Skill is a learned ability of a person to carry out a job and produce a desired result using a reasonable time and energy. Every job demands a skill. There are domain general skills and domain specific skills. The first one are skills that are common for all jobs.
Domain General Skills
The US Department of Labor has listed about 16 such basic skills. They are: ability to learn, reading competence, writing competence, computation competence, listening, oral communication, creative thinking, problem solving, ability to maintain self esteem, goal setting, planning for career development, interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, team working capability, influence, leadership.
It is important for us to know that some of the skills are imbibed at a very young age or may come inborn, many skills are learned and acquired with practice. This is especially true for domain specific skills.
Domain Specific Skills
The National Skill Development Council (NSDC) has standardized about 850 job roles, defining the skills required to perform those jobs. If you take the retail sector, about 80% of jobs are created in the following four jobs: operations assistant, cashier, sales associate, and trainee associate.
According to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) of the NSDC, each of these retail job has to be performed with certain skills. With the job description of Cashier is to “service and process all customer transactions through various tenders as per accounting principles”, the person is expected to be strong in few domain skills such as basic accounting.
Though there are standards for job roles. Practically not all work culture and places are common. There could be a variety of challenges that employees may face. Depending on the need to respond to the job needs, employees should take the responsibility of mapping his or her occupation and do a functional analysis – that is activities that have to be performed and the expected outcomes.
It is always a good practice to create a checklist to measure your own performance and constantly develop new skills and enhance existing skills. This will lead to career progression.