Work Skills for Job Success: Tips for Parents and Families

Posted by Nikki Rankin on 12/9/2016 7:30:00 AM

The ability to get a job is one thing, but the ability to keep a job is something else. What are the skills needed to be successful? What is important? What can families do to build these skills needed? Over the next few issues, we will cover the topics that the Secretary of Labor’s Commision on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCAN) and the National Institute for Literacy’s (NIFL) Equipped for the Future Framework (EFF) have defined within four categories. There are 16 defined work readiness skills which fall within these entry level skills and are needed across all sectors.

Employment requires a group effort to make students prepared for success in the work force. Families of youth with disabilities play a vital role in helping youth explore careers that match their strengths and interests. This helps youth understand the importance of building basic work skills so they are prepared for employment. The term work skills refers to basic abilities and habits employers are looking for in their employees. Work skills are a combination of hard skills composing the foundational skills that employers desire like reading, writing, and math. The soft skills are, common-sense, everyday skills, such as getting along with others.

Learning work skills can help them live independently in the community, have positive experiences in postsecondary education, and thrive in social settings. There are several strategies available to families to help their young adult develop work skills.

The four categories are: Communication, Interpersonal, Decision Making and Lifelong Learning Skills.

  • Communication Skills: Read with understanding; convey ideas in writing; speak so others can understand; listen actively; and observe critically
  • Interpersonal Skills: Guide others; resolve conflict and negotiate; advocate and influence; and cooperate with others
  • Decision Making Skills: Use math to solve problems and communicate; solve problems and make decisions; and, plan
  • Lifelong Learning SKills: Take responsibility for learning; reflect and evaluate; learn through research; and, use information and communications technology.

There are two areas, work skills and soft skills, which breaks down the skills youth need to be more likely to be hired and less likely to be fired.

Work skills include:

  • Observe Critically
  • Convey Ideas in Writing
  • Read with Understanding
  • Use Math to Solve Problems and Communicate
  • Solve Problems and Make Decisions
  • Plan
  • Advocate and Influence
  • Guide Others
  • Use Information and Communications Technology
  • Learn Through Research

Soft skills include:

  • Listen Actively
  • Speak So Others Can Understand
  • Cooperate with Others
  • Resolve Conflict and Negotiate
  • Take Responsibility for Learning
  • Reflect and Evaluate