In a recent article in Quartz, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, says that despite the belief that coding is the skill most needed in the current job market, it’s actually communication. The human kind. For the tech world that tends to think Artificial Intelligence is the answer to everything, that’s quite a shift.
Nothing substitutes for meaningful human interaction.
Most people who are searching for a job will tell you that excellent communication skills is listed in just about every job description as a qualification. But what about during your job search itself? Whether you are a coder, a deep-sea diver, an introvert or an extrovert, your capacity to use the elements of communication is crucial to all aspects of your work life including the search that gets you a job in the first place.
Career transition or a job change is a process that starts and ends with your attention to these elements: writing, speaking, presenting, being present and listening.
Throughout each phase of making a change, you’ll need different combinations of these skills. Here's how it looks:
When you’re first thinking about it, you’ll be listening to yourself—exploring and articulating your values, interests, skills, strengths (and more) to find meaning and motivation and to examine your options.
Once you know where you’re headed, you need to tell your story. You craft self-representation materials (resume, cover letters, profiles, bios, pitches). They are proxies for you and compel the people who are looking for you to call you in.
Not like this...
Creating rapport with the people you meet is all about communication. You’ll be form filling, emailing and speaking about yourself. The people you network with and interview with assess you by the way you express your ideas and ask questions—by your active listening, empathy, and non-verbal cueing.
Even the way you keep track of search information involves your communication skills—your ability to write and organize will keep you motivated and able to see your next steps.
Fast forward to the day you get that job offer you really want. Congratulations! Now you need to finesse the dance between your needs and theirs, negotiating through careful listening combined with clear verbal, written and body language.
Summing it up
Business leaders see communication skills as the biggest gap in our workforce. Even leaders in tech.
A successful search for your next “right” job depends on a full complement of communications skills; writing, presenting, being and listening. The better you are at them, the easier the search.
You need these all of these skills to get the job and depend on them to keep you there.
From the moment you begin the process to the day you step into your new role, your ability to communicate your ideas, your work style, your needs, your enthusiasm, your boundaries, your support for others and your kindness will make all the difference. We all have strengths and weaknesses as communicators. Assess yours, ask for help and practice.
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