Employability skills and ways to develop them for your teens

“Good habits formed at youth make all the difference” – Aristotle.

The situation

As ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “There is nothing permanent except change”. The world around us is changing constantly; working environments shift towards more free structure, skills required more people skills, and technology is moving so fast that we cannot even follow.


For fact, in the next 5 years, employers will require different set of skills, and the question is how all-potential future employees can prepare themselves and get the specific set of skills?

Based on research contacted by World Economic Forum (WEF) the skills that will be required are the following:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others in the work place
  6. Emotional Intelligence
  7. Judgment & Decision making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive Flexibility

The question that is raised now, is that how can I help my teen develop these skills? At this article we will focus on few skills and in our next articles we will cover the rest of the skills.

How can I help my teen develop problem-solving skills?

Problem solving involves math and thinking skills. Demonstrate an interest in mathematics and make math and problem solving a part of the family routine. Here are some everyday activities that can help build them:

  • Cook together. Have your children follow a recipe. Explain fractions and measurements while cooking.
  • Shop together. Illustrate percentages with pennies and dollars. Have your children check the grocery receipt, and calculate prices.
  • Travel together. Have your children act as the navigators on a family outing. Play simple games such as “how far is it?” Keep a chart of daily temperatures to help plan for a family vacation.
  • Play games together. Have your children learn the rules of a game by reading and enforcing directions.

How can I help my child with communication skills?

Communication includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Keep lots of quality reading material around the house. Make visits to the library part of your family routine. Point out that pleasurable reading comes from good writing. Here are some ideas to develop better communicators:

  • Read to your children. Spend 20 minutes a day reading to preschoolers. Have older children read to you or take turns reading to younger siblings. Let your children see you read at least 20 minutes a day.
  • Encourage good listening. Discuss the content of what you or they have read. Tell stories and have children re-tell them in detail.
  • Play games that involve writing, speaking, and listening. Charades requires non-verbal skills.
  • Encourage writing. Expect that your children will write letters and thank you notes to relatives and friends. Make sure your children have writing materials, such as journals and diaries, available.

How can I help my child with teamwork?

Teams are not only important on the athletic field. All aspects of life require people to work effectively as members of teams. Think of your family as a team, and use some of these ideas:

  • Build your family team. Involve children in family discussions or decisions, as appropriate for their age and maturity level.
  • Work together. Give kids important jobs to do within the family or work on chores together.
  • Practice conflict resolution. Teach them to get along with others by modeling good teamwork and conflict resolution.
  • Learn together. Emphasize the learning that takes place in groups, whether on school projects or team activities like sports, music, theater, or volunteering.

How can I help my child with other employment foundations?

Employment requires understanding and using tools and technology, working in organizations and systems, and following procedures. You can begin building these skills at home by:

  • Do projects that require many steps, use of tools, and following procedures, such as:
    • Cook together. Have your children read recipes and measure ingredients.
    • Do laundry. Have your children sort items of clothing according to color, read washing instructions, measure detergent and time wash cycles.
    • Go grocery shopping. Have your children write shopping lists, compare food prices, make change, and identify and classify food items.
    • Fix the family photo album. Have your children sort pictures, write labels for each photo and write a story about some of the photos.
    • Organize the house. Have your child sortren items in a “junk drawer,” label them and arrange them alphabetically.
    • Talk about products and services you use. Introduce your children to all aspects of work; including technology, business, artistic, social and customer service perspectives.
    • Discuss new technologies and how they change our lives. Discuss ways to improve products, processes and services with your children. Encourage your children to brainstorm solutions to technical and human problems.

For more information please contact us at info@youngfutureleaders.com