Employers usually look for things far beyond what you have to offer in terms of knowledge and technical understanding. These other skills come under the category of ‘Employability Skills’ – things that you need to work upon to become truly functional in a company.
Think about it. Ever had your heartbeats rise to unimaginable levels just before a viva voce or an important interview? Maybe you felt like everything you ever knew would vanish from your brain, leaving you completely and utterly helpless.
That’s your brain’s way of telling you that even though you (hopefully) have the knowledge to get hired, you aren’t prepared to face real world situations yet.
We’ve compiled this fantastic list of TED talks for you, so you can learn some of the most important real-life or Employability Skills. Listen to these talks properly, because guess what? One of the most important skills that employers look for is…
1. Active Listening
Being able to talk effectively is a great skill in itself, but if you don’t know how to listen to somebody, your contributions to the conversation become limited. To put it in better words, if you wish to talk properly – learn to listen properly first.
In this TED talk, Celeste Headlee, who has been a radio host for decades talks about how we can have better conversations. It’s enlightening, funny and you’ll realize how many of these little things you tend to ignore when it matters the most.
Ever had that moment when you are ignored just when you have something important to say or your ideas are discarded the second they are put forth? It could be other people’s fault, but if it’s happening all the time, maybe you have a scope for improvement.
Speaking is a powerful art and many books have been written to expand upon it, one of the most famous ones being ‘How to win friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie.
If you go to the self-help section of any library, you will spot many books on speaking and the art of speech – because most people want to become better at it. It is a skill that is always in demand, because good speakers are hard to come by.
Employers want powerful speakers – people who can put forth their ideas effectively. To help you on your quest, here’s a TED talk that gives you insight into how we speak, and what we should and should not do.
3. Time Management
We’ve all been through the “I’ll do it tomorrow“ phase. Of course, you might be a motivated person, maybe you do all your tasks on time – but in your weakest moments, you succumb to procrastination, the ‘art’ of postponing the inevitable until the very last second.
If you want to be effective at a job, you need to set yourself a deadline. That’s how our brain is wired. It’s not that we cannot do the task. It’s not that we will never do the task. It’s just that we don’t really feel like doing the task – and it’s ironic because we know we’re going to end up doing it sooner or later anyway.
In this witty talk, Tim Urban walks us through how our brain works when it comes to procrastination and what we could do to overcome it.
4. Critical Thinking
What affects the decisions you make? What factors do you consider and whose opinions do you take into account? How confident are you about your decision?Sometimes, we tend to ignore crystal clear facts and rely on personal assumptions.
Critical thinking throws this biased approach out of the window by bringing all decisions down to the same level. This is a very important skill, necessary, especially when you are working in teams, discussing any issues and tasks with your employer or making important life decisions.
This TED-Ed video walks you through 5 ways to improve your critical thinking.
Yes, you are great individually and you can fulfill a certain role, but how well can you adapt to being a part of a team?Coordination is one of the most important skills that employers tend to look out for when recruiting a fresher. Your flexibility and approach as a member of your team matters a lot, especially in crunch situations.
We’ve cherry-picked this TED talk by Tom Wujec that will help you understand this very-hard-to-develop skill.He talks about the “Marshmellow problem”, an interesting challenge that shows how different teams work under different situations.
We hope you enjoyed this list of amazing TED talks. Working on your Employability Skills is a process that involves a lot of practice, dedication and hard work – but you will appreciate the beauty of it very quickly since its effects are profound.It’s like going to the gym. You’re going to feel sore for the first few days, but you’ll feel good about yourself eventually.
But you can NOT learn all the employability skills. You need to focus only on those needed for the role you want to take. This will not only save a lot of your time, but also ensure that you acquire skills which are really needed.
If you’re short on time and just scrolled to the end of this post, don’t forget to bookmark this page for future reference.