A Jack of All Trades: the Importance of Being Well-Rounded in the Workplace

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A JACK OF ALL TRADES:
The Importance of Being Well-Rounded in the Workplace
Submitted to Robert P. Campbell by
Deron R. Dantzler
in partial fulfillment of CARD410.

June 19, 2005

Introduction

There are literally hundreds of desirable traits in the workplace. Of these, one of the arguably most important is to be well-rounded in the workplace. Many skills can assist an individual in being a well-rounded employee. Oral communication skills, written communication skills, teamwork, technical skills, leadership skills, adaptation skills, computer skills, interpersonal skills and analytic abilities are some of the key factors to a well-rounded employee. While these skills all seem to be of equal ability to the well-rounded employee, the scope of this paper will only delve into a few of the skills preceding. Technical skills, oral communication skills and leadership skills will all be detailed in this review in an attempt to help you (the reader) become a well-rounded employee.

Technical Skills in the Workplace

Technical skills are the formal name for the knowledge to perform the task at hand. One acquires technical skills by training in formal school systems or in the work environment. Experience is probably one of the most important factors in growing your technical skill in a subject. The importance of technical skills in the workplace is undeniable. Without the knowledge of the subject at hand, there is virtually no way possible to be a well-rounded person. Without technical skills you are not likely to be able to even do the job at hand.

Here's a brief story for example about an individual in the workplace, and how his lack of technical skills hindered his ability to be well rounded in the workplace, and eventually cost him his job. John was a college graduate with a degree in Computer Science. He had completed his degree with a GPA of 3.5. He began his search for a job immediately following his graduation and landed a great job in the technology field based on his merit and because of his professionalism and great communication skills. However, John had very little practical knowledge that is used in the IT field. He had no past experience beyond his degree, no industry level certifications. While his education had trained him in many different facets of computer technology, he lacked the one driving technical skill to help him determine where he would be best suited. It turns out the job that he landed was in computer networking, and when his initial review came up in 3 months, the company decided that they were going to let him go because of his lack of technical skills and because they wanted someone more experienced who actually knew how to do the job. Because of John's failure to be a well-rounded employee, and failure to have technical skills, he lost his job.

But the big question is: What does John do now? How can he obtain the technical skills that he lacked before so that he will be able to keep his next job? John was mislead into believing that his degree would provide him with all of the information that he needed in order to compete in the workplace. One of the options that he should have heavily considered in college is internships. Now he decides that he will take some certification level courses to help get him on track. He uses these courses to build his confidence level and his technical skill set. He excels in his next job because his great oral communication skills are a wonderful supplement to his technical knowledge.

Oral Communication Skills

For obvious reasons, technical skills are important in the workplace. Likewise, oral communication skills are a no-brainer in the workplace as well as in our personal lives. The National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a survey of hundreds of employers to determine the skills they desire in potential employees. The result showed overwhelmingly that oral communication skills were the most important to the sample set...
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