Part 2: Soft Skills or How “Habits of Work and Learning” are important in the workplace – Responsibility and Respect

In my last post I wrote about how employers are looking to hire people who have soft skills (skills that help you KEEP your job) and that many schools are incorporating “habits of work and learning” into their curriculum, standards and grading. I went online to search for what I thought was a good, straightforward “habits of work and learning” guide. This one from The Christa McAuliffe Charter School was quite good and dovetails nicely with a video interview I did at Jotul North America with Ames. You can find these excerpts and more in the video below and/or transcript of the interview on Destination Occupation. Here is the second part which focuses on RESPONSIBILITY and RESPECT (can we get a little Aretha!)

RESPONSIBILITY: I can take ownership for my success as a learner.

Ames explains how he knew that to become a valuable employee at Jotul he had to show that he was able and willing to learn new skills. He also notes the intrinsic value in acquiring new skills; it builds confidence and respect.

“When I came to work at Jotul I knew nothing about solid image modeling or CAD programs and that was actually a good example of my cross training, showing ambition, showing my boss that someday I want to do what you do. I want to be trained, be able to solve my own problems by initiating my own designs. There was an opportunity for me to learn that software and I’ve been using that software for 5 or 6 years now. The more you learn, the more you start to find that people come to you with questions and you start giving answers which builds your confidence and your value to the company.“

RESPECT: I can respect myself, peers, staff and other community members.

Employers need people who can get along with others, despite a myriad of differences. It is not an easy thing to teach, as people’s personalities are sometimes somewhat set. However, school’s are trying to teach students this skill and Ames supports why this is important in the “real world.”

“My training is electrical engineering, physics, calculus, CAD-programs and a lot of computer stuff which I use a lot today. But more important to skills in the real world are things like leadership, being flexible, respectful, whether or not you play nice on the playground. It is hard to teach that in school, some people are abrasive. But if you need to work with someone in a small team where you have to bounce ideas around all day long, you need someone who can think as a team member and not a dictator.”

Destination Occupation video featuring Ames’ story

What do you think about soft skills in the work place?  I’d love to hear your opinion!  Leave a comment or email me!

rachel@destinationoccupation.com

Rachel Knight, creator and principal, Destination Occupation

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