7 in-demand entry-level skills and traits
August 12, 2022
August 12, 2022
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There’s been a dramatic shift in the world of work as we know it; 33% of employers* say their skill needs have changed since the global pandemic.
Tech has never been more critical to organizational performance. In fact, the development of AI and automation means that that our softer skills—those that make us distinctly human—are increasingly important and highly valued.
Employers know that entry-level applicants won’t have as much experience; not everyone will have had the same access to opportunities. And when we’re applying for roles, we can often focus on what we haven’t experienced or haven’t had a chance to develop yet.
I’d encourage you to focus on what you can do. Take the time to discover your strengths, your personal qualities, the things that make you authentically you—your superpowers!
Here are seven skills and traits to continue to build (and point out in interviews!) as you’re starting your career journey:
1. Flexibility and being open to feedback.
Feedback is an invaluable learning tool. It isn’t criticism; regular feedback is a sign that your employer is transparent, fair and keen to develop and invest in you. Feedback won’t always be positive—there will be times you’ll hear something that’s constructive. Respond positively, take the time to reflect and use it as a learning opportunity.
Being self-aware means you know what you’re good at and what motivates you. Knowing your strengths will allow you to thrive in the right environment and be your authentic self in the workplace.
You’ll know what makes you tick and will be able to self-regulate your reactions to feelings—including strong emotions, like frustration and excitement—and things happening around you. Listening to feedback and completing strength-based quizzes and personality tests are great places to start.
3. Having a growth mindset.
You’ll need to be able to deal with setbacks, be willing to grow and learn and give 100% when attempting new tasks. Even if you feel unsure or think you’re not naturally great at something, don’t let that stop you. Be a tryer and don’t give up easily. Embrace the famous phrase: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
4. Being comfortable with ambiguity.
We operate in a VUCA climate (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous), meaning there is constant and unpredictable change. You’ll need to work and problem-solve in situations where you won’t always have all the facts and will need to make judgment calls under ever-changing conditions.
Improving your tolerance for uncertainty can include staying calm when routines or habits are thrown off and taking action even when you’re unsure of the outcome. Being able to accept what you can’t control and being solutions-focused with the things you can are key to navigating complex business environments.
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"Asking questions isn't a weakness; it's often a sign of strength."
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5. Taking responsibility.
I don’t mean take on lots of responsibility; take personal responsibility. As an entry- level applicant, you’re not expected to know everything. You are, however, expected to prioritize and manage your time to deliver; the ability to work through tasks without supervision or explicit direction is an invaluable professional strength.
This might mean proactively reaching out for support, driving your own development, asking questions to clarify and being transparent with your progress. Asking questions isn’t a weakness; it’s often a sign of strength.
6. Networking skills.
As a new graduate, you’ll need to actively build your network and your personal brand. Having a solid network is a great way to learn new things, broaden your reach and feel supported.
Hybrid working arrangements mean that you may need to develop different ways to network. With fewer opportunities for spontaneous in-person interactions, it can be challenging to pick up on some skills and behaviors that you might otherwise develop in an office environment. Be intentional in developing and establishing relationships—get involved in additional opportunities where you can, be an active participant in meetings and watch your network grow!
7. Effective communication skills.
Mastering effective communication allows you to work well in a team and build solid working relationships. Being a good listener, being good at asking questions and expressing yourself clearly will help you be an effective communicator. You’ll need to be able to build rapport with colleagues, which can be challenging in a hybrid working world. It’s important to speak up and be unafraid to ask for help.
At Accenture, it’s important that you have a passion for technology and a desire to constantly learn and upskill.
Your future employer is looking for you to have interest and passion for what you’re going into. Show your employer your interest through actions you’ve taken from prior experience, online courses or self-study.
Want to know what it’s like to work at Accenture? Check out our free online virtual experience at Accenture here!
And if you’re ready to innovate every day and grow your career into the future, search our latest job opportunities.
*Institute of Student Employers report, April 2022
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