Home Trade school The children go back to school. What do you think? | Local

The children go back to school. What do you think? | Local


It’s that time again. The children have returned for another year of school. Whether it’s elementary, high school, trade school or college, it’s a brand new year for our children.

But what about us? Staying relevant and competitive in today’s job market requires ongoing education and training. Most of us have heard the term “lifelong learner”.

Maintaining your skills and learning new ones is an investment in your career, whether you want to change fields, advance in your current field, or simply gain new knowledge to help keep your mind engaged.

Let’s explore the two main types of skills – hard skills and soft skills. Some people may disagree with these labels and that’s OK. Soft is not meant to take a back seat to hard. In fact, specialized skills can often be obtained more easily.

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I use specialist skills to refer to specific educational functions, processes and achievements. Either you did them or you didn’t. Your level of expertise in these areas can determine whether you are a top candidate.

For example, a company may have an opening for an IT director. How likely are they to hire someone with absolutely no computer experience? Or could you be a doctor without the educational experiences and other training?

Another way to think about hard skills is to take a yes or no perspective. Have you already? Have you already? do you have

Soft skills are not as easily labeled as a yes or a no. Examples of soft skills may include listening, leadership, teamwork, problem solving, or reliability. Think of them as soft skills. Be prepared to cite examples of this on your CV and in your interviews.

It’s easier than ever to add to your current skills or learn new ones. There are many resources online – too many to list here – some of which are free or very inexpensive. Do a web search. Some places offer free sampling for a finite time. Maybe your employer will cover some or all of the cost if your classes relate to your current job.

Don’t forget about in-person classes, whether it’s vocational training classes offered by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina or traditional classes at any community college or university.

You do not know where to start ? Speak with recruiters and hiring managers in areas you would like to pursue. They will let you know what is really needed to be competitive.

Today’s job market is different from the one I faced coming out of college years ago. Many jobs today either did not exist then or are certainly not done as they were then. Changes due to technology and innovation constantly remind us that staying stagnant means being left behind, whether you are a worker or an organization.

As always, if you wish to be accompanied in your job search, the services of our center are free. Good luck!

Randy Wooden is a longtime consultant for Triad and director of the Professional Center at Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina. Contact him at [email protected] or 336-407-7306. For more information, visit www.goodwillnwnc.org/procenter. Check out his weekly job search talk show on Wednesdays and his free LinkedIn webinar on Thursdays.