GNcareers, from Gulf News

What skills do you need to succeed?

What skills do you need to succeed?Image Credit: Supplied

Do you know what employers are really looking for in employees? What are recruiters tuned into as far as innovative and ''intrapreneurial'' job candidates are concerned? What skills do many investors think small business owners are lacking?

It is no secret that the UAE is transitioning to a knowledge economy, or that many government initiatives are trying to forward this transition. It is no secret that innovation and entrepreneurial thinking are needed to make this transition successful. And it is no secret that the UAE is heavily reliant on the expatriate workforce to supply the growth needed in the private sector, the sector needed to make the transition to a globally competitive economy successful.

But did you know that many essential workforce skills are not taught in universities or gained in the public sector? The UAE is a leader in the region when it comes to attempts to change this dynamic, but it is the nature of institutions to change slowly rather than responsively or rapidly.

So what can you do to both forward your career and the progress of your country whether as a national or an expatriate? Gain ''soft'' skills.

Sure, a background in math, science or technology will put you at the forefront of desirable candidates, but plenty of studies find that the skills most lacking in the workforce are work ethics, teamwork, leadership, persuasion, personal accountability, goal orientation and interpersonal.

A recent study dubbed ''Effective Education for Employment'' identified 10 key traits or competencies that are needed in the UAE: self-awareness, emotional intelligence, ability to do the job, ability to communicate knowledge, ability to manage well, commitment, personal accountability, willingness to take ownership, discipline in terms of delivery and ability to learn.

Do you have these skills?

Handy Hints:

• Learn how you can get relevant and valuable work experience

• Identify the different skills you need, how, who can help you

• Do not just rely on school education; seek out business skills

Get tips on keeping a safe distance from office politics

Source: Oksana Tashakova, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is Personal Branding Expert, Wealth Dynamics Unlimited