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If you’re one of the many newly graduated students who are now looking to enter the workforce, you’re among good company. Now is actually a great time to be entering the job market, as more and more, we’re seeing many employees advocate for better working conditions. More importantly, workers aren’t taking less than what they know they are worth. Instead, they’re leaving to find better employment, meaning employers have to make themselves competitive, as opposed to the job seekers having to do so. With that said, it’s always a good idea to make yourself as marketable as possible. That is, you may have the right hard skills or credentials for the job. But how can you be sure you have the right soft skills needed to succeed? Let’s talk about what 21st century skills are, and how you can tell whether you have them or not.


What are 21st Century Skills?

According to Applied Educational Systems (AES), 21st century skills are those that have become particularly critical since the early 2000s. With rapid changes in the workplace, including technological and even political, skills necessary for workers to succeed in their given fields have changed, too. As opposed to those needed for work in the previous century, workers these days need an entirely separate set of skills to succeed, regardless of their field of work. These skills have been placed by AES in the following categories:

1. Learning skills

AES notes that learning skills can be recognized as the four ‘C’s: critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration. In this category, you’ll need to consider how well you work with and communicate with others, how well you problem solve, and what ways you are able to think outside the box.

2. Literacy skills

Literacy skills extend beyond simply being able to read and write. This means also being able to sift through information, rephrase and use it within other contexts, and even gage how legitimate a source and its claims are. As we’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this skill is becoming increasingly more important with misinformation. And having a bit of skepticism is one thing, but being able to read and make your own conclusions from information found online is another.

3. Life skills

In this category, life skills, also known as FLIPS, includes:

  • Flexibility
  • Leadership skills
  • Taking initiative
  • Productivity
  • Social skills

While these are very broad terms, these skills have even more specific skills that correlate with specific job functions. Productivity, for example, looks very different when working as a teacher rather than as an engineer or developer. In this way, these life skills may refer to more specific skills when more closely examined in your work field. As well, depending on what your position entails, some skills will be more or less important than others. So, this category is particularly important to consider by looking at your specific interests and career options.

Finding the 21st Century Skills Needed in 2022

As previously established, the skills you need to succeed often depend on what career path you would like to go into. Naturally, you may tend to lean towards fields that you already know a bit about. It’s easy to assume you’ll work in a field that you’re already good at, or have hard skills that are necessary for. But what if you don’t have the soft skills needed to succeed in this field? Or what if you already have soft skills necessary for a job you never would have even considered before? You may be limiting yourself in where you can take your career!

In this way, it’s important to both recognize the skills you do have, particularly those mentioned above. But it’s also important to recognize that if you’re dead-set on a career in which you don’t have a certain skill set, you may either need to look at other options, or learn these skills. Many will argue that most, if not all, soft skills are difficult or even impossible to gain. Many say that you can’t learn soft skills, but rather, they just come to you naturally. But in some ways, you may be able to gain some soft skills you don’t already have with training. As Forbes notes, this really depends on which skills you’re looking to improve and how you go about improving them. But how exactly are you supposed to know what skills you need to improve? How do you know which skills you already have?

Learn More about Packfinder and What It Can Offer You

Packfinder, Workwolf’s exclusive soft skills assessment, is our number one indicator of 21st century skills. The assessment was created and is supported by soft skill and team-management experts at Self Management Group. This means the assessment was built to measure your strengths in various fields of work and how your skills can be used to contribute to a team with other strengths, as well. After all, workplaces aren’t just about the individual. It’s all about how individuals mesh together as a group, and how their collective strengths can outweigh collective weaknesses.

With that said, if you are looking to either improve certain skills or find out what skills you need to improve in order to thrive in a career path, you may need some analysis first. Trust Packfinder to find your strengths and where they can take you in various fields of work. You can also use Packfinder to find areas of improvement, so you can start working towards skills you need to hone in order to succeed in your dream job.

Discover what skills you already have, and which you can improve upon for the best positions for you. Take Packfinder for free by signing up for a complementary Workwolf candidate account–no strings attached, no credit card needed!


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