Last week we started a topic on skills acquisition for self development. We identified various types and categories that skills fall into.We  are outlining skills that do not seem to have any direct link with our topic or so it seems. These skills fall under emotional intelligence which covers self management and inter-personal skills.

It is very important to be emotionally and socially skilled before learning any other skill because these are the foundation of self-development. Any self-development built on lack of self-discipline and an inability to get along with others at work or in a team is a waste of time.

When we finish talking about the soft skill, then we shall graduate to the hard skill. This topic requires some expertise so I have culled from research materials so that we will all be well schooled on the topic.

We continue with our discussion from last week:

Asking for help

There is a ridiculous misconception in today’s professional world that everyone is supposed to know everything. It’s simply not possible. What we do need to be able to do is admit we don’t know something, and find the answer through a variety of means. Living in a world in which answers are at our fingertips means we are able to network with some of the most successful people in the world, and many of them will be willing to help out if we just take the time to reach out to them.

Showing you have an interest in improving your skills and abilities can take you much further than pretending that you know everything. While it may be difficult to try for the first time, asking for help actually builds trust because it shows that you value the opinion of another person. Not only does asking for help make you a better employee, it also saves you a lot of time in the trial and error phase of business!

Knowing when to stay quiet

In a world where everyone can have a voice through social media, this one is a must. We all want our voices to be heard, but sometimes it’s just not the right time to open our mouths. When we’re upset, our instincts are to vent to anyone who will listen. However, those that are listening might be doing so for ulterior reasons which could end up digging a deeper hole for you than the one you were already in. Especially in a world in which everyone is trying to get ahead of their colleagues, you should never give others ammunition that will end up holding you back. A great way to know when to stay quiet is to take a moment to step back and ask yourself if you are being fair. Also, if you have to ask yourself, you likely already know what you are saying is not going to contribute.


This goes along with asking for help. Let go of the notion that you know everything. You never know when someone else will come up with a solution to a problem you’ve been having, and you don’t want to miss out on it because you blew them off for “not knowing what they’re talking about.” Advice and perspective can come from the most unlikely sources, so it’s important to keep an open mind (and ear) to everyone around you. Just remember — you have one mouth and two ears so use them in that proportion. This means listen twice as much as you speak.

Below is a list of the most important soft skills that most employers look for. It also includes sublists of related soft skills that employers tend to seek in job applicants. Develop these skills and emphasize them in job applications, resumes, cover letters, and interviews. Showing the interviewer that you have the skills the company is seeking will help you get hired.


How well do you communicate? Communication skills are important in almost every job. You will likely need to communicate with people on the job, whether they are clients, customers, colleagues, employers, or vendors. You will also need to be able to speak clearly and politely with people in person, by phone, and in writing.

You will also likely need to be a good listener. Employers want employees who can not only communicate their own ideas, but who also listen empathetically to others. Listening is a particularly important skill in customer service jobs.

Listening, negotiation, nonverbal communication, persuasion, presentation, public speaking, reading body language, storytelling, verbal communication, visual communication, writing reports and proposals, writing skills critical thinking.

No matter what the job, employers want candidates who can analyze situations and make informed decisions. Whether you are working with data, teaching students, or fixing a home heating system, you need to be able to understand problems, think critically, and devise solutions. Skills related to critical thinking include creativity, flexibility, and curiosity. Adaptability, artistic,  aptitude, creativityk, critical observation, critical thinking, design aptitude, desire to learn, flexibility, innovation, logical thinking, problem solving, research, resourcefulness, thinking outside the box, tolerance of change and uncertainty, troubleshooting, value education, willingness to learn.


While not every job opening is a leadership role, most employers will want to know that you have the ability to make decisions when push comes to shove, and can manage situations and people. The ability to step up to the plate in a difficult situation and to help to resolve, it is something employers look for in prospective employees.

If you are interviewing for a job that has the potential for advancement, the employer will want to know that you have what it takes to become a leader.

Other skills related to leadership include the abilities to resolve problems and conflicts between people, and to make executive decisions.

Conflict management, conflict resolution, deal making, decision making, delegation, dispute resolution, facilitation, giving clear feedback, inspiring people, leadership, management, managing difficult conversations, managing remote/virtual teams, meeting management, mentoring, motivating, project management, resolving issues, successful coaching, supervising, talent management

Positive attitude

Employers are always seeking people who will bring a positive attitude to the office. They want employees who will be friendly to others, eager to work, and generally a pleasure to be around. Being able to keep things positive is especially important if you’re working in a fast-paced, high-stress work environment.k, confidence, cooperation, courtesy, energy, enthusiasm, friendliness, honesty, humorous, patience, respectability, respectfulness


Hiring managers look for job candidates who can work well with others. Whether you will be doing a lot of team projects or simply attending a few departmental meetings, you need to be able to work effectively with the people around you. You need to be able to work with others even if you do not always see eye to eye.

Some skills related to teamwork include the ability to negotiate with others, and to recognize and appreciate diversity in a team. Another related skill is the ability to accept and apply feedback from others.

Accepting feedback, collaboration, customer service, dealing with difficult situations, dealing with office politics, disability awareness, diversity awareness, emotional intelligence, empathy, establishing interpersonal relationships, dealing with difficult personalities, intercultural competence interpersonal skills, influence,   networking, persuasion, self-awarenes, selling skills, social skills, team building, teamwork.

Work Ethic

Employers look for job candidates with a strong work ethic. Such people come to work on time, complete tasks in a timely manner, stay focused, and stay organized. They are able to budget their time and complete their work thoroughly. While they can work independently, people with a strong work ethic can also follow instructions.

A strong work ethic is difficult to teach, so employers will be impressed if you can demonstrate it in your job application.

Attentivenessk, Business ethics, Competitiveness, Dedication, Dependability, Following direction, Independence, Meeting deadlines, Motivation, Multitasking, Organization, Perseverance, Persistence, Planning, Proper business etiquette, Punctuality, Reliability, Resilience, Results-orientation, Scheduling, Self-direction, Self-monitoring, Self-supervising, Staying on task, Strategic planning, Time management, Trainability, Working well under pressure

More soft skills

Here are additional soft skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. Required skills will vary based on the job for which you’re applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill, assertiveness, business ethics, business storytelling, business trend awareness, customer service, effective communicator, emotion management, ergonomic sensitivity, follow instructions, follow regulations, follow rules, functions well under pressure, good attitude, highly recommended, independent, interviewing, knowledge management,  meets deadlines, motivating, perform effectively in a deadline environment, performance management, positive work ethic, problem solving, process improvement, quick-witted, results oriented, safety conscious, scheduling, self-awareness, self-supervising, stress management, team player, technology savvy, technology trend awareness, tolerant, trainable, training, troubleshooting, willing to accept feedback, willingness to learn, work-life balance, works well under pressure.

This is a very wide discussion.We shallconclude next week.Stay safe.

For the past two weeks, we have been discussing skills acquisition for self-development.It is needless to say that we are in an ever-evolving society, considering what is happening around us. It is imperative that we continue to update our skills and acquire new ones.

Last week we talked about soft skills and the importance of having them as a measure of self -management and emotional intelligence, so as to balance our skills on good attitude. A writer once said that one’s attitude determines one’s altitude. To have all the skills in the world without emotional intelligence is to be ill equipped for human interaction, without which we cannot exist,especially in the work place and in business

Going to hard skills, let us say something here. Government does not have jobs for every body and even if we are gainfully employed, the salary may not meet all our needs. It is therefore important to have skills that we can sell to complement our monthly earnings. Similarly, if we desire to grow in whatever job we are working at, we need to upgrade our soft and hard skills.The improvement of the quality of our lives is tied to our self -development through skills acquisition.

We have the simple to the more advanced skills sets. None should be looked down upon. Even in this computer age, none-computer skills still remain important. The key is to be very good at what we put our hands to do.We must always strive to improve our lot in life by acquiring skills that will continuously develop us and improve our contributions to the society that we live in.We may not have the resources to go to school for a university degree but once we can read and write, we can acquire any skills. In fact, there are some vocational skills that we can learn by watching practicals and putting what we see into practice. According to Lisa McQuerry in an article published on Chron:

Vocational careersare fields of work in which employees apply hands-on trade school experience in a professional setting. Vocational training is a viable option to four-year colleges, which can be costly and prohibitive to entering the workforce quickly with employable skills.

Vocational jobs can also serve as stepping-stones to advanced education or training opportunities

We can also go into new careers by learning new skills or to simply improve our positioning where we work. It is never too late.I will use myself as a example. I am in my late forties. I have skills in Languages and a passion for writing. Recently, I took stock of the direction that the world is taking and I have decided to learn Data Analytics and Business Analysis to add to my business background. I hear that these skills set sell….Ok, so I am old and I failed my math in school and my computer skills are not the best in the world but I am determined to earn what I can learn to improve my lot in life and to also proof to myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to do. Old or not. After all, I read Languages which requires the use of both sides of the brain at the same time…Yes,I can learn a new skill even in old age.

It is never too late and better late than never. Skills acquisition for self -improvement is a continuous journey of life.I will learn tailoring and photography when I finish Data Science and Business Analytics and I intend to pass with flying colours. I intend to be a financially independent old lady when I retire. It is my plan to start a photography and a tailoring shop before I retire. One of the few things I would like to do when I grow up. Pray for me (joking).

What inspired this Data Science and Business Analytics?  During the lock down, I toyed with the idea of relocating to Canada under their skilled workers programme. Going through the list of skills, I realized that studying a course such as Political Science or History might not fetch much in a society like Canada.What am I trying to say? The skills you acquire today may even be the door opener for bigger doors, not your degree.I learnt that even drivers and caregivers are wanted in Canada.

I encourage you today, to stop waiting for Government work. There is dignity in labour. Identify your passion and develop your skills along that pathway.There is money to be made. Do not look down on any skill. There is dignity in labour. Do not despise your small beginning because if you learn carpentry today and you put your heart and soul into it, you may grow your skill into a carpentry business that could win furniture supply contracts for government parastatals and conglomerate, considering the fact that you can get a government loan to grow your business these days.

Computer based skills are the hottest selling skills but that does not mean other skills have stopped being relevant.The following is the list of hard skills that we can acquire for self-development. The list is not exhaustive.

Some of the most in-demand hard skills include: Bilingual or multilingual  under which we have Database Management, Adobe Software Suite, Network security, SEO/SEM Marketing, Statistical Analysis, Data Mining, Mobile Development, User Interface Design, Marketing Campaign Management, Storage Systems and Management, Programming Languages (such as Perl, Python, Java, and Ruby, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Analytical Reasoning, Artificial Intelligence, UX Design, Business Analysis, Affiliate Marketing, Sales, Scientific Computing, Video Production.

The Following are the skills that we have been used to and which still remain relevant today : Accounting, Administrative, Analytics, Auditing, Automotive Technology, Banking Operations, Bookkeeping, Budgeting, Carpentry, Construction, Database Management, Design, Editing, Electrical Engineering, Financial Hardware, Healthcare, Java Script, Languages, Legal, Manufacturing Technology, Marketing Research, Mechanical, Medical Diagnosis, Nursing, Optimization, Pharmaceutical Coding, Pipefitting, Python Programming, Project Management, Proposal Writing, Reporting, Science, Software, Social Media Marketing, Spreadsheets, Teaching, Technical Writing, Testing, Translation, Transcription, Word Processing, Accounting, Administrative, Analytics, Auditing, Automotive Technology, Banking Operations, Bookkeeping, Budgeting, Carpentry, Construction, Database Management, Design, Editing, Electrical Engineering, Financial, Hardware, Healthcare,  Translation, Transcription, Word Processing, Accounting, Administrative,

Nursing aides, Certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, vocational nurses, registered nurses, medical techinicians, surgical prep technicians, dental hygienists, dental assistants, Phlebotomy, Sonography, Radiology, Pharmacy technician, Mammography, Laboratory technician,  Veterinary technician, photography, makeup, hairdressing/barbing, carpentry, catfish farming, snail farming, vegetable farming, general farming, automobile servicing, interior design, welding and fabrication, brick laying, plumbing, tiling , painting, electronics and electrical work, catering,  web designer, machining, computer-aided drafting, network administration, Civil Engineering tech, paralegal court reporter,

Categories: Column

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *