“Why continuing skill development is important for my continuing studies and future employability” As much as learning is an on going process, skills development follows the same trend. Nowadays, competition has been the hallmark in every corporate endeavour and to say the least, each product seeks for competitive edge. I must not stay behind in this race for leadership and excellence because my future employability depends largely on how I perfected my skills during this period of continuing skill development and advancement. So what priorities should I consider necessary during this stage of my life?
Skills are competencies expected to produce input for the organization I intend to belong. Communication skill appeals to me as the most needed competency in every employment I would enter into. Communication declares my intelligence in understanding concept and delivering them to other people. I may not become an eloquent speaker but if I can express my ideas with clarity and vigour, chances are, my ideas could be instrumental for the company’s progress and competitive edge. I see communication as opening up myself to become transparent and it would take a lot of courage and self-confidence before I could make it real.
Some people go through life without appreciating the relevance of communicating with other people. Many people have brilliant ideas in mind but the absence of communication skill prevents those ideas to materialize. There are those who excel in many things but they were not able to reach out to others due to lack of ability to express them. Communication is sending and receiving messages that lead to interpersonal relationship. Communication comprises two important concepts, listening and speaking. Listening and speaking are important elements of interpersonal communication.
Listening is opening my mind and heart to the other party. It is allowing the message to sink deeper into my being. It allows me pay attention with full sincerity. (Hellriegel, 2002, p. 14 -15) During communication process, the aspect of listening cannot be ignored. Listening is perhaps one of my most significant disabilities because there are many barriers why I could not listen attentively. In learning to listen with open mind, it means I have to accept the person talking to me with respect. Speaking, on the other hand, is a voluntary opening of my self to others. It is a revelation of who I am in front of nother person. I speak because I want someone to listen to me. As I speak, I bring out my real self completely hidden inside me. That is the time I long for someone to listen and accept me for what I am. Communication has always the intention to create interpersonal relationship. (Otter, 2002, p. 13) In an informal communication, I am creating a social network of people, which is very important in future, employability. By establishing and perfecting the manner of an informal communication during this period of my learning process, I am already opening a better chance to end up in an excellent company in the future. Otter, 2002, p. 15) It is also important for future employability to learn to be able to communicate in a more formal manner. The ability to communicate properly contains the idea that I have the capability to inform other people about significant occasions and activities, and to keep people updated about their present condition. During conversation with high ranking people, formal communication can take place at a more personal level thus create good impression about me and the scope of my knowledge. At present, I am still struggling and conquering several difficulties to develop communication skill.
However, like an old saying goes, “it is not a matter of how many times I fall. It is a matter of how many times I rise every time I fall. ” Another skill I consider significant during development stage and very much needed in my future employability is leadership skills. Leadership is neither a birth quality nor inherited traits from the parents. Leadership can be learned and acquired. However, leadership competency is also an on going process and it demands lots of energy and self-confidence on my part to stand up before others and accept the responsibility to serve as guide towards a certain goal.
To be a good leader, I must learn to focus on people because they are the object of leadership. People are neither objects to posses nor instruments to use. Each person has qualities and skills that a good leader must learn to appreciate and allow them to prosper. As a good leader to these people, I must be on my own person and should show originality of ideas and unequalled skills to trust. Leadership skill leads others to follow a path or a vision that I would present in order for us to achieve our goal. However, I am not the only person who would build the goal but it is a concerted effort of all the people in my organization. Kotler, 2006, p. 212) Finally, as a leader, I must learn the moral and legal values of leading my followers toward a positive direction. In the corporate landscape, being a leader is not simply putting pressures or coercing the workforce to act in accordance with what I want. I have a model leader and he truly inspired me after I read his biography. His name is David Pottruck, the president and co-CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation. His company’s mission is “to provide customers with the most useful and ethical financial services in the world” (http://www. schwab. om) At present, Charles Schwab Company has more than 18,000 strong workforce in 360 offices. The company is the main source of mark down monetary services through internet and telephones. According to David Pottruck of Charles Schwab, leading an organization builds on interpersonal relationship and does not rely only on the organization’s strategies, constitutions, and schemes. Before, he was very forceful and determined to succeed at all cost, unmindful of his colleagues’ misgivings. He admitted that he was too aggressive and very competitive, very much driven and energetic.
As a result, people felt afraid and uncomfortable before him and gained unappealing stance among his employees and even among his friends. When noticed that his interpersonal relationship was crushing down, he realized he needed to change. Therefore, he did. In one of his speeches, he said that being a leader the best in us may shine or it may die out. A feedback about David Pottruck leadership struck me up to now. It says that in leading a fast-paced organization, it is necessary to learn on the fly then reinvent the organization.
In addition, Pottruck reinvented the entire organization and in doing so, he started reinventing himself. As leader of Charles Schwab, Pottruck inspires confidence and consistently motivates the workforce to innovate and move forward with self-confidence. He becomes a leader who listens to his people and allows them to voice out their ideas and opinions. He encourages his people to become leaders and supports their efforts in every risk taking. Based on David Pottruck leadership story, I realized that the multiple competencies an effective leader possesses came from his ongoing development.
I gained knowledge of the importance of trust in leader and followers affiliations. It made me whole upon knowing that leaders must be communicative and must explain the general direction and goals for the constituents. Lastly, Pottruck affirmed my conviction for an open and two-way communication. Another development skill I should cultivate is teamwork. Teamwork is a group of people performing together as one body in order to achieve a given task. Most companies in the industry today employ teams to manage and run the entire organization as smoothly as possible.
When I think about teamwork, I always make distinction between the team’s leaders and the team’s members. Now, I do not hold on that view anymore. Instead, I understand teamwork as a skill that involves being the leader at times, encouraging and supporting others who take the leadership, and agreeing with others in the company on specific task that do not even have a delegated group leader. I considered teamwork competency special because several works of company managers revolves in performing all these activities concurrently. Peter F.
Drucker (1999) perfectly described knowledge – worker productivity within the boundaries of teamwork. For him, the initial stage of any team project falls on the shoulder of company managers or a team leader to design a team’s goal and make them feel committed to accomplish their task. In a well-designed team, the members accept their jobs. The team could device the means on how to measure their performance in reaching the organizational goal. In doing so, team members can stop doubting which tasks they should perform and which jobs belong to the other team.
Team competency denotes that just a right number of members must belong to the group. With many members, the team could have plenty of free riders while a small number of people in a team could cause stress and could generate a feeling of being incapable to reach its goals successfully. (Drucker, 1999, pp. 79 – 80) For me, teamwork is essential in bringing out the best in every team member. I believe in harnessing one’s potential by giving tasks that commensurate with the ability to execute it. In working as a team, I become other-centred and treat success not an individual victory but the whole team’s effort.
During job interview, one popular question is, “How well can you work with others? ” The question seeks whether the applicant can be trusted in working with a team or better if alone. If the company is team oriented, the applicant definitely has no chance once the reply is unfavourable. In order to develop teamwork, I engaged myself in worthwhile activities where I mingle with other people. As much as possible, I tried to put on myself into others’ situation whenever I am confronted with doubts and being plague with egocentric tendencies. I know I still have long way to achieve teamwork skills that is why; I am on my learning the process at present. Lastly, I must learn to manage myself. Self-management is taking responsibility for my life and everything that surrounds me. I observe that when things do not go well with me, I tend to blame others or a situation for that matter, for my miseries and difficulty. According to Don Hellriegel, (2002) self management skills cover the area of truthfulness and right conduct, personal obligation and flexibility, balancing between work and life’s necessities, and self awareness and personal growth.
I read a book about how to succeed and I was delighted to discover that in order to be successful, I will invest 40 percent of my time managing myself in terms of my moral values, character, principles, motivation, and behaviour. Companies nowadays expect the people in their organization to demonstrate integrity and behave righteously. When the Human Resource Department recruits entry-level people for their workforce who have not yet accumulated the necessary work experience or technical expertise, personal qualities serve as the most important basis for the company.
This is also true when young people apply to work in the company. Most companies are far more concerned with the young people’s honesty, sincerity, loyalty, and deep-seated interest as they sought the job than with other technical qualifications they may have. I heard about the Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. com, when he started his company, that personal drive and resilience were two things he needed from the people who would work with him. When he conceived the idea of an online company, many people considered his concept unrealistic and rest only in his imagination.
Nobody believed him except his parents who lent him some amount simply to make a start for his dream. Look at Amazon. com now and its surmountable growth is truly amazing. (http://www. amazon. com) This is a good example indeed of personal drive and resilience that is worth imitating. I should learn to win the interest of my future employer. I know that when the time comes for me to present myself before an employer, I should not falter in words and actions. I must create a perfect impression of trust and self-confidence.
References: Otter, Scot (2005) Business Communication, 9th ed. Prentice Hall, New Jersey, USA Hellriegel, D,. Jackson, S. , Slocum, J. W. , (2002) Management: A competency based Approached, Southwest-Western Thompson Learning Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Kotler, Philip (1999) Marketing Management, Northwestern University, Prentice Hall International, NJ, USA Drucker, Peter F. (1999) Knowledge Worker Productivity: The biggest Challenge, California Management Review, USA http://www. amazon. com http://www. schab. com