According to experts, Sigmund Freud would have the right skill set to get a job in 2011. But he'd be smart to go into HR.

As far as employment goes, the good news about 2011 is that the media chatter has turned from layoffs to hiring. The evidence that a significant increase could be in the works has begun to build:

Research by Regus reveals 32 per cent of firms expect to expand their workforces next year, suggesting companies are witnessing signs of recovery and sustainable upward growth. Confidence in future outlook within the country also climbed, with the index rising by seven points over the past six months to 87. Additionally, the bi-annual Business Tracker survey of more than 10,000 senior executives in 78 countries worldwide showed that 36 per cent of those polled planned to increase recruitment during 2011.

But what exactly will employers be looking for next year? A recent report from US suggests that HR will be in demand, listingit among the top five growth industries for 2011:

The final field highlighted is Human Resource Management, a profession anticipating 22% growth over the next decade - much faster than the average for all occupations. With HR professionals taking on more strategic roles, those holding a valuable HR credential will be more apt to advance.

The other career paths pegged for expansion are project management, Internet marketing, Six Sigma and contract management. Notably, all of these areas have extremely specialized skills—Six Sigma, for instance, requires certification (as either a “black belt” or a “green belt”) as proof that an individual is enough of an expert in the increasingly popular business-management strategy to oversee the implementation of its methods within a company.

HR, of course, has its own special skill set, and its forecast for growth could also be related to its symbiotic relationship with what at least one expert predicts may emerge as the most valuable skill on the job market next year:

The skill that will benefit you most in 2011--particularly if you're job hunting--is a bit of a mind-boggler: you need to learn how people think and respond. "It would benefit people to study psychology. Thinking about the economy, people going into interviews are really nervous and are desperate," says [executive coach and consultant Khatun] Huber, who thinks that a study of psychology could help you not only become more comfortable with the interview process and hidden workplace expectations, but also figure out what the right job for you is.

There are, of course, some more general skills that are in demand every year, and they’re worth reviewing before the 2011 job searches begin. Dr. Katharine Hansen and Dr. Randall S. Hansen have laid out a thorough list — everything from leadership and communication skills to multi-tasking, teamwork and cultural sensitivity. The best part is that for each skill, they’ve bullet-pointed an example of how it can be touted on a resume. The Hansens write:

Employability skills and personal values are the critical tools and traits you need to succeed in the workplace -- and they are all elements that you can learn, cultivate, develop, and maintain over your lifetime. Once you have identified the sought-after skills and values and assessed the degree to which you possess them, remember to document them and market them (in your resume, cover letter, and interview answers) for job-search success.

19 November 2010

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