Communication & Employability

By Michael Tait

Personal Attirbutes

Specific Skills

Employees for jobs will often need specific skills to complete a job. For example, you need knowledge of cars to be a card mechanic. The three main sections of Specific Skills are Technical Knowledge, Health and Safety and Working Attitudes.


Technical Knowledge is a necessity as you need the knowledge to complete a job. Using the same example, you cannot be a car mechanic with no knowledge on cars. In an IT related job, you need knowledge of systems and how computers work. For example, if asked to create a Java Application you are going to need the Technical knowledge of how to use Java and apply it. So it would be best to have past experience for this requirement.


Health and Safety is needed in every job. It is a law based requirement that an employee understands the health and safety requirements for a job. For example, an employee must know that using computers over long periods of time can damage eyes or muscles if sat inappropriately. You also need awareness to other dangers like loose wires and electric shocks and how to deal with these problems. An employee with this knowledge is far better than one without it and more likely to get the job.


Working Attitudes is another key point to getting the job. Any job wants a motivated, determined and hard working individual doing the job. Someone trying to do well and with a purpose is more wanted than someone aimless and unsure.

General Attributes

These are the attributes desired in nearly any job by most employees. Similar to Specific Skills apart from the wide array of attributes wanted anywhere.


Time Keeping is a huge part of any job. No employer wants an employee that is going to be late or even miss days of work. They also need to be able to meet deadlines that are set on time and keep up with quick paced work and schedules.


Numeracy and Writing skills are a basic necessity. An employee must know how to read and write correctly in nearly any job. An inability to do so quickly rules you out as an employee and the more developed you are in these skills, the better. For example, even a practical job like a plumber needs to sign letters, read their jobs and plan their tasks. For an IT employee it is key that you can type up in large amounts, with code it is important that spelling is accurate.


Team Working is also needed for many jobs. An employer wants someone that can get along with colleagues and not argue. There may be times when a job needs to be done with multiple people in any job and to do this effectively, team work will be needed.


Planning and Organisation is very important. Deadlines are common in a job and if told to do something, an employee must complete this on time and effectively. The best way to make sure this happens is to plan out what is needed and organize this effectively to complete the given job. Bad planning skills mean delays and problems, especially so if the plan is needed for more than yourself and you have been tasked with its development.


Communication skills are also needed. You need to be able to get across your thoughts and views in a job when asked them. If you cannot help people understand what is needed or communicate well to accomplish a task then how can a job be done effectively.

Attitudes

Going to work with a good work attitude is important. Someone tired, bored and generally distracting will be quickly removed from a work place. It is key that you can get to work effective and with the correct attitude for a job.


Motivation and Determination as mentioned earlier, is desired by an employer. Someone that wants to do well and is determined to do well, likely will do so. Someone that simply wants a job and will try get away with the bare minimum is useless to an employee. They want someone that will go above and beyond for the job to do it to the best of their ability.


Confidence is always wanted at a workplace, when working in a team or individually. A confident employee helps inspire others and is likely to introduce new ideas and speak their minds. This can help improve productivity and inspire new ideas and hard work from others. Therefore, a confident employee is well desired.


Tolerance is often needed. Just because the perfect employee is desired, doesn't always mean it can be found. Colleagues and in some cases a boss can be judgmental, rude and disruptive. You need to be able to tolerate these things and keep working at your hardest without letting it affect you. In some cases, despite being illegal, you may find prejudiced or racism and it is best to deal with these sort of things maturely and correctly without letting any anger or other emotions get the better of you.


Leadership is a skill that can lead to promotion and is strongly asked for. A leadership figure can inspire others to work hard and develop on ideas and work. Someone with skills like this is likely to end up in charge and with a promotion, therefore it is a key skill for a job where you could be in charge.

Effective Communication

General Communication Skills

General Communication Skills are skills that help with communication as a whole. This could be for passing along instructions or perhaps receiving them and for many other reasons.


One key part of this is an understanding of communication. An employee has to realize that not everyone has an equal understand of literacy and numeracy, may be as developed in the same language or that other problems could occur that create difficulty. Therefore, it is better to keep complex language to a minimum in some cases, especially for presentations and group meetings. Although this doesn't mean you have to be illiterate or make everything uncomplicated. just keep it at a careful minimum.


Another form of communication is the technological side of things. Using today's technology we can make a presentation as professional or as fun as we choose. Therefore it is important to consider how you lay out your ideas and work in a way that can be communicated how you feel t should be. A professional document shouldn't be rainbow colored with pointless pictures about, it should give a professional feel to those viewing it.


The way you speak to people is already a given. No body has the right to speak to someone differently because of a prejudice or racist reason, this is both inhumane and unaccepted, especially in the professional atmosphere you will likely find in an IT related job.

Interpersonal Skills

These are the basic skills we use to talk with others so it important that these are suitable in a work place.


The most common form of communication is verbal. In a workplace it is important to be able to speak clearly in a way that is understood and to listen when others speak. In some jobs it is important to have almost no accent so that you can be equally understood by many people, such as when being a News Reporter. It is good to consider how you speak so as not to come across as aggressive or lazy and instead be positive and show your enthusiasm.


Bringing in the Attitudes we mentioned earlier, it is good to bring across that you are determined when speaking. This is affected by your way of speaking, such as pitch and tone. For example, in a presentation or meeting you will need the audiences attention and a confidence to present before them. use of rhetorical questions and actual questions can keep an audience engaged and focused, as can gestures and positioning of your body.


Focusing on body language, this is a good method of keeping peoples attention and adding emphasis onto your speech. A hand gesture can be used for emphasis (point), stop someones speech or clapping (raising a hand) and for general use when conduction yourself professionally. It may not just be hand gestures, perhaps you will be stood or sat down and the way not to appear is lazy and unprofessional, perhaps by leaning against something or being slouched, feet rested on something for example.


If it is common practice to be presenting presentations, speaking to large groups or generally be conversing as a job, it may be worth finding methods of dealing with problems of their own, such as lack of hearing. In this case it may be worth eventually learning sign language but in an IT related job this is unlikely to be necessary as you may not be speaking to audiences or large groups very often.

Communicate In Writing

Writing skills are a huge part of IT and communication as a whole. It is important to know how to use it and when.


In nearly every job, you are likely to communicate by writing at some point or another. This could be to create a document of some kind for your job, to write a letter to your employer or for a variety of other reasons. There are also multiple methods to do this, such as emails, letters, texts, faxes etc.


For these reasons an employer is going to want someone with an understanding of how multiple methods of messaging works. You could be needed to hand write something, use a computer to create a letter that's possibly for many people or even for texting someone or a group of people. Especially in a business it is important that this is done professionally without slang and with good grammar and punctuation. For this reason there are many applications to help such as a spell checker on a computer but it is also very important to proof read something yourself and also have another proof read it so as to have minimal errors.


You could also be needed to take notes during something important, or supply a large amount of hand written information so it is important to have understandable and professional hand writing. This is something that should be worked on a lot more for some jobs rather than others but it could also occur in an IT related job.


To summarize, it is important to keep written information in a workplace professional and suitable. There is no point writing a formal letter with useless information inside so make sure whatever you do, hand written or on a system, is useful and correct.

Barriers To Effective Communication

Background Noise And Distractions

When trying to converse with a person verbally, you may have a problem with background noise or being distracted. Especially when communicating by phone or a similar software and the recipient(s) are not in front of you, this can make things difficult as you cannot hear each other properly and communication becomes difficult.


In order to solve this barrier, you would be best of waiting to speak if the background noise cannot be stopped, or by communicating through text instead. You could also prerecord any instructions to be played repeatedly instead or communicate in a quieter environment. If the distraction is caused by outside of work problems or by a websites then it is best to have some sites blocked and keep work life separate from home and social life.

Lack Of Concentration

This could be caused by multiple things. You could be tired, thinking about something or even uninterested. There are many reasons you could lose concentration but this is not a good thing.


To deal with this you should be making sure you get enough sleep and that you avoid thinking about non-work related things. This way you can keep up with work and stay focused. Even if uninterested it is best to focus and get work done.

Religion And Cultural

This is a difficult barrier to deal with as people can be easily offended and it is illegal to discriminate and be prejudice in a workplace so the law is involved. The problem could be brought up accidentally and cause a problem. For example, a meat could be offered to someone that cannot eat it because of their religion and they take it offensively.


In this case it is best to make sure you know the religion and have researched it before doing something that may cause a problem. If this s not an option then it is best to try avoid doing something that is not basic and avoid saying something you think may be offensive.

Location

Distance can make getting work and instructions from one place to another difficult. If a company is also global you may also find that a different language is being used and that will also need to be solved.


To do this you need to have functioning methods of getting work from one place or another, perhaps by having the recipient set up a work email beforehand or have a system that can send work from one place to another easily. If the problem is the language then it would be best to have written work translated by a high standard translation system or having an actual translator on either side of a verbal conversation.

Information and Irrelevance

What is meant by this is Information Overload or a lack of useful information being presented. For example, you may be discussing something unrelated to work and this is distracting and irrelevant to work. Or you could be receiving a large amount of useless information that wont help. Finally you could be overloaded with so much information you cannot take it all in.


To deal with the irrelevant discussions you should minimize social discussions and stay focused or stop them altogether. As for Information Overload you can try taking quick notes and later getting the source of the information, such as the presentation on paper. If the problem is a lack of information then you can again take notes and research the information yourself so as to know what is needed in the work place.

Disabilities and Restrictions

These can range from being deaf of perhaps needing the support of a wheelchair. This can make many things more difficult, such as getting around a workplace, going to and from the work place, Or perhaps not being able to hear important information and having no method of understand what is being said. More in the sense of restrictions, not knowing a language well could mean you don't understand the language being given.


In order to deal with these problems, it is best to make sure someone not understanding a language has a personal translator if if there are a few people, then a translator should be present to support the group. Similarly, someone with a hearing disability or the like should have someone to support them, such as someone with knowledge of sign language. If the problem is getting about then the building should be planned in advance to support those with disabilities, such as by having escalators and ramps for those that need them, and a disabled parking that is carefully watched so as only to be used by those that need them.