The most important aspect of a job search is finding the right job for you. Finding the right job is essential to enjoying your time in the workplace and developing your professional skills. When you find the right job, you can gain a sense of fulfillment and confidence in your professional life while you exercise your talents in a productive way.
Finding the right job means finding a position that highlights your skills and talents. Whether you are seeking employment for the first time or going back to work after a spinal cord injury, knowing your skills and demonstrating how your skills relate to the job is key to receiving a job offer. To find the right job for you, you first need to identify your technical skills and your “soft” skills.
Technical skills are defined as learned, measurable skills that are specific to the workplace. Examples of technical skills are writing, research, typing, customer service abilities, or proficiency in Microsoft Word. Having specific technical skills means that you do not require extensive training to perform the job at hand. Desired technical skills are typically listed on a job application under “Minimum Qualifications” or “Required Qualifications”. Technical skills are often gained through previous work experience or vocational training.
To identify your technical skills, you must first assess your previous work and volunteer experiences. Have you held a job before, and if so, what skills did you learn through your position? If you held a retail position in the past, your technical skills may be customer service abilities and cash register experience. If you have not held a job before, don’t worry! Everyone has technical skills that they practice in their everyday lives. If you regularly use a computer or talk on the phone, your technical skills may be typing and verbal communication. Assess your day-to-day activities and identify what skills you have that could be useful in the workplace.
“Soft” skills are defined as personal skills that are beneficial while interacting with employers, coworkers, and customers in the workplace. Examples of soft skills are flexibility, determination, teamwork, and problem-solving. Soft skills are often personality traits that a worker possesses that helps them perform their job. In the hiring process, employers look for workers with technical skills and soft skills, since both are vital to performing a job well.
Because soft skills are usually personality traits, everybody has soft skills that can be beneficial in the workplace, regardless if they have previous work experience. To determine your soft skills, assess your personal strengths when it comes to working with others. Do you work better in a team, or on your own? If you work better in a team, your soft skills can include teamwork abilities. If you work better on your own, your soft skills can include initiative and reliability. Looking at your relationships with others in your day-to-day life can be beneficial while identifying your soft skills. Do you practice open communication? Are you a good listener? Do you get along well with others? All of these are important questions to ask yourself while identifying your soft skills that will translate into the workplace.
Demonstrate Your Technical and Soft Skills
During the hiring process, it is important to demonstrate your technical and soft skills. To convey your technical and soft skills on your application, include information on your resume and cover letter regarding your previous work experience or day-to-day activities that have shaped your talents and abilities. Make sure to read the job description carefully and mention your relevant skills that make you a qualified applicant for the position. If you are offered an interview, you must come prepared to discuss your technical and soft skills and how they relate to the position. Before the interview, think about previous scenarios where you have exercised your skills. Discussing specific examples where you have demonstrated technical or soft skills shows your employer that you are qualified for the position.
When searching for employment, remember to assess your technical and soft skills. Finding a job where you can exercise your skills is vital to workplace satisfaction, fulfillment, and professional development. If you have questions or concerns about finding the right job for you while living with a spinal cord injury, contact us today.