Workplace Readiness Skills

21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills are a set of personal attributes, interpersonal skills, and professional abilities that are essential for success in the workplace. These skills are relevant to the current workplace as they have been revised by VA employers and educators for over 20 years to reflect changing workplace trends and needs.

The 21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills are not only included in the curriculum of every Career and Technical Education course in the state, they are included in career readiness lessons throughout the K-12 experience. As students hone these skills in the classroom, they are preparing for the challenges and expectations of their future workplace.

The 21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills cover three domains: Personal Qualities and abilities, Interpersonal Skills, and Professional Competencies

21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth

Personal Qualities and Abilities

  1. CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION: Employs originality, inventiveness, and resourcefulness in the workplace
  2. CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM-SOLVING: Uses sound reasoning to analyze problems, evaluate potential solutions, and implement effective courses of action
  3. INITIATIVE AND SELF-DIRECTION: Independently looks for ways to improve the workplace and accomplish tasks
  4. INTEGRITY: Complies with laws, procedures, and workplace policies; demonstrates honesty, fairness, and respect
  5. WORK ETHIC: Consistently works to the best of one's ability and is diligent, dependable, and accountable for one's actions

Interpersonal Skills

  1. CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Negotiates diplomatic solutions to interpersonal and workplace issues
  2. LISTENING AND SPEAKING: Listens attentively and asks questions to clarify meaning; articulates ideas clearly in a manner appropriate for the setting and audience
  3. RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY: Values individual differences and works collaboratively with people of diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences
  4. CUSTOMER SERVICE ORIENTATION: Anticipates and addresses the needs of customers and coworkers, providing thoughtful, courteous, and knowledgeable service
  5. TEAMWORK: Shares responsibility for collaborative work and respects the thoughts, opinions, and contributions of other team members

Professional Competencies

  1. BIG PICTURE THINKING: Understands one's role in fulfilling the mission of the workplace and considers the social, economic, and environmental impacts of one's actions
  2. CAREER AND LIFE MANAGEMENT: Plans, implements, and manages personal and professional development goals related to education, career, finances, and health
  3. CONTINUOUS LEARNING AND ADAPTABILITY: Accepts constructive feedback well and is open to new ideas and ways of doing things; continuously develops professional skills and knowledge to adjust to changing job requirements
  4. EFFICIENCY AND PRODUCTIVITY: Plans, prioritizes, and adapts work goals to manage time and resources effectively
  5. INFORMATION LITERACY: Locates information efficiently, evaluates the credibility and relevance of sources and facts, and uses information effectively to accomplish work-related tasks
  6. INFORMATION SECURITY: Understands basic Internet and email safety and follows workplace protocols to maintain the security of information, computers, networks, and facilities
  7. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Maintains a working knowledge of devices, resources, hardware, software, systems, services, applications, and IT conventions
  8. JOB-SPECIFIC TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES: Knows how to select and safely use industry-specific technologies, tools, and machines to complete job tasks effectively
  9. MATHEMATICS: Applies mathematical skills to complete tasks as necessary
  10. PROFESSIONALISM: Meets organizational expectations regarding work schedule, behavior, appearance, and communication
  11. READING AND WRITING: Reads and interprets workplace documents and writes effectively
  12. WORKPLACE SAFETY: Maintains a safe work environment by adhering to safety guidelines and identifying risks to self and others

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