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2013 is going to start soon and so are my hiring plans.

Though I shudder thinking of the candidates. Almost all applications that I receive are either full of tasks that a person did or the qualifications that she has managed to acquire.

Now, I am not a big fan of qualifications or past experience for that matter. I need people who can explicitly show 3 important skills.

If you are looking to get a better job, you surely should look at cultivating these and if you are an employer, you will echo my feelings.

Here they go:

1.       Critical Thinking

This one is the most important one on the list. Can you take an idea or situation and build a multi-perspective view around it, looking at it from several angles, consider various opinions and then sift and sort to bring out the best options.

Can you take just one line from me and create a poem out it, if you get what I mean?

No! Here is another way of putting it. (talking of perspectives, eh!)

“Critical thinking is the ability to apply reasoning and logic to new or unfamiliar ideas, opinions, and situations”, as mentioned on wisegeek.com.  To be open minded and independent in thought and opinion, to call for and evaluate several perspectives and to be open to choose an option or answer that is different from one which is originally thought. And all this in the best interest of the task, project or organisation.

Yes, the first perspective was easier!

2.       Problem Solving

Don’t tell me the problem, tell me the solution?” is probably every boss’s lament.

In business or in personal lives, problems occur all the time. In some sense, we exist only to solve problems. What I see in most people is the tendency to come back with the problem to me and often it is the ‘wrong’ problem. This frustrates me to no end.

I need someone who can identify the correct problem, analyse it and then come up with alternative solutions as recommendations. This would mean working with different people, culling out information, organising data and working on solutions.

Problem solving is an art and I put a huge premium on it. And the best part, it can be learnt. I did.

3.       Ability to learn

One of the top 3 traits that I would look for in someone I plan to have on my team.  No one was born learned. We learnt everything over time through school, college and now work.

I am again aghast at people who seem to be from the world view that once formal education ends, learning ends. Only to get a tight one below the temple to realise that learning actually begins once the formalities are over.

You have to be open to learning. New assignments, projects, clients, every challenge will need some new learning.

If you don’t learn, your chances of progress are pretty grim. In fact, in the first place, your chances of being on my team are pretty dim.


Honestly, such is the deficiency of these skills that if you have  these skills in adequate measure, you will qualify you to be a front runner for the top post.

So my advice: Go build them now to have a rewarding new year 2013!

——–Image courtesy: behavioradvisor.com————

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