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Online Learning Makes Powering Up in the Workplace with Essential Skills Easier Than Ever

A quick Google search on marketable skills reveals one glaring truth for professionals: The value of soft skills in the workplace is skyrocketing in the pandemic era. Articles like “6 soft skills you’ll need for the post-Covid working world” are frequent posts on job sites and boards like LinkedIn. Conversations about whether graduating high-school and college students have the skills needed to succeed in a professional “covid era” environment are many. Fast Company recently reported that managers are placing more emphasis on candidates with strong soft skills, bucking the tradition of hiring strictly based on experience. After a year of constant change and uncertainty, skills that promote relationships, stability and adaptability are highly sought-after.


It’s clear that soft skills, often referred to as essential skills, are having a moment. And while the reason for their rise in value is unfortunate, their ascension into the professional tool kit is long overdue.


Often described with terms like “integrity,” or “emotional intelligence,” these skills have long been seen as a “nice-to-have” bonus rather than a “must-have” necessity like four-year degrees. But as workplace landscapes have shifted dramatically since spring 2020, that thinking has changed. It is evident that these skills are indeed essential for individuals and companies that aim to withstand challenges and sustain growth in the face of adversity. Workplaces with employees that test high in empathy, leadership, relationship management, initiative and adaptability tend to have higher rates of productivity, according to a study by Boston College, which means that candidates with those skills are like catnip for recruiters.


With the world opening back up and job growth blowing past expectations, it’s the perfect time for professionals to reinvest in themselves by strengthening their competency in these essential skills. No other online learning platform makes that easier and more impactful than Jewell Unlimited, which offers the flexibility and customization current and aspiring professionals seek.


Jewell Unlimited customizes online learning for on-the-go professionals


It isn’t just essential skills that are having a moment right now. Online learning has transformed from novelty to household familiarity due to the lockdowns of the pandemic. According to an article from Inside Higher Ed, more than 70 percent of students polled by Digital Learning Pulse expressed an interest in continuing classes online in a post-pandemic world.


But for most people interested in adding to their credentials, two-year or four-year academic programs just aren’t built to accommodate motivated, goal-oriented professionals. Career-minded professionals interested in accelerating their path through education are an underserved demographic who deserve a learning platform that personalizes according to their interests, goals and schedule.


Jewell Unlimited was built by professional educators devoted to setting a new standard of quality in skill-based learning. Each user takes ownership over their learning, empowering themselves to elevate their personal performance both individually and within a team. More than a platform, Jewell Unlimited offers complete flexibility with a hybrid of personal connection, live coursework and on-demand classes available 24/7.


Powered by William Jewell College, Jewell Unlimited distinguishes itself from institution-based academia by pairing technical skills together with essential power skills and critical thinking.



What are soft skills, aka essential skills?

Soft skills can be a mystery to some. A job description can tell you what you need to do in order to complete a task, but soft skills—also known as power skills—can be learned characteristics, traits or specific pieces of knowledge that inform how to complete a task and get noticed along the way. In fact, according to a post from Forbes, 94 percent of recruiters believe those with developed soft skills have an elevated chance of being promoted. Clearly, these are skills every professional should have in their tool kit.


So, what are these essential skills? Here are 5 Essential skills that we’ve identified as important skills to hone for professional advancement in any industry:


Emotional Intelligence


Those with a high emotional intelligence have a capacity to be aware of, control, and express their emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Great leaders and managers display this characteristic—especially in their ability to keep a team motivated and goal-oriented, while also recognizing the needs of and empathizing with employees.


Adaptability


Much like emotional intelligence, adaptability became extremely important as the working world shifted dramatically over the last year. Those with adaptability are able to roll with the punches and maintain daily tasks, overarching company goals and motivation.


Delegation


After establishing a strong foundation in project management, delegating individual tasks is the next skill to master. Leadership in the, say, restaurant industry requires not only assigning tasks, but playing to individual strengths and communicating the "why" and "when" to effectively keep a team motivated and working together.


Tracking Progress


Since organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system. But how do you track these outcomes over time? What is it that you as a manager need to focus on in the system to ensure useful outcomes?


Intercultural Fluency


Great co-workers and managers demonstrate openness to new perspectives and diversity. Those with strong intercultural fluency are able to evaluate diverse perspectives and navigate the ambiguity and complexity that comes with multiple perspectives, while also reassessing one’s own personal perspectives and listening while withholding judgement.


These are just a small selection of the myriad soft skills that will help professionals advance more quickly in their career. At Jewell Unlimited, these skills are packaged into courses that apply to various types of professionals, from food retail to business management.



How to up your soft skills with Jewell Unlimited


Jewell Unlimited offers a host of individualized, on-demand courses for professionals, while also delivering mini-concentrations in areas like Advancement in Traditional Retail, Advancement in Food Retail, and Business Management.


For current and aspiring professionals interested honing their essential skills, there are two potential concentrations to examine.


Business and Industry General Skills


Success is defined by so much more than simply doing a job well. Jewell Unlimited’s Business and Industry General Skills courses teach business professionals the soft skills needed to elevate themselves beyond the status quo and inspire team members along the way.


Designed for professionals at all levels within a company, this course teaches essential skills such as critical thinking, emotional intelligence and communications, leadership insights and beyond.


Here, learners will benefit from skilled instructors with real-life experience and an on-demand, tailored selection of classes that fits their interests, professional goals and schedule.


Next Level


Jewell Unlimited: Next Level elevates its High School students by teaching them skills that prepare them to rise up and meet opportunities they’ve never before imagined. It takes young adults, often lost in the noisy crowd of high school graduates, and turns up the volume, boosting them above their peers so they will be heard and paid attention to by those with the power to hire them.


Students come to Next Level to amplify their marketable essential skills, which translates into career agility and long-lasting opportunity. Next Level is the online learning platform where learners can gain stackable credentials.



Learn today, earn tomorrow


Professionals with a high degree of emotional intelligence make an average of $29,000 more per year than those with low degrees of emotional intelligence. With potential earnings that large, it’s sound business sense to invest in soft skills.


As the world is slated to reopen and the job market is heating up, there’s no better time to invest in yourself than today. Jewell Unlimited’s tailored approach to learning sets professionals on the right track by teaching the soft skills needed to excel in any work environment.



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