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FutureProof: What are The Top 10 Skills In Demand In the Workforce Right Now?

The above picture shows 6 people, 4 men and 2 women dressed for work looking down at their devices and paperwork

FutureProof: What are The Top 10 Skills In Demand In the Workforce Right Now?

1)    Leadership

2)    Communication Skills

3)    Time Management Skills

4)    AI Skills

5)    Cloud/Distributed Computing Skills

6)    Customer Service Skills

7)    Project Management Skills

8)    Microsoft Office Skills

9)      Sales Skills

10)   Administrative/Office Skills

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity," said Albert Einstein. 

And it may seem difficult to get a new job or start a career. But if we want to be smart like Einstein, we have to know where to spot the opportunities. We have to know and develop the skills in demand in today's job market.

What are the most wanted skills hiring managers are looking for?

That's the subject of today's blog post as we detail 10 skills that will help you land the perfect job.

Soft Leadership Skills

The majority of skills on this list are very specific hard skills valued by employers. But the consensus among job experts is that soft skills, such as leadership and time management, are more valued simply because they manifest themselves in innumerable situations.

When you interview for a position, make sure you mention these soft skills front and center. Here are some additional tips to help you prepare for interviews.

1. Leadership Skills

Every company values employees who possess leadership skills. Many people lead by example and by exhibiting a can-do attitude. Other's lead by helping, supporting, encouraging, and teaching their peers.

Strong leaders also know how to take complex jobs and projects and break them down into simple tasks that can be delegated to the right people.

Typically, leaders are self-starters and managers know they don't have to oversee them continuously.

Many people take college or supplemental classes on leadership to help them develop this skill.  Military veterans are already trained and experienced in leadership, a fact recognized by many hiring managers. 

2. Communication Skills

It may seem ironic in the age of AI for employers to seek individuals with exceptional interpersonal skills. But when you look at the "required skills" section of any job listing, you are very likely to see the words, "strong communications skills." 

What are employers really looking for in communications skills? They want to know if you're able to build positive relationships with co-workers and clients alike. Do you listen well? Can you adjust your style of communication to fit different situations?

3. Time Management Skills

Time management is another area where military veterans excel. You're accustomed to multitasking, so you can be where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there.

Time management skills can be acquired in many ways, not just on the job. Parents, for example, must balance their children's schedule in addition to their own.

Put your time management skills at the top of your resume. Mention instances where time management was essential during your interviews.

Hard Skills in Demand

The rest of our list is comprised of specific hard skills highly desired in the job market today.

We're going through another tech boom and, as such, you'll notice many of these jobs are tech-based. That's good news if you have strong technical experience. If you don't have a technical background, you'll still find plenty of employment opportunities. Still, take caution to stay abreast of technology as it now pervades all industries.

4. AI Skills

A recent survey reveals 61% of businesses consider artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to be their top business priority in 2019. And yet this burgeoning industry is still extremely understaffed.

Clearly, AI opportunities abound but they come with a caveat. As a newer industry, many of the jobs in AI haven't been created yet. 

So how do you prepare for jobs that do not yet exist?

You need to possess valuable soft skills for starters. Hiring managers are also looking for those with strong tech and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) backgrounds.

"Get your foot in the door" is the mantra for this industry. Take any job, even if it's below your skill set. Then dedicate yourself to learning on the job and take advantage of new job openings as they are created.

5. Cloud/Distributed Computing Skills

Distributed computing is a system where multiple computer systems work on a single problem. Cloud computing is an emerging trend in distributed computing utilizing cloud platforms from Google, Amazon, and others.  

The primary benefit of these networked computing systems is speed. You need speed to be able to process large amounts of data quickly and to solve complex tasks more efficiently.

These computing systems typically work with large databases, so knowledge of SQL and MySQL are musts. Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Perl, JavaScript, and Java are popular coding languages to build applications and services. These languages can be learned in a variety of places, from colleges to coding camps.

6. Customer Service Skills

As we've seen, the emerging job market reflects the age of technology we live in. But that doesn't mean other skills aren't needed, even in tech companies. The most vibrant and successful companies understand their success is dependent on their customer's success with their products and services. 

For one, customer service builds trust, and people tend to do more business with companies they trust. Also, many consumers consider customer service to be more important than price. It's comforting for them to know the company will take care of them if there's a problem.

7. Project Management Skills

Most companies have at least one major project they're focusing on in addition to their daily core functions. These endeavors feature large teams working together to complete the project. However, with such big projects and large teams, it can be difficult to gauge how well the project is going. 

Enter the project manager, whose job it is to lead the team in initiating, planning, and executing projects. The project manager must be skilled at multitasking and able to wear different hats.

This job is another job perfect for military vets with leadership experience executing a mission or objective.

8. Microsoft Office Skills

Even in today's high tech world, the old stand-bys in the Microsoft Office Suite are still in demand.

In fact, Novel Aspect, a Cloud hosting firm, analyzed Indeed job listings and found the most wanted skill is Excel. The rest of the top five includes Outlook, PowerPoint, iLife, and Access.

Admittedly, you won't find many job listings for "Spreadsheet Creators."  But every company can utilize someone to make company documents in Excel and other Office programs.

9. Sales Skills

Those who are successful in sales will always be in high demand. Sales are arguably the most important factor to drive and sustain a business. 

If you enjoy meeting and helping people, sales can be a very rewarding career. Sales can also be very lucrative depending on the field you go into. The highest paying sales jobs are found in financial services, advertising, insurance, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and real estate.

10. Administrative and Office Skills

Businesses of all sizes require administrative and office support staff. In particular, the healthcare and customer service industries are experiencing rapid growth and looking for professionals to help in these areas.

Those with experience can move into high-level executive and administrative assistant positions with an excellent salary.

The Bottom Line

The age of technology is now, and it's not going away anytime soon. As such, many of the skills in demand the most are tech-related. Even non-technical positions include a few duties and tasks which require technical know-how.

You can find old school positions such as sales and customer service or new school jobs such as AI development or cloud computing. Find something you would enjoy doing, work hard, and continue to learn for the best chance of success.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out more helpful articles about today's job market on our blog.


When You Can't Decide: How To Pick A Career In 10 Simple Steps

The picture above shows a bunch of cubes with the word job printed in each side. One of the cubes has the word career

When You Can't Decide: How To Pick A Career In 10 Steps

Choosing what you want to do with your life is extremely difficult. It's one thing to choose a short-term job, but an entirely different one to make a decision about what you want to do for the next few decades. 

It can be hard. You want to know yourself and what you want before you jump into anything. We're here to help you learn how to pick a career that you'll love. 

Of course, the ultimate decision is up to you, but a little advice never hurt anyone. 

How to Pick a Career You'll Love

There's no one way to determine what you should do with your career. Some people know from a very young age, while some people don't realize their path until later in life, for example.

At the same time, there are a number of things you can do to stop grasping at straws and make some headway toward what you want to do. Ultimately, the goal is to find something that will satisfy, challenge, and reward you. Use some of the following steps to find what sorts of careers may rub you the right way. 

1. Identify What You Already Enjoy Doing

If you have any dominant hobbies, interests, or habits that you enjoy, think about what careers might incorporate those things. If you really enjoy rearranging your room, for example, you might like a career in interior design.

Or if you find yourself drawing on every piece of paper you get your hands on, that might be a good indication that art would be a good path to follow. 

2. Flesh Out Your Values

You should also consider what things are most important to you. If you value money and stability, you may be willing to sacrifice a little bit of passion for the comfort of a steady paycheck. If money is not your primary motivation, think more in terms of your passions

There's also the element of purpose. You may find that you're only satisfied when you're doing something that supports the greater good. Working in the nonprofit sector might be a good thing for you in that case. 

3. Make a Venn Diagram

Set up a Venn Diagram with three circles. One with professions that align with things you love, one that lists professions that pay well, and one that aligns with things you're great at. 

The overlap between things you love and things you're good at will generally be things that make you happy, but may not pay extremely well. The overlap between what you love and what pays well is the ultimate goal, but it is often extremely difficult to find those jobs. 

The overlap between what you're good at and what pays well will be jobs that make you a lot of money but might not satisfy you. Any jobs that lie in the center of the diagram are ones that you should seek to learn more about. 

Those are jobs that you'll love, excel at, and make a lot of money doing. 

3. Take a Personality Test 

Take a Myers-Briggs test to find out where you fall on the spectrum of personality. Introverts and extroverts fare differently in different kinds of work environments. 

Your test results could come back with information that you had never thought of but says a lot about yourself and your potential work environments. There's also a lot of research on how your Myers-Briggs results fit into your career choices.

4. Take a Career Assessment Test

These assessments take a summary of your interests, preferences, and aptitudes and pair them against a large base of career options. While no one fits directly into boxes that describe their career choices, the numbers show that there's usually a pretty good chance that you'll be able to get a better idea of where you should go. 

5. Research Potential Careers

Once you've gotten a little information about your personality and the careers that should fit well with you, pick a few that interest you and research them. A lot of people are misinformed about different professions, imagining that they're just like they're portrayed on television. 

Look into career websites that describe specific professions. 

6. Speak With Professionals in Your Intended Fields

Talking with people who work in a profession that you're interested in could be the best way to learn more about whether or not you would want to do their job too. Ask to come along to shadow them for a day.

You can also talk with these people about how they got into the profession, what they wish they knew when they started, and ways for you to succeed as an applicant and worker. 

7. Sit On Your Decisions

You may come across a number of potential careers that seem like they would be a good fit. It's easy to get into a flurry of grand ideas about your future, but don't take immediate action when they come up. 

It's great to be excited about your future, but chew on the details for a while before you, say, enter into college to earn a degree in that field. 

8. Talk With a Career Counselor

Career counselors are typically employed by universities and colleges, but you can find them elsewhere as well. These are people who are knowledgeable about a breadth of career options. 

They can also put you in touch with some of the things listed above. Personality and aptitude tests will be a lot easier to access if you go through a career counselor.

9. Be Willing to Make Adjustments

You may enjoy a career for a period of time, only to find that it isn't what you want down the line. That's totally fine!

The point is to work at something that supports you and makes you happy, not to work at the same thing for as long as you can. Make sure you're aware when things stop aligning with what you want. 

10. Be Open-Minded!

The career paths present to you through this process might not be ones that you ever imagined yourself taking. Some of the most fulfilling jobs will probably be ones that didn't cross your mind before. 

Be open to the process, and don't be afraid to try something new!

Need Help Finding a Job?

Learning how to pick a career is the first step, finding a job is the second. It can often be intimidating to search the web for job postings and opportunities. 

If you need help navigating finding a job, look for disabled jobs. Check out resume tips to interviewing advice, visit our site for all the information you need. 





To Train Or Not?: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself To Find Out If Vocational Training School Is Right For You

The above picture is of a laptop on a desk with a man's hands on the keyboard and an iPhone next to him. The captions says "Looking for the latest jobs"?

7 Questions to Ask to Know If Vocational Training Is For You

It's a great time to consider going to a vocational training school to learn a new skill and pursue a new career. American companies and small businesses are in desperate need of trained tradespeople across all industries.

There's a lot of advantages to attending a vocational school. For starters, it's much more affordable than a college degree. It will also set you up for job security and growth.

For many people, there's also a deep satisfaction that comes with using their hands and skills they've learned that is much more fulfilling than an office job.

But perhaps you're unsure if learning a trade is the right career direction. Here are seven questions to ask yourself to determine if vocational training is a good move for you.

1. Do I Like to Learn by Doing?

Much of the instruction done at vocational schools involves hands-on engagement. Let's face it, you cannot learn how to repair a car or fix a leaky pipe by just reading about it in the classroom. At a vocational school, you'll receive real hands-on instruction in addition to reading material.

This can be much more exciting for the kinesthetic learner, which is a student who absorbs more by hands-on teaching versus reading a book. By practicing your skill, you'll also be able to retain what you're learning and enable your instructor to make sure you're doing it correctly.

2. Do I Know What Kind of Job I Want?

When you attend a vocational school, you're focused on one particular trade of study. There's no such thing as general studies or liberal arts like there is at a college or university.

If you know specifically what you want to pursue for a trade career, such as plumbing, hair styling, or welding, then a vocational school is a perfect fit. Of course, there's no rule that says you cannot study more than one trade and then determine which one you like best.

Don't have any idea what kind of trade work you may want to pursue? Think about what hobbies and passions you have around the house.

For example, are you good at fixing or making things? Then perhaps carpentry or construction may be your passion.

You can also take a career assessment test to help point you in the right direction.

3. Do I Want to Save Money on a New Career?

It's no secret that college can be expensive. The average cost of tuition and fees in the U.S. is nearly $35,000 per year for private colleges without scholarships or any financial help. Factor in room and board, meals, books, and other expenses, it's no wonder many college students find themselves deep in debt.

Multiply that $35,000 by four years and you're looking at over $120,000 for an education. By contrast, the average trade school degree costs $33,000, which is slightly less than one year of college.

Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill and who are Purple Heart recipients are also covered for 100% of their tuition at a public school such as a trade school.

4. Do I Want to Find a Job Right Away?

With such a demand for skilled tradespeople, finding a job after receiving your license or certification may happen really quickly. College grads, on the other hand, often find themselves struggling to launch their careers when jobs are in short supply.

Your vocational school may also be able to help you obtain an apprenticeship in your chosen trade that can lead to permanent employment. Many schools offer resources that can help students apply for and land jobs in their chosen field.

And because vocational trades require less time to learn compared to four-year college programs, you'll be starting a new career and earning money in a relatively short amount of time.

5. Do I Want a Flexible Course Schedule?

Vocational training programs tend to offer more flexible schedules than college programs, making them convenient for people juggling a job, family, and other responsibilities. Many vocational schools offer nighttime, weekend, and online classes to make it easier to pursue a trade in a timely manner.

6. Do I Want to Attend a School Close to Home?

With so many vocational schools across the country, chances are there's one within driving distance of where you live. This can be another good reason to choose trade training over a college degree. Vocational schools are usually designed to be commuter schools, which means you drive to them for your class instead of living on campus.

7. Do I Want to Make a Good Salary and Break the Stigma of Trade Work?

Despite an increased interest in trade jobs for career choices, there's still a stigma in the U.S. that trade workers are not as smart as college grads or those working office jobs. There's also a belief that trade school graduates do not earn as much as college grads do.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Most skilled trade jobs earn between $60,000 and $89,000 per year, depending upon the industry and position.

In Germany, trade jobs are a popular career choice. High school students are tested on their interests and are then given recommendations for trades to pursue.

By pursuing a trade career, you'll definitely be helping to change the stereotypes of trade employees and setting an example that it can be a fulfilling and financially viable career direction.

Is Vocational Training Right For You?

Vocational training can certainly several benefits over obtaining a college education. Trade careers are just one of the many job options available to disabled veterans.

If you'd like to get an idea of the types of trade positions and other jobs available to people with disabilities, check out our job search board for the latest openings.

 

 



Is It Hard to Get a Job if You're Disabled?




Is Finding a Job More Difficult for People Living with Disabilities?

 

Having a disability presents many new challenges in life, and you’ve likely heard from others that one of the top challenges involves job searching. People with disabilities aren’t the only ones who have difficulty finding work, though, and your success comes down to how you look at your situation. Now that you’re ready to embark on a job hunt, you can use these strategies to make the process of finding the perfect position easier. 

Get into the Right Mindset 


Your mindset shapes how you feel as you set out to find a job, and you can bet potential employers will pick up on your attitude during interviews. Start right now by thinking about the wonderful skills and abilities you can bring to a company. Getting into the right mindset helps you drop the defeated attitude and present yourself with confidence. 

Identify Your Challenges 


The obstacles you come up against while searching for a job depend on several factors, such as your type of disability and the support system you have in place. For instance, you may have logistical challenges with trying to find work, such as being unable to drive or needing help when speaking to an interviewer. Alternatively, your biggest challenge may be your mindset. If you’re new to having a disability, you may also be living with low self-esteem or depression. 

Plan to Address Each Potential Issue 


Once you make a list of the challenges you can identify right now, you can create an action plan to address each one. Talking to a counselor may build your confidence if you’re still finding it difficult to accept your disability, and—if you have a physical disability that prevents you from driving—arranging for transportation services can help you prove to employers that you can get to work on time. While it takes effort to overcome each challenge, you’ll be in a better position to accept an amazing job offer when it comes along. 

Learn How to Highlight Your Abilities 


At some point, you’ll probably need to disclose your disability to employers. If your disability is immediately visible or requires major accommodations, consider disclosing it before or during the interview. While you may need to explain a few tasks you cannot perform, it’s important to keep the conversation positive. For instance, you can explain how your hearing loss makes it challenging to communicate with customers, but that you’ve also found it helped you develop excellent nonverbal communication that puts people at ease. 

Be Willing to Seek Help with Finding Employment 


Many people have difficulty finding a job, and it’s important to know there are resources available that can make the process easier. Organizations providing job seeking services can help you practice for an interview, create a resume, and connect with employers who want to hire people with disabilities. Often, just reaching out puts you in touch with people who can show you new strategies to refine your job search that lead to success.

 

If you’re looking for suitable jobs for disabled people, you can begin your search with the listings provided by disABLEDperson, Inc. We are a charitable organization focused on reducing the unemployment rate of people living with disabilities, and the employers listed on our site are seeking individuals just like you for their open positions. Give us a call today at 760-420-1269 if you have any questions.


5 Tips for Managing Dyslexia in the Workplace




5 Ways to Manage Dyslexia While at Work

 

For adults with dyslexia, navigating the workplace can feel like a constant battle. Standard office skills like organization and critical reading may not come naturally to dyslexic people, and some may be concerned about their ability to perform certain jobs if they’re disabled. Jobs with high-stress office environments can further compound the problem. Thankfully, there are plenty of effective ways to manage dyslexia in the workplace. 

1. Customize Reading Material 

To optimize the reading experience, dyslexic office workers can customize their digital reading materials. It's easy to customize the appearance of most PDF files and internet browsers, and these quick aesthetic changes can make a world of difference. When making changes, consider font style, size, and color. There are several fonts designed specifically for dyslexic readers, including Dyslexie and OpenDyslexic. These fonts typically consist of bottom-heavy letters, which can be more easily distinguished from one another. Color can also make reading easier for people with dyslexia. The standard black text/white background computer color scheme can strain the eyes, exacerbating dyslexia symptoms. To reduce eye fatigue, consider installing a tinted screen mask, which is an option that comes with most literacy support programs. 

2. Use Text-to-Speech Software 

On long days, text-to-speech software can be a life saver. These programs are simple to use, discreet, and compatible with most browsers, word processors, and PDF readers. With the click of a button, text-to-speech software converts the selected text into a spoken document. Use this technology when you're having difficulty reading long documents or when you want to do an auditory proofread on an email you're about to send. 

3. Get Serious About Time Management 

People with dyslexia may require more time to complete certain tasks than some of their coworkers, and they may need to assess their problem areas. Poor time management is often caused by issues with executive functioning, which impacts the ability to solve problems, take corrective actions, and combine multiple tasks. To make the most of every workday, evaluate your current organizational strategies. Make a list of the tasks you never seem to finish in time and a second list of the things that distract you. You may want to time your most common tasks, as this can provide a baseline for future planning. Once you've eliminated distractions and determined how long workplace activities take to complete, consider outlining each workday in a planner. 

4. Learn the Vocabulary 

When dyslexic people begin new jobs, they may have difficulty learning the industry-specific jargon. Researching new vocabulary can make job transitions go more smoothly. Search the internet or ask HR for an appropriate vocabulary module. Use multi-sensory reinforcement methods, like spoken recitation, to cement the new words in the mind. 

5. Talk to People 

Adults with dyslexia shouldn't be afraid to talk to their colleagues or their HR department about their challenges. Many companies offer resources and software designed to help workers with processing issues. Once informed, coworkers may be willing to modify emails or presentations by adding visual information to make them easier to process.

 

Whether you’re living with dyslexia or another disability, there’s a suitable job out there for you. In fact, there are a variety options to choose from. Jobs for mildly disabled people come in many forms, and you’re likely to find one that matches your skill set when searching the listings provided by disABLEDperson, Inc. If you have any questions or are having difficulty navigating our site, please feel free to give us a call at 760-420-1269.