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This article lists five types of job skills in demand in 2011 - plus a bonus! Depending on your industry, certain skills are bound to trump others. But overall, what are employers looking for in an ideal candidate? According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2011 survey, employers are looking for job candidates these top five skills and qualities:
  1. Verbal communication skills
  2. Strong work ethic
  3. Teamwork skills
  4. Analytical skills
  5. Initiative
Skill #1: Verbal communication skills In the workplace, you need to be able to clearly and concisely communicate with co-workers, clients and supervisors. This is an important skill and is often evaluated based upon your initial interview with the hiring manager. Skill #2: Strong work ethic An employer is looking for a candidate who is reliable, takes initiative, and works hard. You need to show that you can work independently, arrive on time and fulfill your commitments in order to be perceived as having a strong work ethic. It’s also important to strive for quality work—employers want someone who can do the job right the first time. Skill #3: Teamwork skills The ability to work in a group effectively is key to success on any job. It’s likely that, at some point, you’ll need to work with others in order to get a project done. You need to possess solid communication skills (including listening) and the ability to speak knowledgably while also maintaining a commitment to the team and voicing your opinion. Skill #4: Analytical skills You should possess the ability to visualize, articulate, and solve complex problems and concepts. Analytical skills include the ability to use logic and design and test solutions to problems. This also encompasses formulating plans to solve problems. Skill #5: Initiative The definition of initiative is the readiness and ability to take action. Although some things may not be in your job description, it’s important to convey your passion for the organization and its success by offering expertise on new projects or volunteering for tasks that interest you. Skill #6: Emotional intelligence (BONUS!) Another highly sought after skill or quality in candidates is emotional intelligence. This can be defined as the measure of one’s ability to understand and deal with their own emotions, the emotions of others and how to properly act on those emotions. Emotional intelligence can be broken down into several categories: social skills, social awareness, self-awareness, and self-management. How can you improve upon these skills in demand? Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Learn how to land a career you love


Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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