Few people applying for jobs fit every specification in the ad, and even if they do, it’s no guarantee they’ll get the position. “People skills” and other overused terms like “hands-on mentality” and “team player” are often ways of saying “we want to hire someone we like.”
Not long ago, when starting a new job, it was enough to be trained in an area of expertise and with that, reach a certain level of experience, after which it would be smooth sailing until retirement.
But today, corporate culture trumps qualifications, meaning that new recruits are expected to be able to “learn on the job.” Most roles on the current employment market require new recruits to learn on the job. People born between 1980 and 1996, so-called millennials, are referred to as the “job-hopping generation.” In a study recently conducted by Gallup, 21% say they’ve changed jobs within the past year, which is more than three times the number for non-millennials.
In addition to reading and on-the-job learning, many find it helpful and even inspiration- al to watch videos about people in a new area of employment or interest. There is a vast selection of material to view on Ted.com, with famous and not-so-famous speakers expounding on subjects from rocket science to teenage angst. As new jobs emerge in virtually every sector, platforms like whatchado.com have become increasingly relevant. The site explains how to become everything from a milk technologist to a quality engineer, but also offers tips from people who have followed a more special career path, like cheerleaders or Nobel prize winners.
Keeping our brains flexible
Anything we want to master is literally at our fingertips, but keeping our minds t enough to absorb and process information is today’s bigger challenge. Being able to learn new things, adapt our perspective and use critical thinking make education useful in the first place.
Since most of us feel intrinsically connected to our smartphones, what better device to use as a workout coach for our grey cells? More and more apps and websites are available to help us acquire new skills and habits into our daily lives. Many of them use gami cation, and like with any sport, it’s more fun when it’s competitive – even if you only play against yourself.
According to a study recently conducted in Australia, students who play online games perform better in math, reading and science tests. The same study found that students who spend lots of time on social networks tend to under-perform. There’s some food for thought.
For games and mindbenders, apps such as Neuronation train your brain using reaction, equation and memory exercises to stimulate cognitive abilities. Finding peace is also an important part of mental fitness. Guided meditation apps like Headspace can help anxious or overwhelmed minds find respite.