Resumes, suits, interview questions—these are the things that most people think about when they hear “career preparation.” But what happens once you’re in the door and ready to work? How do you become a successful employee?
That’s where soft skills come in. Remember that scene in Alice in Wonderland when Alice ate a biscuit to make herself larger, then another to make herself smaller, until eventually she found the combination that made her the perfect fit? That’s how soft skills work. By finding the right balance between collaboration, perseverance, and any other mix of soft skills, individuals can adapt to become the perfect fit for any workplace.
Recently, Roadtrip Nation Education participated in the Digital Badging Advisory Group Meeting co-facilitated by the New World of Work initiative, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Using New World of Work’s list of 21st Century Skills, we discussed how to assess soft skills in the workplace and how to use digital badges to recognize students that demonstrate specific soft skills.
Soft skills can technically be taught and discussed in a classroom setting, but it’s the application of the soft skills that truly demonstrates a student’s degree of workplace readiness. The New World of Work has been able to bring together education research and best practices with experiential learning in the workplace to create a system to teach and assess soft skills. By integrating digital, the New World of Work enables students to present employers with an easily identifiable and shareable system of skills, rather than a dull resume full of seemingly applicable experience.
We look forward to collaborating with NWOW, NACCE, and The Foundation on creating an innovative way to prepare young people for the workplace!