Top 5 Career Readiness Skills to Be Successful

Develop these career readiness skills to thrive in the workplace.

Like many things in life, a good career requires planning. Ideally, this planning begins as early as elementary school and becomes much more rigorous by high school. When students are given space and time to understand themselves and their preferences, and then given the opportunity to explore the career options that match their passions and interests, they become career ready.

What does it mean to be career ready?

Career Readiness has been a hot topic in the education field for some time now. To be “career ready” technically means to graduate from high school with the English and math skills necessary to qualify for the next step — whether that’s college or other training — toward a meaningful and fulfilling career.

But what does career readiness actually look like?

At some schools, career readiness is centered on having students take career assessments, or tests that help them tease out their likes and dislikes in order to better inform their career decision-making processes. Career assessments are important because they help teachers gauge where students are in terms of their career readiness progress, and they get them thinking about their career choice.

5 Career Readiness Skills to Master

To meet college and career readiness standards and to thrive post-graduation, it’s important to have mastered several skills. We consider the following five career readiness skills to be essential in fostering a successful career path: 

1) Written and oral communication
Whether it’s a college essay, an interview, or a thank-you note to a future employer, written and oral communication are crucial to the career readiness process. Students must be able to articulate their thoughts, listen with intent, and write clearly. 

2) Leadership capabilities
Not every worker will become a manager or C.E.O., but knowing how to be a leader is important. Students must be able to envision what’s possible, motivate themselves and others, and understand the value of empowering others.

3) Teamwork and collaboration
There is no college or job without teamwork and collaboration. Whether they end up in a lecture hall or a lab, a dorm room or a boardroom, students must be able to work as part of a team and appreciate the give-and-take that is crucial to the learning process and the exchange of ideas. 

4) Problem solving skills
At some point, everyone will be faced with problems in their careers. Students must learn to navigate difficult situations and weigh options to come up with solutions that are smart, equitable, and efficient.  

5) Work ethic
Having a good work ethic will serve students well in their careers. Employers look for workers who are conscientious, considerate, attentive to details, and respectful of timelines and the bigger picture.

As you work with your students to help them develop and perfect these skills, try incorporating some career exploration activities in the classroom. Tools like Naviance are also effective in helping teachers, parents, and students track progress and set goals.


College & Career Readiness

Prepare students for college, career, and life with a research-backed readiness framework and comprehensive toolset. Create connections between their strengths and interests to success after high school.

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