Welcome to Working Skills

Providing resources for developing effective skills for living. learning and working. With 6 applicants with the same hard skills waiting in line for your dream  job, what are you to do? Employers are now searching for the best soft skills – those skills that allow you to integrate seamlessly in a team environment.

Soft skills Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.[1] Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person’s IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

(from Soft skills – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Self-Assessment Questions for a Growth Mindset

We recently came across this infographic by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D. that beautifully sums up the process of self-assessment and the 21st Century Fluencies. In a word, it’s all about evaluation.

It couples so well with great formative self-assessment tools that we wanted to highlight it here and expand a little on each point. As we consider each question, obviously the best answer is “Yes.” But if it’s “No,” we want to understand why.

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15 Lesson Plans For Making Students Better Online Researchers

Google is usually one of the first places students turn to when tasked with an assignment. Whether it’s for research, real-time results, or just a little digital exploration … it’s important they know how to properly Google. Lucky for teachers (and students, of course), Google has a handy set of lesson plans that are just waiting to be unleashed upon the leaders of tomorrow.

While I understand there’s a LOT more to research than just Googling, it’s important to note that this is where nearly all students start their research. Therefore, it’s a critical skill if they’re going to start down the right paths.

Below are 15 lesson plans courtesy of Google designed to make students better online researchers. They’re organized by difficulty and meant to help students (and everyone) become better online searchers.

Read More Details via 15 Lesson Plans For Making Students Better Online Researchers.

via 15 Lesson Plans For Making Students Better Online Researchers.

Stanford is providing free tuition for students from households that make less than $125k per year

Stanford University just revised its financial aid policy, and it’s fantastic:

If a student’s parents make less than $125,000 per year, and if they have assets of less than $300,000, excluding retirement accounts, the parents won’t be expected to pay anything toward their children’s Stanford tuition. Families with incomes lower than $65,000 won’t have to contribute to room and board, either.

Students themselves will have to pay up to $5,000 each year from summer earnings, savings, and part-time work. There’s no rule that parents can’t cover their students’ required contribution.

This policy will give many people the opportunity to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities who otherwise would not have been able to afford it. Unfortunately, most colleges are unable to make tuition this affordable. So how does Stanford do it?

Stanford enrolls a high proportion of wealthy students, who pay higher tuition that helps subsidize lower-income peers. And Stanford is one of the world’s richest universities, with an endowment of $21 billion.

Hope other wealthy private universities will follow suit. Kudos to Stanford University!

Read more details via Stanford is providing free tuition for students from households that make less than $125k per year.


Jobs Find Workers, Not The Other Way Around, SF Fed Paper Finds – Real Time Economics – WSJ

In America, you don’t hunt for the job, the job hunts for you.

A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said that most people who get a new job weren’t seeking it. Instead, recruitment and referrals form the basis of the bulk of new hiring.

“Many people find jobs without ever reporting actively looking for one. This implies that, rather than them finding jobs, the jobs actually find them,” write Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, Bart Hobijn, Patryk Perkowski and Ludo Visschers.

The report suggest there’s great uncertainty and a lack of knowledge about the underlying state of hiring in the U.S. economy. It offers more evidence of the extremely complicated nature of job market hiring dynamics.

The authors do not address changes in total employment, but do suggest some of the measures used to determine how many jobs are available, and how many people want them, may not very helpful.

The researcher’s findings are primarily based on a periodic government survey conducted by the Census Bureau called the Contingent Worker Survey, which reports on job search behavior. Problematically, the survey is infrequent. The most recent data are for 2005. It’s unclear whether changes in the job market since the Great Recession would affect the report’s conclusions.

But you go to war with the army you have, not the one you want. The researchers observed that in the data, “roughly three-quarters of job switchers did not report having looked for a new job,” adding “workers who switched jobs seem to have been actively sought out and recruited by their new employers.”

Put another way, applying to want ads may be futile, and the report says that applies to job searchers with and without jobs. “The bulk of job-to-job transitions does not adhere to the usual interpretation of the labor market matching process in which employees actively seek out job openings posted by employers,” the authors said.

CONTINUE READING via Jobs Find Workers, Not The Other Way Around, SF Fed Paper Finds – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

How Corporate America Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Meditation

What happens when a millennia-old spiritual practice is embraced by the profit-driven world of corporate America? In David Gelles’ new book, Mindful Work, the New York Times reporter offers an inside look.

Roughly, “mindfulness” refers to the practice of consciously paying attention to the present, using tactics like meditation, yoga and breathing. For many people, the need for mindfulness feels particularly urgent these days when we’re all choking on an endless stream of tweets, emails, texts and other “feeds” — all of them tearing little bits of our attention away from whatever we’re actually doing.

Huge companies like Google, General Mills, Aetna and even Goldman Sachs offer programs that cultivate mindfulness through meditation and yoga, as Gelles writes. Businesses have become so enamored of the concept that attendance at Wisdom 2.0, an industry conference, quadrupled between 2010 and 2013, drawing some of the most high-profile CEOs around.

CONTINUE READING via How Corporate America Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Meditation.

Dump the Resume: What Smart Companies Really Look for in Job Candidates

Hiring is typically focused on skills. But does a typical resume really reflect what one can do? According to Forbes contributor Jacob Morgan, cofounder and principal of The Chess Media Group and author of Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization), there’s more to it than skills. “The world is changing so quickly that by the time new college students graduate, much of what they learned is far less relevant and in many cases obsolete,” he says. “Knowledge and experience are no longer the primary commodity. Instead, what is far more valuable is having the ability to learn and apply those learnings into new and unique scenarios.”

CONTINUE READING via Dump the Resume: What Smart Companies Really Look for in Job Candidates.

Grit: The key ingredient to your success – The Washington Post

Cultivating grit requires finding a passion — something that lights you up. Miller proposes three steps for getting grit:

When you face a tough challenge, don’t tell yourself the job is too hard or that you can’t do it. Ask yourself, why not me?

When things get hard and you want to quit, mentally change the channel. Find perseverance by focusing on a spiritual phrase, personal mantra or image that spurs you on.

Build a team around you. Connect positively with people every day to help you reach tough long-term goals.

Parents also should praise effort over outcome and coax their kids to push through pain and failure, which will help develop self-respect.

While it’s tough to let your kids fail, failure is key in building grit and grit is often the key to success – you have to fall down to get back up.

CONTINUE READING via Grit: The key ingredient to your kids’ success – The Washington Post.