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Valuable Skills an Employee Should Have

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From my experience working with a couple of co-op students, I’d have to say the two most valuable skills a new employee should have are: 1) to be able to read between the lines and 2) to be able to program software. The latter skill is obvious. The reason it takes a backseat to the former is because by the time you get to work with me, it’s a given that you know how to code or that you’re a quick learner.

Reading between the lines and anticipating future problems are extremely important skills. Many managers are over-worked. They manage several dozen concurrent projects and reply to hundreds of emails daily. So when a manager debriefs an employee on the details of a new project, s/he may forget to mention important project details. A good employee should be alert and s/he should ask the right questions to acquire the information s/he needs to successfully complete a project.

Many new grads think, “As soon as I know Subversion, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, I’ll be eligible for the job.” No….Not yet. You also have to read your boss’ mind and be one step ahead of him.

Written by John Lai

September 10th, 2009 at 10:28 am

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