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Transferable skills paramount

Emotional intelligence skills — a person’s personal, social and emotional skills — are a big part of what a person needs to succeed in life, says Colleen Clarke, a career specialist.

Emotional intelligence skills — a person’s personal, social and emotional skills — are a big part of what a person needs to succeed in life, says Colleen Clarke, a career specialist.

With the current economic situation, she says these are transferable skills that will help a person move from one job to another.

“Well, first of all, you can’t get anywhere if you don’t know the skills of the job,” says Clarke, with monster.ca.

“But over and above those skills are your emotional intelligence skills.”

These include a person’s ability to get along with other people and to build and maintain relationships.

“We all have these skills,” says Clarke, a corporate trainer in Toronto. It’s a matter of developing them and finding out where your strengths and weaknesses are.

There are many ways to attain these skills, from something as easy as reading a book or taking a course to going for therapy, asking a boss or colleagues for insight and taking an emotional-intelligence test.

The first step, however, is to become self-aware.

“Hold up the mirror. Be a fly on the wall,” says Clarke. “Pay attention to how people respond (to you) and watch the results.”

Depending on the occupation, some of these skills are more important than others.

Martin Buckland, the president of Elite Résumés and career adviser, says that people with problem-solving skills who are analytical and detail-oriented lean toward engineering or IT careers. While being aggressive is more for sales or marketing careers.

He says he looks towards a client’s daily life for transferable skills when helping them put a resumé together.

“Sports tell you a lot about a person, whether you do an individual sport or a team sport,” says Buckland. “If you’re a runner you’re basically more individualistic. If you play soccer and other games then you’re more of a team player.”

Whether a person has been born with these or accrued them during their lifetime, it’s important that people keep on learning.

“It’s no good these days to just rest on your laurels and think, ‘I’ve finished high school and college and there’s no need for learning,’” says Buckland. “That’s a fallacy. You need to show you’re in a learning mode. It puts you in a better position.”

 
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