YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD JOB-READY/ EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS I CAN TEACH MY TEEN BEFORE THEY ENTER THE WORKFORCE FOR THE FIRST TIME?
EXPERIENCED DARREN BUCHANAN MANAGING DIRECTOR, HAYS QUEENSLAND
In all likelihood your teen has strong digital skills but they need to be able to use these in a professional context. For instance, social media jargon or acronyms aren’t suitable. Soft skills are also increasingly valued and topping the list are interpersonal and communication skills, which can include anything from working efficiently as part of a team, to the manner in which phone calls and emails are handled. Employers also look for people who are willing to learn, enthusiastic for the role and company, and possess a friendly and positive attitude.
MID-CAREER ANDREA DAVEY CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, EMPLOYMENT OFFICE
There are a number of ways in which parents can help. First, help your teen develop their work ethic by giving them chores or responsibilities around the house. You can easily tell if you’re interviewing someone who has had everything done for them by their parents! The ability to work in a team is important in most roles so encourage your child to join a sporting or cocurricular team. Teach your child to also take pride in their appearance – this is first noticed in the interview stage and easily transfers to how someone presents themselves in their job.
UP & COMING JULIE FORD SENIOR EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT, McARTHUR
My 17-year-old daughter has been working since she was old enough to get a job. The advice I gave her is to include in your application activities from everyday life that demonstrate qualities employers look for – reliability, punctuality, work ethic, eagerness to learn, and goal setting. Employers don’t expect you to have specific workplace skills but look for where you have taken responsibility, such as through babysitting, household chores, volunteering, or a leadership role. Short courses in administration or customer service are also of value.
THE EXPERT DR NERIDA HILLBERG DIRECTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, FERRIS MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS
The top skill for teens involves face-toface communication. This generation is so digitalised, they’ve lost the art of impressing an interviewer in person with strong verbal and non-verbal communication. This, however, is also their biggest asset – employers look to this generation to be cutting edge with their technology skills. Another important skill is delay of gratification. Many teens have a “what’s in it for me” philosophy but this doesn’t bode well with employers. Teach them to convey they are prepared to do the hard yards.