topic. They must relate theories and concepts to the participants and recognize the value of experience in learning.

•    Adults are goal-oriented. Upon enrolling in a course, they usually know what goal they want to attain. They, therefore, appreciate an educational program that is organized and has clearly defined elements. Instructors must show participants how this class will help them attain their goals. This classification of goals and course objectives must be done early in the course.

•    Adults are relevancy-oriented. They must see a reason for learning something. Learning has to be applicable to their work or other responsibilities to be of value to them. Therefore, instructors must identify objectives for adult participants before the course begins. This means, also, that theories and concepts must be related to a setting familiar to participants. This need can be fulfilled by letting participants choose projects that reflect their own interests.

•    Adults are practical, focusing on the aspects of a lesson most useful to them in their work. They may not be interested in knowledge for its own sake. Instructors must tell participants explicitly how the lesson will be useful to them on the job.

•    As do all learners, adults need to be shown respect. Instructors must acknowledge the wealth of experiences that adult participants bring to the classroom. These adults should be treated as equals in experience and knowledge and allowed to voice their opinions freely in class.