Empowering Adults to Thrive at Work: Personal Success Skills for 21st Century Jobs

Empowering Adults to Thrive at Work: Personal Success Skills for 21st Century Jobs

Efforts to support chronic un-and underemployed adults should include strengthening their "personal success skills" — basic job readiness, self-directed learning, self-management, personal responsibility, effective communication, career management, and everyday problem solving, a report from the Joyce Foundation and SRI International finds. According to the report, Empowering Adults to Thrive at Work: Personal Success Skills for 21st Century Jobs (74 pages, PDF), successful careers require not only knowledge, skills, mindsets, values, and self-regulation, but also cognitive (critical and analytical thinking, adaptive learning) and intra- (positive core self-evaluation, openness) and interpersonal (teamwork, leadership) competencies. To help develop these skills, the report recommends that professional development practitioners foster a range of social supports for un- and underemployed adults through mentoring and peer networks; that researchers help promote evidence-based best practices and develop models appropriate to different contexts; and that funders and policy makers invest in ensuring that research-based approaches to building personal success skills are readily accessible and affordable.