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All skills are not created equal

All skills are not created equal

Growing up digital has its benefits: new technologies means new skills are needed. Collaboration, communication and innovation skills are cherished in the digital workplace. Find out what skills are useful, and how to use them in your career.

Girls dig guys with skills, right?


In the 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite, the awkward main character, Napoleon, feared girls wouldn’t go out with him because he didn’t have any good skills. Mistakenly believing that nunchuku, bowhunting and computer hacking skills would get him a girl, it turned out to be his drawing and dancing skills that landed him a girlfriend in the end. Tick. Now, we presume, Napoleon needs a job.

Drawing and dancing skills will get you only so far in the modern workplace: you need to utilize your digital skills. Growing up in the world’s first ever digital-native generation is an exciting time to be working. We have a swathe of new skills that are revamping the work-life experience, however, knowing which ones are useful is a different story.

New forms of lightning-fast collaboration, creative modes of multi-way communication, and innovative marketplace solutions are among the unique and useful skills of the net generation. This article explores some of the popular digital skills popping up in today’s workplace, and how you can utilize these skills to grow your career.

Sharing is caring... and convenient


Net geners like sharing. Barely altruistic, this collaborative phenomena is based purely on convenience. The collaborative capacity of our generation stems from a 24/7 connection to new technologies. The challenge is translating these to valuable skill sets.

Collaborative skills come from understanding collabroative tools. Need to show a colleague how to do something online? Screencast the process on Jing and email it to them. Need to share an instruction manual or document? Scribd lets you share these and more. Need an instant answer? Skype your boss.

These tools are free and simple - anyone can use them. But skillfully applying these tools to workplace dilemmas will grow your role within your organisation.

99% of presentations suck


“99% of presentations suck”, says Guy Kawasaki, lamenting the woe of the typical powerpoint. His words begin the introduction to Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds, offering a new philosophy and approach towards presentations. 

It’s all about approach. Big fonts and bold conceptual images define the net gen presentation. Multimedia tools are empowering Gen Y to communicate effectively in the workplace in cool and creative ways. The good news is - you don’t even need to be cool or creative to create charismatic presentations.

Gone are the days of the boring, text-laden Powerpoint presentations. Armed with iStockPhoto credits, a laptop and (preferably) free wireless internet, the possibilities for a visually spectacular and professional presentation are in your hands.

Endless solutions are just the beginning


“Innovation is the hallmark of net gen culture,” says Don Tapscott, author of Grown Up Digital. “If video games taught this net generation anything, it’s that every problem has seemingly endless solutions.” This is a bit of a double-edged sword: endless solutions are good and bad.

It is no secret that 'net geners' are buzzing with ideas. Whilst your senior manager may not take you up on every idea, being trend-savvy opens up opportunities to be first to market for new products and services.

The Net Generation is an ever-growing customer base, and this puts you in a convenient position to provide input on this growing market segment. As Fast Company Expert Blogger Lindsey Pollack says, “Gen Y input is not only a good idea; it’s become essential.”  If you have cutting-edge ideas and new solutions to old problems, employers need you.

Do you know your skills? A WorkLifeGroup career development package will unearth your skills, and find career paths that match your skills to the dime.

Guy's photo

EARLY CAREER: Gen Y, Graduates and Early Careerists

Guy has worked as a business journalist, urban planner, slow food chef, denim salesperson and digital media manager, and shares original insights on diverse Gen Y career experiences.

Guy holds a B. Urban Planning & Development (Hons), has worked in 5 different industries and knows what its like to face the challenge of graduate transition. New career choices, personal branding and balancing passions with money are all part of the mix.

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