Job Skills and the New Millennium

While you thought getting a job was hard, keeping a job is just as hard, especially in the new millennium.

Most employers think recent graduates were born with all the computer skills they need from tweeting and designing websites to email and Facebook. But what do you do when your boss asks you to create a portal on Google docs for clients to give performance feedback. Huh?

With unemployment hovering around 8 percent, many employers find it unnecessary to supply in-house employee training. They figure if you want to keep your job, you'll figure it out on your own. But taking another class costs time and money.

So what is a new hire to do get up to office speed? Take a FREE online course.

ALISON—an Irish company with an uncatchy longer moniker: Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online—provides free online courses in job-friendly skills. Some are basic but essential—Fundamentals of Google Docs or Touch Type Training. Others are more specialized (Programming in Adobe Flash) and many could be useful for anybody, job seeking or not (Protect Yourself From Identity Theft), says Open Culture.
ALISON focuses on the practical, culling free courses from a range of publishers that will upgrade anyone’s employment skills. The site has a million registered users across the globe and is adding 50,000 learners every month. Un- or under-employed people can get help planning their career path with a course that takes from 1-2 hours. The course includes an assessment and a discussion forum.

While many sites offer academic instruction, relatively few offer free workplace skill instruction and ALISON selects courses for their quality and interactivity. The site is so robust and straight-forward that government workplace centers in 18 states use it as a tool to help clients beef up their resume skills.
Course categories include business and enterprise, IT training, financial and economic, health and safety, health literacy, personal development, and languages.

So the next time your boss asks you to create a spread sheet for your sales figures, ALISON can teach you Excel. Even better when your professor starts talking physics, you can brush up with a course on motion, speed, and time.

What skills do you need to help you keep your first job? What practical skills do you need to stay on top in the workplace?


  1. When I graduate college, I want to be an elementary school teacher. In this career I will have to have knowledge in technology and strive in social skills. I need to have knowledge in technology so I am able to present my students and colleagues with material in different ways. With social skills I will be able to teach students effectively and communicate with the students' parents. I need to be focused and motivated to do work are two practical skills that I need to have to stay on top in the workplace.
    I have never heard about ALISON but I think it is a really smart database to have. Every employer should have knowledge and access about this website. It will help them develop into a more efficient and knowledgeable worker.

  2. In a few years I want to teach English in Korea where I will be studying aboard next year. to do this I have to have any bachelors degree and preferably know basic Korean. I obviously need a lot of patience and technology knowledge to present my kids with different teaching styles. with my social skills I would teach my culture to to the kids and to my colleagues. I will also be able to teach well and effectively.

  3. Some skills you might need for keeping your first job are as follows:

    1. Be Punctual. If you are late to work, you are better off not coming in. Be on time so the employer knows you are serious about the job at hand.

    2. Be Friendly. Depending on what kind of job you are at will determine how interactive and outgoing you have to be. However, no one enjoys being helped by someone with an attitude, so try to be on you're best behavior.

    3. Work fast but efficiently. Get assigned tasked done quickly but done correctly. Work at a steady pace and make sure the task is done properly in order to move on to the next task.

    By doing these three main points, you're first job should be a breeze and may lead to many more opportunities.

  4. After graduating from college I hope to obtain a job as a Physical Therapist, specificly for sports. Sports Med. seems a lot more interesting to me. To keep the job I would need a large amount of knowledge in knowing how the body works and how it's suppose to react to treatments. I will have to work with people, therefor, I have to be people friendly and outgoing to that it never gets awkward for both me and the client. To keep a job you must be interested in what you are doing, if your maneger sees that you look bored or annoyed with being at work, then you might not be able to keep it.

  5. A few skills that are very important for keeping your first job are: showing to work on time, being a team player, and finishing your work on time. Arriving to work on time shows that you are dedicated to your work. Being a team player means that you communicate with your co-workers and help each other when in need. Finishing your work on time shows that you are punctual and your co-workers can rely on you to get the job done. Following these tips can help you keep your first job.

  6. For me, I do not know if Alison would be of much help. I would like to become a physical therapist and I already have good people skills. But, I think this is a good program that could help a lot of people with their jobs. Unless Alison will help me with chemistry, bioscience, and other sciences and math.. I do not think I will be on it anytime soon.

  7. There are some skills that are essential when it comes to having a job. I want to become a physical therapist, which requires us to take a lot of science classes and math classes. I do struggle with both of those topics, but unless this program can actually help me i will not use it. I am already a friendly person, and I am already a very big people person. So maybe this program isn't for everyone.

  8. In order to keep your first job you must have great communicating skills. You have to communicate on a daily basis in your work, whether it is with your boss or with your coworkers. You must also have patience while are working. you may come across many situations in which you must keep calm and analyze the situation so you can know how to go about it. You must also be able to improvise because sometimes things do not go as expected and you must learn how to adapt to certain situations. In order to keep your just you must also be a perfectionist, well at least try to pay attention to detail because a misspelled work on an important document can be the reason for you not to keep your job. Of course you must also have more than these skills but I believe these are the most important. Finally, in order to stay on top you must GET the JOB DONE! No distractions. You must learn how to focus. Another good skill to stay on top would be time management. Learn how to get the job done in a timely manner sometimes even ahead of time.

  9. My first job required computer skills of a certain program the restaurant used. I was not trained on how to use it but was showed the basics of the program. I had to learn it on my own during the slow times at work. I do agree most employeers assume you will just figure it out later or pick up on it quickly. Some practical skills that are needed in a work place are: be organized, friendly- no one likes a grumpy employee and its a good idea to make that manager think you enjoy your job! and be willing to learn things that are not a part of the job description.

  10. How to keep your job? Well, you would need the following two skill traits; hard and soft skills. Hard skills would be skills or traits learn on the job, and falso through training. Soft skills is learned through experience. Here are some skills to be able to stay on top of your fellow colleagues and empress your employers. The following traits are; Teamwork (notice this is first), passion, willingness to grow as an individual and team-player, honesty, geniune, punctuality, and finally effective communication skills. These are some simple skill traits that most people neglect and forget to use oftenly. We strive to work hard and stay on top of our duties until we get comfortable and eventually stay in our bubble and decline on gradual improvements at our workforce. Leading to have a new employee excell while you are stationary. Remember to excercise these traits!

  11. ALISON seems like a great tool to help employees, or even students, learn some important skills. However, I feel the online training is more for people who are going to work in an office or business related field.

    My first and current job is at a yoga studio. Most importantly to keep my job, I had to learn how to use MindBody, which is an online studio management software. It is the tool we use to regulate class sign-in sheets, store clients information, and ringing up products or memberships. At first, MindBody seemed very intimidating; shortly after I got the hang of it. Another thing to keep my first job was having excellent customer service and communication skills. When clients come to the studio, I am the first person they meet and the person representing my workplace. If I make a bad impression, or I don't make the clients feel significant, it's likely they won't want to come back or recommend us to anyone. Lastly, we greet our clients by their first name. That was tough! I see so many different people coming in and out of the studio and it's hard to try and remember each person's name. Again, over time, I began to recall the usual clients who always go to the same classes. Now, I notice which clients miss class or if they didn't make it that week so that when I see them again I can say, "Hey (client's name)! I noticed you didn't make it to class for a while! What have you been up to?"

    Practical skills to keep my first job include punctuality and multitasking! At my work, I always arrive 30 minutes before a class starts. Even then, there will be clients waiting outside the door to go in the studio. Also, I arrive early so that I can turn on the heat so that the heated classes are hot when class begins. If I were to come in late, there would be a ton of clients waiting outside and the room wouldn't be as hot as it's supposed to be for class. Being able to multitask is essential because I am the only person at the front desk. There has been many times when I was working and I had one client who had questions about the classes, another who wanted to purchase full membership, another who wanted to rent a mat, while the phone was ringing, all at the same time! Sounds stressful right? It is. But it's much easier now because I've learned how to work efficiently and strategically with many clients coming into the studio.

    Overall, I love my first job. I am very grateful and appreciative of having it because I had absolutely no prior work experience. I learned how to be patient, communicate effectively with others, and how to multitask.

  12. My first job was in a non-profit organization and my job was to create and edit fundraising videos for them. Not only was I working with a macbook, which I had no idea how to use at the time, but also, I had no idea how to edit on iMovie. I spent most of the first week looking through youtube tutorials, that were mostly complete and utter rubbish. After a week I was able to use iMovie with little to no trouble. The only trouble is the rainbow wheel of death that caused iMovie to crash. After the macbook fiasco they had me input data into excel which I simply had no idea how to use, so then there goes numerous tutorials on youtube to discover how to use this program. If I had known there was a website such as this, that would have made my life so much less difficult. So if employers don't want to pay for job training they could at least recommend using ALISION, it's the least they can do, if they want their company to run smoothly. I understand that certain companies expect a lot more out of their employees, however, if they have a deadline for something, or it must be done a specific way asking someone who clearly does not know how to work for example: excel, isn't very wise. They probably would mess up everything. And honestly, I don't believe it is completely their fault, I believe it is the companies fault on top of that.

  13. While getting a job it is indeed tough nowadays, I would disagree to not being easy to keep the said job. One of my close friends has recently got a job at an IT company that provides and maintains data servers for companies such as Facebook or Google. He had not had a job in IT before and his knowledge about computers is limited to what you can learn yourself at home. He told me that whenever he needs to do something he doesn't know how to do, he will just google it. Most of the IT employees (that I know of) say that whenever they have a hard task, Google has any answer you can think of. It's easier and faster than taking an online class, from a lot of people's perspective. And a lot of employers encourage their employees to do so. As long as the job gets done, it doesn't mean how.

  14. Getting a job in society today is a job itself so when you finally achieve that goal, it is an amazing feeling. When people are unemployed for so long, they begin to think about ways to become a better worker so when they get the job they can work to the fullest. They can form a great work ethic and bring something new to the company. Some features I am working on today are, being more consistent with everything that I do. I want to have phenomenal work ethic that shows just by me walking into a room. I want to build more confidence so when it comes to certain tasks it is done the way I feel will benefit the company most. Keeping a job is hard because most jobs know that there are other options. Being creative in the working industry is most important because most companies want different ideas. I learned yesterday while attending a meeting that there are so many companies today that are ready to invest their money into people with new ideas. So being consistent, having confidence, and being creative are three majors tools that I want to gain more of.

  15. After I graduate college I am going to become a CHP, a California Highway Patrol Officer and the skills that I will want to have are fast typing computer skills, language skills in other words being able to speak in many other languages, and lastly great reading, writing, and comprehension skills. I will need quick typing skills so I can type reports in an instant manner, being bilingual will help me communicate with the people on the streets and being capable of receiving transporting information to and from them. And lastly reading, writing, and comprehension skills so I can read reports, write reports, and comprehend reports because that's what fifty percent of my job will be entitled of doing, reading and writing reports everyday. Those are skills I will need to master in my profession.

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