Trendstoday reveal that success in todays’ job market is not necessarily for those who have the best academic papers, but rather those who are well connected and can maintain their social networks. Look back at how you got the job you have, was it not through a contact of some sorts? If that is the case, how is the education system preparing the future job seekers to connect to other people, grow their social capital and maintain them?
The implication is that there must be concerted effort to deliberately teach these skills right from the foundation stage, through to university. Sadly, the tendency today in some parts of the world is to wait until potential job candidates graduate from university and then they start studying soft skill courses like, effective communication, problem solving skills, positive mind and a strong work ethic as extra courses.
A significant number of the jobs in the world today are acquired because someone knew someone who posted a job on a WhatsApp, Facebook or LinkedIn but a few of the popular platforms, but how are these types of social skills taught?
Lessons can actually be included in the school’s curriculum about social skills development like making and creating social capital, team ethics and the art of negotiation right from an early foundation. Whereas, it is true that some of the subjects like English language encourage skills like creativity in activities, like think of a story and write it down; Maths develops your problem solving skills and Science can help you explore your observation abilities, sometimes these are not transferred from the text books to actual life situations. One may need to actually see and explore specific lessons geared towards improving these skills.
For successful networkers, the secret is in being of service to someone else for something that they need, not only is it rewarding in itself but it can help one reach unimaginable connections. Teaching students to think beyond the obvious, to look at the bigger picture even when they cannot definitely see how they can benefit from a situation or relationship is the conversation any educator or person who has young people to mentor should be having with them continuously. In the process of linking others to prospects, one will pleasantly be surprised at the opportunities that open up to them and the network grows into win – win situations for everyone.