Posted by Christy Williams on December 23rd, 2017
Many young adults face numerous barriers as they prepare to enter the workforce. As they pursue vocational training to position themselves for better opportunity, life skills become an increasingly valuable component of their endeavors. Vocational programs teach the skills necessary for a specific job while life skills are applicable to any job. Life skills refer to the skills and knowledge that are needed to effectively deal with the challenges of everyday life.
Agencies and educators continue to work towards creating a definitive list of life skills. However, severable abilities and behaviors currently appear on most lists:
- Appearance – A person’s appearance often impacts their ability to get a job. While an individual may have all of the desired hands-on knowledge, inappropriate appearance may prevent them from receiving an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge.
- Critical Thinking – Critical thinking is one of the most sought-after skills of employers today. Young adults should be able to demonstrate their ability to draw conclusions and make sound judgements in addition to their ability to perform their vocational tasks.
- Effective Communication/Interpersonal Skills – Communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. This is especially true in the workplace. A person’s ability to communicate effectively could be the difference between getting a job and not. Likewise, strong interpersonal and communication skills are also necessary to maintain most roles.
- Problem Solving – Problem solving is considered to be one of the foundational components of maintaining a job. Individuals that are able to come up with solutions within the context of an issue prove to be invaluable resources to companies.
- Time Management – Time management is an imperative skill both in career and personal domains. Time management translates into the workforce as punctuality and the ability to complete tasks in a timely manner.
Other life skills include health and hygiene, healthy relationships, money management, and networking. Instruction in life skills helps young adults become more self-aware and build successful workplace relationships. The development of life skills enhances young adults’ abilities to apply their vocational knowledge over time.
Workforce development is a priority for many communities. Young adults who are equipped with both life skills and vocational skills are more prepared to successfully meet the increasing demand. Life skills such as time management and problem solving ensure that the individuals are better prepared to meet challenges in the workplace.
Moreover, studies have shown that companies are more willing to hire and train employees who understand basic life skills concepts. Life management and interpersonal skills coupled with vocational knowledge make young adults more attractive to employers and increase their likelihood of sustained success in the workplace.