Life skills are traits or behaviours that can be applied to almost any area of life, with the goal of facilitating or delivering a positive outcome. In the global services sector, life skills can help to differentiate you from other employees and allow you to be seen by your employer as a value adding staff member.

Are there some things that you naturally do well? For example, in school were you always the one pulling the group together to complete assignments on time, or are you the friend always coming up with a life hack to solve some of life’s little and big problems? If you were usually the group captain, you may possess innate leadership skills. If you are usually the one coming up with work-arounds, then you may just be a born problem solver.

As you make steps to grow in your career whether as a first-time job applicant or as an experienced employee with intentions to upgrade; certain life skills may be your superpower. When crafting an enticing resume, adding life skills competencies to your resume will likely improve your employability appeal.

Here are six life skills that can help you to become a five-star employee.

1. Creative Problem Solving

There will always be a problem to be solved. Some may be major, having wide scale impact and some may be smaller in scope and reach. Being able to come up with quick and creative solutions puts you in the position to become an asset. To help develop or fine tune the skills of troubleshooting and problem solving, practice working through “what if” challenging scenarios and come up with at least two possible ways in which you could resolve the challenge.

2. Communication

Communication is so much a part of our lives that it is often taken for granted that everyone can communicate well. At the heart of effective communication is understanding who your audience is and tying that understanding to the objective of your message. A good way to sharpen your communication skills is to answer some of these questions:

  • Who is my audience? (gender, age, needs, concerns etc.)
  • What information do they need to be able to resolve their problem?
  • How best can I provide the information that they need?

3. Time Management

The phrase ‘time management’ is heard and said so much that it often seems like a cliche. However, its impact on employee efficiency is not to be underestimated. A good way to become a better time management technician is to do time and motion analysis for simple and complex tasks to ascertain how long a responsibility or task usually takes to be completed.

4. Working Well with Others

Being able to work in a team is a must-do for any individual, whether they are an employee or entrepreneur. However, not everyone is able to work well with others. Working well with others means being able to navigate various personalities, in a team or group situation with little to no major conflicts that could disrupt that team or group’s ability to achieve their collective objectives.

5. Conflict Resolution

Conflicts are a natural part of life and if handled properly, they can actually be a positive contributor to the work environment. The presence of conflict means that contrasting opinions or approaches exist.

Unfortunately, most people do not view conflicts as potential opportunities for change, and so differences are approached as reasons to communicate and behave in toxic and divisive manners. Being able to identify and diffuse conflicts that can lead to derailed projects and working relationships, is a critical skill to possess.

6. Leadership

Leadership means having a good vision for others to follow and also clearly communicating that vision and the path to achieving the big picture. Leadership is necessary for every area of life, and does not only apply to executives or those who bear the titles of manager and supervisor. The best way to practice becoming a good leader is by self-governance. By laying out the big picture for yourself and the path to making that picture a reality, you are in essence leading yourself to success. From your own personal success, you will have the tools to move others as well.

Life skills are not industry specific; they are the skills that enrich and enhance career qualifications and experience, transforming individuals from being like everyone else, to becoming 5-star employees.

Start checking in with yourself to see what life skills you possess. You are a star in the making.

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A 5-year project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank that will provide Jamaicans with access to training and better jobs in the global services sector, namely in knowledge process outsourcing, information technology outsourcing and business process outsourcing.

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