The top 5 skills employers are (still) looking for in the wake of COVID-19

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Thinking about future careers and the job market can be a really scary time for many teens – let alone during a pandemic – and knowing how to impress employers can be a tricky task. But alongside the increased competition as a result of Covid-19, our social interactions have also been thwarted by prolonged periods of isolation and social deprivation this year, and it’s made the thought of facing employers increasingly daunting.

Research from MyTutor, the U.K’s leading online tutoring platform, shows how 47% of British parents agree that lockdown has negatively affected their child’s social interactions. So, with teens feeling socially hindered by the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, how can they start to prepare themselves for their next steps?

To help make initial interactions with employers that little bit easier, we teamed up with MyTutor to share the top 5 skills which employers tend to look for. Whilst some of them may come naturally to your teen, there may be others that are worth considering a bit further:

1. Creativity

Contrary to what one may initially think, creative thinking is not exclusive to those working in artistic fields – it can be applied to pretty much any sector you can think of, including those related to STEM. Using your imagination is not just how great ideas are created – it is also what can set you apart from your peers, which will be really noticeable to employers.

2. Problem solving

Put simply, problem solving involves working out solutions to complex problems. Yet, similarly to creativity, the art of problem-solving is not necessary just for those in mathematical or scientific facing fields – with every job comes barriers which sometimes require the ability to think outside the box. So while this certainly applies to those in STEM, it could also mean finding a solution to an emotional challenge.

3. Leadership

You don’t need to have a managerial role in order to require the ability to lead others – this is often a role that is alternated and shared in teams of people, regardless of your position. Having the ability to lead means you’ll need to be able to organize ideas, empathize with others, and be able to resolve any disagreements which arise in a collected manner.

4. Teamwork

The great thing about working in a team is that everyone has something different to bring to the table – embracing the combination of different perspectives, skills and talents are how great ideas are made! With everyone working towards a shared goal, it’s important to take alternative ideas on board, and also be reliable when it comes to working with others.

5. Listening

With effective teamwork comes the ability to listen to others. Although seemingly simple, it’s important not to interrupt when having discussions with others, as well as show you are engaged with what they are saying using body language, eye contact and facial expressions. Understanding exactly what it is that others are trying to communicate with you is of the utmost importance when going forward with any task.

Bertie Hubbard, CEO and Co-Founder of MyTutor, discusses how teens can start to prepare themselves for their future employers: “To help with the process of entering the world of work and future opportunities – which can feel daunting at the best of times – MyTutor have collated their advice and guidance in ‘The World of Work’ e-Book to give teens a bit more help in starting to plan their future. Following these bits of advice can really help to understand some of the qualities employers continually look for year on year, preparing your teen for whatever their future holds for them.”

This article originally appeared in YourCoffeeBreak.