I often come across questions from friends who are employees and students that I interacted with who asked what would I recommend them to learn in order to meet requirements of the current evolving world and to be able to obtain a decent and higher paid career. Surprisingly my answers now are not be different from my answer 15 fifteen years ago and I am pretty sure that it will not be different thirty years from now either.
I believe that there are five skills that are most important for people to learn in order to gain adequate comparative advantages in the job markets. I would consider a combination of these five skills as the greatest human capital that cannot be stolen and the more we make use of them the better and more valuable we will become. These skills are as the following:
1. National Language Skills:I believe it is very important to learn and become master in our national language if we wish to live and work in our own country. Being able to read, write and speak the national language at the higher level gives us the greatest advantage for some of the prestige jobs including working as or for senior elites. For example in Khmer language, there are different levels of vocabularies and terminologies that are used for different groups or classes of people such as for the king, monks, honorable persons, regular persons, children, men and women, etc.There are not many Khmer people who are able to know how to use all these different terminologies and vocabularies for all different groups. Most of them can use the normal language to communicate at an ordinary level. When culture and respect between young and old people and positions are very important, being to use the right words for the right groups of people does give the most desirable impression and therefore are attractive to favorable careers or social status.
2. Foreign Language Skills:for a country that is still heavily dependent on foreign investments and assistance like Cambodia, it is very crystal clear that being able to speak foreign languages does give much more chance for having higher paid careers. All foreign languages are useful to various degrees but I believe English language stands out to be the most favorable one for now.Although French is still relevant and being used in some international organizations such as the United Nations or European Unions, English seems to be still the most spoken Language at the work places. As China’s economy continues to rise and is predicted to be in the first place and taken over the United States within the next decade or so, Chinese language would likely give additional opportunity and advantage for those who seek careers with foreign private industries.
3. Computer Skills:in this modern world the Internet and Communication Technology (ICT) has been playing a very important role in the transformation and evolution of human beings in every aspect including businesses, hobbies, socialization and so on. Computer has been tremendously useful for all kinds of large and medium businesses and works. It also provides the most convenient ways or tools to access to information quickly through internet search (google search) and for all kinds of human communications and interaction.It would be hard for someone to get a decent career these days if they do not know how to use the computer. The more programs we can use the more advantage we will have in competing for a good career and in managing or running our businesses. If you are not interested in becoming and IT Expert, I would suggest you learn and be able to use at least a few programs such as Microsoft Office (word, excel, power points), and how to use internet and e-mail properly (including using Microsoft Outook). If you are interested in or if there is a need to do designing work, you will need to learn Adopt Photoshop or other relevant programs. If you want to be working in finance sector or work as accountant, you need to learn Quick Book or Peachtree. The more skillful you are in any of these programs, the better chance you stand in competing for a good career or in performing your job effectively.
4. Technical & Academic Knowledge or Skills: this refers to your academic studies or vocational skills that you learn at schools. It can be university decrees or professional skill certificates that you acquire from educational institutions. Decree or professional skills in any field are important so long as they are relevant to your passion and talents. I have found out that many people have chosen to study the subjects that are not necessarily related to their passion and talents but they did so because they wanted to comply or fulfill their parents’ wisdom.Surprisingly some people even decide to study a particular subject because they follow their friends. It is unfortunately not smart and not effective to study about something that you are not really interested in or that is not relevant to your natural talents. The immediate impacts of this is that you will not like your studies much and thus the period of your studies usually become much longer when you get bored. Then I would think your study result would not be as good as it should be or as good as you should be able to achieve.There is also a longer term impacts for this. Supposed you had struggled to finish your degree and get into the job. Then for a while will find that job does not match you interest and passion. It is common that people of then looks for the job that matches their decree or the skills they have learned at schools. But the problem is if you do not like what you study, it is very likely that you will not like your job either because the job might also be something not relevant to your passion and talents. Then you are not performing your best and you are the star employees.
Therefore, I suggest that you choose your study subjects that match your passion and talents in order to have a desirable study results and a more fulfilling career. But if you already realized that you had chosen the wrong subjects and it seems too late to change it, there is a way to resolve the problem but it is quite difficult. You need to transform or change your perception which could help change your interest and the way you see you future. This is difficult but it is possible. I can help with this through mentoring, coaching and counseling sessions, but it takes time and commitment to achieve it.
5. Communication Skills: the four skills that I mentioned above (from #1-4) are important and I am sure most people are aiming to learn all of them. How well they can learn will depend on their ability, talents and commitments. But Communication skills are often over looked and many people mistakenly think that they are part of what they are learning everyday as they grow up and there is no need to study it as an addition. What do you think?Well, I would say that there are not many people who are born with natural gift in communications. These individuals are good when it comes to human relations or public relations. Many people, especially my friends believe that I belong to this group, perhaps it is true but I have always been trying to master these skills throughout my careers over the last 15 years. I am still trying to shape it up now.When you see my career growth and progression, you can feel that it is quite extraordinary and if you ask me what did I do to achieve that, you might be able to even guess the answer. It is because of my ability to communicate at a world class level.
The ability to communicate effectively in both local and foreign language together with my attitude toward people and my work have been the key factors that help me accelerate in my careers. It is not my luck, or maybe it is a small part of it, but if so my “luck” is the meeting of my preparation and opportunities. Please do not ask me how did I get these opportunities? I have always been searching for them with my preparation all years long. I still continue to chase my new dreams.When most people are going to have the four skills (1-4), what comparative advantage you would have is to master your fifth skill, the communication skills which include verbal, non-verbal, written communications, presentation and public speaking. Let us make an easy to understand example: supposed that Mr. A holds Master Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and Mr. B holds Bachelor Degree in Business Administration (BBA).
Mr. A is a quiet and less spoken person. He does not talk to colleagues or other very much. He is simple and gentle and is reserved. He is somehow shy. Whereas, Mr. B is very talkative and very outgoing. He is confident in talking and sharing his opinions with colleagues and others. He always has ideas and able to speak in every meeting both internal and external and is able to expressing his opinions very effectively and persuasively. He then follows up through letters or e-mails and be able to share the information quickly with colleagues. Between Mr. A and Mr. B, who do you think should be the manager? I am sure you would agree that Mr. B should be the manager although he has lower degree, is that right? If this is the case even Mr. A holds Ph.D, I would still prefer hiring the Mr. B as a manager for my organization or company. So you can see the difference? I hope this is an easier way of answering the question about why and how I have accelerated in my career so quickly over the last 15 years.
Now I am on a mission and in the mood to share this tactics and secrets about communications to others and want to help people become more outstanding individuals and be able find jobs. If they already have jobs I will help them accelerate and climb the career ladders. In addition, doing this will also help them live a happier life because according research, 85% of our satisfaction comes from having good relationship with others as result of having good communications and inter-personal relationship. It is so true as it proves to my experience. To be star employees, to be effective manager, to be effective leaders you must have good communications skills.
Now if you agree that communication skills are important to your success and happiness I recommend you to look for opportunity that you can master these most important skills with a small investment but huge impacts. I believe investment in learning and improving our skills is the best investment. The opportunity is available now. Please check it out by clicking here.