How to Survive the Job Market: 5 Essential Steps


Which skills do you need to get and keep a job in the 2020s? Find out here.

Having specific essential skills is the key to being employable in today’s job market. They will not only help you standout amongst other job seekers; they are the traits that can also make you a wonderful employee and coworker.

So what are these skills?

We’re glad you asked! Read on to learn the five essential skills you need to survive in today’s job market.

Basic-Level Computer Skills

It’s a given that pretty much any job you apply for will require the use of computers to some degree.

If you’re not tech savvy at all, don’t let this worry you, though!

You need only brush up on basic-level computer skills to survive the job market and your new job position. That is, unless you’re going into a computer programming or an engineering role, of course.

To land a job in today’s market, be fluent in the most basic computer skills, such as:

  • Microsoft Office and its various programs like Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
  • Google programs like Docs and Sheets
  • Communication tools like Zoom and Slack
  • Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok — especially if your desired role has anything to do with marketing
  • Point of Sale software, if applicable
  • Software programming languages, like Java and Python
  • Accounting software, like QuickBooks and Xero — particularly if you plan to work for a small business or in an office assistant position

It looks like a lot of stuff for “basic” computer skills, but not all of these will apply to you and your career path.

Not sure how to accelerate your computer skills?

Check out these free computer literacy courses. You’ll learn a lot of nifty computer tricks and can add course completion certificates to your resume, showing off your can-do attitude and take-charge nature!

A Dream Team Player

Whether you intend to work in an office or remotely, being a team player is always a desirable skill to have.

In today’s job market, the best way to get ahead is to work well with others and help your colleagues out whenever possible.

Keep in mind, though: it’s not enough to say on your cover letter you’re a team player. When you score an interview, odds are the interviewer will ask you in what ways you have worked with a team, so prepare for this question in advance!

How? Consider the following:

  • First, write down all the projects you’ve been a part of in your career
  • Examine how your work contributions and positive attitude helped your team
  • If your career is still relatively new, be sure to mention school projects you’ve taken part in, volunteer work, and internships

There’s no need to be boastful. But it is expected that you will want to show pride in your past accomplishments, and hopefully this includes teamwork. Relevant, real-world examples help prospective employers picture you on their team.

And demonstrating you are a team player helps ensure what they picture is positive!

A Willingness to Communicate — Today, Tomorrow, and Always

Another skill that never goes out of style is the ability and willingness to communicate. And it happens to be a skill that gets more complicated with so many communication tools these days!

To survive in today’s job market, it’s essential to embrace them all. You will likely use messaging apps, video apps, and collaboration tools galore in today’s workplace, especially if you work remotely.

It’s okay to not know the ins and outs of every single workplace communication tool, by the way. Those will likely be a part of your job training. But at least knowing the names and basic functions of the most common workplace communication apps can help you stand out from your peers and prime you for a career of openness and reliability.

Unsure how strong your personal communication skills actually are and want to improve?

Check out the Communicator for life: how to be a better communicator online course by Udemy. It’s a small investment that can pay off immensely in your work life.

A Desire to Learn

Employers want to see passion. Having a desire to learn and expressing it to your prospective managers is an essential skill in landing a job today.

This is because having a desire to learn can actually mean several things, like:

  • It shows you understand what it takes to be a success in the job role now
  • That you are willing to take on new responsibilities down the road
  • It can demonstrate that you are flexible and open-minded
  • It tells your new employers that you are committed to their organization

Saying you have a desire to learn, and meaning it, can reaffirm the other skills we’ve mentioned, like being a team player and a great communicator.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a phrase people bandy about a lot. It may sound more like a skill that only psychologists and social workers need, but it is truly a skillset that is beneficial in every field.

Having emotional intelligence is just a fancy way of saying you can perceive, evaluate, and manage emotions. But think about how powerful that can be in any role.

Our innate human ability to have and use emotional intelligence is what sets us apart from robots and automated computer programs. It makes person-to-person communications successful, potentially helping to create lasting business relationships that serve you and the companies you work for.

Emotional intelligence allows you to be a thoughtful team member, a superb customer service representative, and someone who clients rave about.


Certain essential skills never go out of style, they just adapt to the needs of the current job market. And if you are able to adapt and better yourself by attaining them, you’ll never be unemployed for long.

Remember to:

  • Have basic computer literacy
  • Be a team player
  • Communicate
  • Be willing to learn
  • Have emotional intelligence

Once you have these five essential skills you need to survive today’s job market, nothing will stop you! That dream job with wonderful coworkers and the benefits you crave will be yours for the taking.

[Client bio]

Angus Flynn is the Business Manager for Village Greens of Queen Creek.  With over 5 years of experience in the multifamily industry, he is one of the most dedicated managers in his field. He loves to help others and takes great pride in working in a community that so many love to call home.


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