Developing Workplace Competency By Taking Stock Of Your Skills
The world constantly evolves, especially in the digital age, and keeping up can be challenging. This has led to a growing skill gap that needs to be addressed. To stay on top, each employed individual needs to assess their hard and soft skills. By understanding our skills, we can identify what is required for our desired career paths and take the necessary steps to acquire or improve them. This self-assessment also allows us to set realistic career goals, make informed decisions regarding career transitions, and pursue professional development opportunities that align with our skillset.
In addition, organisations recognise that technical skills alone are not enough for long-term success. They now seek employees who not only excel in their technical competencies but also possess strong soft skills that enhance overall performance and contribute to a positive work environment. According to the 2023 Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum, as generative AI continues to shape workforce demands, employers are placing increasing importance on soft skills. These skills enable companies to respond effectively to changes and are less susceptible to automation (p.44).
The SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) Skills Frameworks is a valuable resource that can assist individuals in taking stock of their skillsets. It facilitates in the decision-making of informed choices on career development and skills upgrading. Individuals and employers alike can use Critical Core Skills (CCS). The purpose of CCS is to establish a common skill language for individuals, employers, and training providers, which can aid in recognising qualitative skills, also known as soft skills for career development.Image by SkillsFuture Singapore from https://www.skillsfuture.gov.sg/docs/default-source/initiatives/ssg-skills_demand_for_the_future_economy_2022_final_-2.pdf
Why are soft skills just as essential?
Soft skills are essential in helping the workforce remain adaptable, agile, and competitive amid changing work environments. These skills are personal attributes and qualities that enable individuals to interact effectively and harmoniously with others. They include communication skills, teamwork, leadership, adaptability, problem-solving, creativity and emotional intelligence.
According to SSG Skills Demand for the Future Economy 2022 Report (pg.50), the top three most demanded skills are Self-Management, Influence and Creative Thinking. These competencies have been identified as critical for professional success in the coming years. Individuals with strong self-management skills demonstrate the ability to organise their time, set priorities, and adapt to new challenges. Influence skills enable professionals to communicate effectively, collaborate, and persuade others. Creative thinking empowers individuals to generate innovative ideas and approach problem-solving from unique angles.
One way to discover your abilities and CCS is to refer to the SSG inaugural Skills Demand for the Future Economy Report. This report serves as an overview of soft skills and emphasises their importance in enhancing business competitiveness, supporting employment, and fostering employability. Launched in December by Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing, the report identified high-growth areas that present increasing opportunities for the local workforce.
Try a Skills Inventory
So, how do you identify your existing skills or approach reskilling/upskilling? As an individual, you can start by engaging in self-reflection, feedback, benchmarking (basic, intermediate, advanced) or measuring it against the CCS Proficiency Level Ruler, and utilising online assessment tools such as the MySkillsFuture RIASEC Profiling Tool. As individuals, you will benefit from the following with a skills inventory:
- Understanding the sector and the employment prospects as well as emerging jobs and skills in demand
- Understanding the occupational/job scope, work context and the work attributes demanded by the employers in the sector
- Assessing one’s career aspiration and making an informed decision before settling on a career choice or switching career
- Appraising the length of the career pathway and the requirements for one to progress into the desired occupation/job role
- Finding suitable programmes based on skills and career needs
On the other hand, organisations can adopt a strategic approach to upskilling and encourage team members to adopt a problem-solving mindset to avoid career stagnation. Organisations will be able to:
- Identify emerging skills and build new capabilities
- Develop occupational/job profiles
- Create comprehensive competency framework as well as training roadmaps for the company
- Strengthen organisational capability to develop staff for improved performance
- Enhance talent attraction, management and retention
The CCS framework provides individuals with a structured approach to employment and career growth opportunities. At the same time, CCS-trained employees can help execute corporate growth strategies and business and digital transformation effectively.
Another effective way to take stock of skills and target specific areas for improvement is by enrolling in CCS-aligned modular training programmes. These programs offer comprehensive development opportunities and are designed to enhance skills identified as crucial for the future economy.
For individuals, programmes such as the Career-Learning-Planning Programme, developed in conjunction with Project Zero from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, focus on developing people, learning agility, self-management, and transdisciplinary thinking. Organisations can benefit from modules like the Business Resilience Programme or the Innovation programme, which includes adaptability, decision-making, sense-making, and transdisciplinary thinking.
Nurture a growth career mindset and foster lifelong learning
To thrive in the future economy, individuals need to adopt a growth career mindset and embrace lifelong learning. This mindset empowers individuals to take control of their learning by actively seeking opportunities for personal and professional development. To support this mindset, CCS-aligned modular training programmes also provide job coaching to motivate individuals and foster their professional growth. Additionally, for individuals committed to their career development, there is an exciting opportunity to attend a free career booster workshop. This exclusive offer is available to those who sign up for all four courses within a programme. To learn more visit https://ccs.sim.edu.sg/career-booster-workshop/.
Organisations can play a pivotal role in nurturing employees as assets capable of innovation and problem-solving. They have the opportunity to cultivate a valuable asset capable of innovation and problem-solving, effectively contributing to achieving business goals. Moreover, they can implement comprehensive training programmes that empower employees to enhance their skills and knowledge, enabling them to upskill and reskill for their professional growth and advancement.
Remember that skill identification and reskilling/upskilling are ongoing processes. Regularly reassess your skills, monitor industry trends, and adapt your learning journey accordingly. By taking these proactive steps, you can enhance your skillset, broaden your career opportunities, and stay competitive in today's dynamic job market. Understanding your capabilities can help you make better decisions, proactively avoid skills gaps and maximise your expertise. Your skillset is your greatest asset and should be leveraged to maximise results, just like any other resource.
Take the first step to foster lifelong learning and stay competitive in the job market with the CCS-aligned modular training programmes at https://ccs.sim.edu.sg/ today.