21 Critical Job Skills You Should Instill in Your Child

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November 19, 2012 by middleearthnj

Reposted with permission from the Online Education Database. Thank you to their team for writing an excellent resource for parents!

Today’s job market is more competitive than ever, and it’s not likely to change for the next generation. That means that today’s kids really have to be on the ball when it comes to developing critical job skills, and parents have a responsibility to be a major part of that development. Developing job skills in your kids sounds like a big, scary job, but it can be as easy as giving them the opportunity to make their own choices, learn about teamwork, and bounce back from change. Read on to learn about 21 of the most important, but easy-to-teach, job skills you should focus on with your children to give them a head start in life.

  1. How to make friends.The job market is hyper-competitive, making networking more important now than ever. So often, it’s all about your connections and who you know when it comes to landing the perfect (or any) job. Teach your kids how to make friends, giving them not just the opportunity to be around other kids, but the chance to choose their own friends and the freedom to interact without a lot of parental hovering. This will allow them to learn about healthy personal interaction and give them confidence to meet and connect with new people as they grow.
  2. How to make a good impression. Kids need to know how to dress for an interview and make a great impression. Teaching kids how to present themselves professionally is an important life skill. You can do this by encouraging them to make their own fashion choices while guiding and offering advice.
  3. How to be resilient. Setbacks happen in real life, especially at work. By teaching kids how to bounce back, you can prepare them to find success no matter what they’re up against. Teach this important skill by allowing them to fail, while offering encouragement to pick up and try again. Show them that failure isn’t the end of the road, just a momentary setback.
  4. How to write well. So many adults today lack basic writing skills, even though writing is more important now than ever in today’s information age. With excellent writing skills, your child can get ahead in work and in life. Encourage writing from a young age by reading with them frequently, providing writing activities, and setting a good example as a writer.
  5. How to solve problems. It seems there’s always a fire to put out at work, making problem solvers incredibly useful in today’s workforce. Raise a child who knows how to handle sticky situations, and they’ll be poised to take on the world. The key to raising a problem solver is giving them the opportunity to deal with their own problems. Offer guidance, but allow your child the pleasure of figuring it out for themselves. It may be hard to watch, but tackling a problem independently can give your child confidence to take on even more difficult tasks.
  6. How to tackle projects. Work is often an endless series of tasks and projects. You can help prepare your child for successfully tackling projects by sharing them with him or her. Let them see how to do it while you’re working together, and help build their confidence to take on more projects independently.
  7. How to stand up to bullies. Bullies are everywhere, even in the modern workplace. Kids (and adults) who are well-equipped to stand up to bullies can be more productive and happy. Teach your kids how to respond assertively and avoid becoming a victim.
  8. How to be organized. No one respects a professional that can’t get it together. Building organizational skills can be incredibly powerful for kids to learn as they grow into responsible adults. Parents can help teach organization skills from a young age, developing schedules, checklists, and responsibility calendars.
  9. How to connect it all together. Knowledge is important, but even more important is the ability to pull all of your knowledge together and make connections between concepts. Anyone can Google for an answer; only the truly valuable can link ideas together. Encourage this life skill by playing sorting games and discussing how different things you’ve learned all work together.
  10. How to be decisive. Leaders have to make good decisions, and learning to be decisive from a young age can be very valuable. Teaching the skill of decision making is as easy as allowing children the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. Choose age-appropriate decisions like choosing their own clothing or deciding what to pack for lunch.
  11. How to be independent. Workers who can’t take care of themselves can be a drain on the workplace. Employers would much rather have an employee that can be independent and take care of themselves than one that needs help every step of the way. You can teach your child how to be independent by offering opportunities to step out on their own. Encourage time away from home, like overnight school trips and camps that will allow them to explore their abilities without the help of Mom or Dad.
  12. How to be work in a team. Teamwork and collaboration are essential parts of work life, and at some point, your kids are going to have to learn how to work and play well with others. Kids can learn the value of teamwork by playing team sports, joining clubs, and participating in group activities.
  13. How to dream. Kids are naturally creative and curious, but as we grow, we often lose this skill that can help us to be more innovative and accomplished. Encourage your children to talk about their dreams. Ask them what they want to be when they grow up, and give them the tools and freedom necessary to tinker, explore, and follow through on their visions.
  14. How to manage money. Without basic financial sense, even a good paycheck won’t go far. Teach your child how to properly manage money, and they’ll be able to pursue a job they love, no matter what the pay is. Parents can teach good financial lessons by allowing children to manage money on a small scale, making them responsible for paying bills, saving, and discussing financial management.
  15. How to manage time. Time management is an essential skill at work. Can’t get enough done, and you’ll never get ahead. You might even get fired! Teaching kids how to stay on top of their time is so important, and can be started at an early age. Create a schedule together with your kids, and let them be involved in planning the activities they’ll be doing. This helps even young kids better understand the value of time.
  16. How to relate to others. Your kids will inevitably work with other people, some of whom will be very different from them. It’s important that they learn how to listen to and understand others, respecting how they feel and accepting them even if they are different. Parents can teach children empathy by explaining and showing them how to respect people, animals, and property. Turn moments of acting out into teaching opportunities, explaining that breaking things may hurt your feelings.
  17. How to be responsible. In the workforce, you’re ultimately responsible for something, and workers who are able to take ownership of what they’re in charge of tend to get ahead. Kids can learn how to be responsible by tackling tasks that they’re in charge of. Parents can assign specific tasks to kids, explaining that they’re in charge of making sure a certain chore at home gets done. This helps them learn how to be responsible and accountable, excellent skills for work and life.
  18. How to speak in public. Many kids are scared of public speaking, but as adults, it’s an essential skill they’ll have to master. Whether giving presentations or speaking up in a meeting, they’ll have to get up and speak in front of a crowd at some point. Teach kids how to become comfortable with public speaking by giving them plenty of opportunities to speak with an audience, and offer encouragement.
  19. How to negotiate. Whether it’s for a salary or a major contract, your kids will have to negotiate some day. Building this skill can be incredibly valuable, allowing them to negotiate successfully in their favor. Kids can learn about the art of the deal by negotiating with parents. Coming to an agreement on curfew, chores, allowance, and other issues is a great opportunity for kids to learn how to negotiate.
  20. How to be flexible. Change happens all the time, especially in today’s workplace. Layoffs, mergers, new bosses, and changing roles can sometimes be a little intimidating, but those who can roll with the punches tend to come out on top. Being flexible is something you can teach your kids, perhaps most effectively by example. Show your kids that you’re not afraid of change and that you can adapt to new things as they come along. When your family experiences change, walk them through it and explain how it can be an exciting opportunity.
  21. How to teach themselves. Self-education is an essential skill for today’s workforce. As the world’s employment needs change, so do our skills, and the people who are willing to change and learn new skills to keep up with new needs will find more opportunities. Adults who embrace exploration and self-learning will have no problem keeping up, as learning new things is something they enjoy doing. As a parent, you can help raise a self-learner by encouraging curiosity, sharing self-learning opportunities, and making it easy for kids to get access to educational materials that interest them.
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