In both schools and colleges, we encourage students to study hard and achieve high test-scores. But what happens when not all students end up with highest test-scores? Will they still find success in the job market?
It is not surprising to see from the recent Oliv.com survey that there is not much correlation between students’ grades and future career success. A GPA does not measure a person’s emotional intelligence, resilience, and determination – all of which are major factors of success in a future career, regardless of the industry, position, or region. Furthermore, there are other characteristics including leadership traits, ability to overcome challenges, and teamwork, which are of high value in the real world.
With emergence of technology and continuing changes in the world of work, employers are now looking for candidates who can stay agile, adjust, continue learning, expand their networks, and can manage themselves and their teams through times of transition.
As you climb up the career ladder academics and tests scores become less important. Academics will only take you so far, but developing the below skills will keep you competitive in today’s job market.
Cultural and emotional intelligence
This is, in many cases, more essential than someone’s IQ. Career growth greatly depends on a person’s ability to lead, inspire and motivate people, as well as other soft skills. Students need to learn self-awareness, flexibility and empathy.
Managing failures and building resilience
Students need to face real-life problems to develop the ability to rise above failures, as the world is full of surprises. They also need to learn strategies to deal with obstacles and be open to discussing the topic of failure and building resilience.
Anxiety is today a leading mental health issue. An expectation to be the best in everything is creating more failure than success and leads to mental and physical stress. To manage this: list three things each day that you are thankful for; exercise, eat well and practice mindfulness; make time for friends and family.
Elena Agaragimova manages the Careers and Alumni Department at The University of Manchester Middle East Centre. She is a skilled trainer and talent development specialist with 10 years of experience.