opinion

Top soft skills that recruiters are looking for in young professionals

March 8, 2021

A lot of recruiters nowadays, place a high value on the hard and soft skills of applicants. Soft and hard skills are easy to distinguish, but soft skills are harder to measure. Soft skills are also known as ´people skills´, those skills measure how a person interacts with other people. In addition, hard skills are teachable abilities and easy to quantify. Each person possesses soft skills, but which soft skills are in demand for the role you are aiming for?       Here are insights of the top skills that recruiters are looking for in young professionals. Communication      Communication is key to excellent team building and overall performance. Successful leaders make sure to facilitate effective communication in order for their team to reach a common goal. Misunderstandings are prevented, and the employees have clear responsibilities and are able to determine how they will perform those responsibilities. Good communication is not only key within an organization itself, but also with its clients.  As communication will lead to an insight of the customers´ wants and needs. Being able to communicate well in both writing and speech will help you gain a competitive edge in the job market. Problem solving      Problem solving is the basis for continuous improvement and one of the most important soft skills that recruiters are looking for in professionals. Recruiters are seeking for professionals who are able to analyse and find solutions, since the internet and new technologies make it easy to search for a solution online. Problem solving is not only about searching for a solution, but also about innovating and creating the changes towards a desirable environment. Team work      Effective listening, building business relationships, culture driven, common interests, motivation… Those are some important aspects that contribute to effective relationships between team members. Why is it so important to not only be a team but also being able to act as a team? Teamwork is required in almost each industry from the technology sector to the food sector. Teamwork maximizes strengths, as each individual possesses their own unique skills, in this way each skill will contribute to the skill of another team member and make them a strong and equal unit! Time management      Last but not least, is the ability so successfully manage time within the organization. Effective time management allows employees to accomplish more within a shorter time period and lower stress. You can start with prioritizing which tasks are of importance and schedule them within your available time. Shortly, you will find out that you will have more energy and satisfaction due to the knowledge you gained about what matters to you and what does not.       So make sure to highlight your strengths during a job application. As soft skills can´t be really measured try to use example of situations in which you were able to express them.

READ MORE
Looking for bad news or 'doom scrolling'

March 8, 2021

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I keep on scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. I find myself in bed at night scrolling news sites and knowing this is not healthy for me… so why am I doing this?” Easy to explain: I am looking for (somehow) good news.      It’s a question many doomscrollers have been asking themselves. There are multiple reasons why the urge to read may be so strong: the feeling of safety in knowledge, especially during difficult times; the design of social-media platforms that constantly refresh and boost the loudest voices; and, of course, the human fascination aspect.      Beyond knowing intuitively that doom scrolling makes us feel awful, studies conducted during the pandemic have corroborated this, linking both anxiety and depression to the consumption of Covid-19 related media and increased time spent on smartphones. So, why do we keep endlessly scrolling ­– and why can the practice feel oddly soothing? And could there actually be surprising upsides to keeping our eyes locked on our feeds?      “The precursor to going online was that people would watch the 11 o’clock news, [which] was terrifying,” says Dean McKay, a Fordham University psychology professor who specialises in compulsive behaviour and anxiety disorders. That terror, when witnessed from the comfort of the viewer’s home, however, had a potentially calming effect. McKay describes the attitude as people acknowledging “things are pretty horrible, [but] I’m comfortable, so I'm going to be able to sleep well tonight knowing that [I can feel good about] my station in life”.      McKay suggests doom scrolling could be a “modern equivalent”. But, unlike the 2300 news, it doesn’t stop at a fixed hour. During the uniquely uncertain and scary times of 2020, it’s no surprise that people like Bernstein scrolled well into the night. They needed information – at first because little was available about the virus, and then because they got sucked into the never-ending news cycle about it.      As Pamela Rutledge, director of the California-based Media Psychology Research Center, puts it, doom scrolling “really just describes the compulsive need to try and get answers when we’re afraid”.  After all, we do have to assess whether new information constitutes a threat. “We are biologically driven to attend to that,” says Rutledge.      Doomscrolling really just describes the compulsive need to try and get answers when we’re afraid – Pamela Rutledge      “Unfortunately, journalism to some degree plays to that tendency,” she adds. Provocative headlines and stories draw in readers because they elicit fear and urgency. “There’s a sense of, if I know all the latest news, I can better protect myself and my family.” Pamela Rutledge, I strongly agree with you!      Anyway, I am still looking for "somehow" good news to write about. Maybe, I'll be getting a chance in the near future. +++      Email: doringklaus@gmailcom or follow me on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.

READ MORE
Vaccines reveal who your friends are

March 8, 2021

THE vaccination program in the Philippines is fraught with politics, cynicism brought about by ignorance, prejudice, and the ingrained predilection for American-made products. All these beyond the primordial and universal concern to make every individual adequately protected from Covid-19 virus which had infected more than 115-million people 2.54-million of which perished.       In the Philippines, more than 578-thousands cases had been recorded and still counting while 12,322 died. As I write this piece, Metro Manila cases had surged back to not less than 2-thousand cases daily.  But it is very important to take note that of these cases 534-thousands plus had recovered in the entire country.       Davao Region on the other hand showed a dramatic decrease in cases. From nearly 150 cases on a daily average in January and towards late February,  the region is down to only less than 50.  Active cases are also down to 1,337 which means that the recovery rate has also significantly increased.       It is important to take hold of these statistics for it is important in decision-making.  In government hospitals in Metro Manila, the number of health front-liners who are on top of the priority list of those who will receive vaccination against the coronavirus was high. They expected to have the Pfizer vaccine made in the USA which was set to arrive on March 1.  Scheduled to arrive earlier was 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines which are donations from China.       For one reason or another Pfizer, delivery did not materialize. The supply actually is to come from the Covax facility (co-led by World Health Organization and GAVI). Covax targets 2-billion doses to be equitably allocated to countries that have difficulties accessing supplies).  No definite date was given as to when the 530,000 doses will arrive.       The initial day of vaccination drive in the country last March 1 was however met with a pocket demonstration of some health workers who refused to be inoculated with Sinovac which they said is made in China.  They asserted that their sole option is the US-made Pfizer. This skepticism moreover was dismissed by the head of the Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Gerardo ”Gap” Legaspi, who asserted that the best vaccine is what is available. Dr. Legaspi, whose name will be written in the country’s annals as the first to get the jab, elucidated that the Sinovac vaccine will give him 100% protection against severe and critical  Covid-19 infection.  He said that he had closely looked into the efficacy of Coronavax (the brand name of the Sinovax vaccine) gleaned from the results of trials and later for emergency use in Indonesia, Brazil and Turkey and what to him is important is that he will not die of a severe and critical case of Covid. This means that moderate and mild infections can be dealt with by the body’s improved immune system.       Dr. Edcel Salvana, the Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institutes of Health at the University of the Philippines Manila, and Clinical Associate Professor and Research Coordinator at the Section of Infectious Diseases of the Department of Medicine at the Philippine General Hospital shares the same optimism as  Dr. Legaspi. An Adjunct Professor for Global Health at the University of Pittsburgh Dr. Salvana put it in another way. He said that each day after attending to several Covid patients at PGH he comes home worried he might have been infected despite all the protections he dons. He revealed that he had two vulnerable senior citizens at home and members of his family. He said getting the Sinovac jab gives him the comfort that he will not be carrying home the virus that causes severe and critical affliction to him and his household.      Dr. Eric Domingo, Head of Food and Drug Administration, was demonstrative in his assurance that Coronavax has high efficacy rates for those in the 18-59 age bracket.  He was all smiles as the rollout of the vaccines and immunization drive commenced.       The rollout of the vaccines had started and the percentage of acceptance is running high. Private hospitals which are accepting Covid-19 patients, among these St. Lukes Hospital and Cardinal Santos Hospitals have asked the government for thousands of allocations for their Healthcare front-liners. They will get their share.       Looking at the statistics  Sinovac’s Coronavax would indeed be very effective given the number of transmissions the rate of recovery is quite high which means these are moderate cases of infection. This China-made vaccine, therefore, is as good as any in addressing that. It will be a different story if you get infected while waiting for the US  or UK-made vaccine.   Turkey had in fact just announced that the efficacy of Coronavax is 100%!       One week from the start of the immunization drive we witnessed our health authorities demonstrating their trust and confidence in Sinovac’s Coronavax. This is not to mean that we rely on it alone. The Philippines are among the many countries that have to queue for vaccines no matter what the brand for as long as it is cleared with FDA.  The demand is high while the supply is short.  Last Wednesday,  US Pres. Joe Biden announced that it will no longer share any of its vaccines even to Canada and Mexico. That’s America for you. If it cannot love its neighbor, do not expect any single dose until every single American is inoculated.       The prejudice against China is misplaced as it stemmed from prejudice and ignorance.  China has beaten the West not only in the area of the economy but in many facets of technology. Surely they cannot be far behind in various fields of science and technology. America may be the first to land on Mars and Mars but how relevant is it to mankind? China is far from what the West pictured it to be - poor,  backward, undeveloped, farmers living in square communes, people in dirty Mao jackets riding in bicycles in rugged streets. China today has the most number of billionaires in the world, their farmers living in high-rise condominiums,  riding in latest models of flashy cars commuting great distances in high-speed trains over land and seas spanned by excellent roads and bridges.       China is being demonized and demeaned by the West.  We are bombarded with all sorts of black propaganda scaring the wits of the gullible that China will wage war against the Philippines. The Chinese people are no fools to distract and impede the development and progress that they enjoy today.  They do not send fleet of warships. In the Philippines, they provide cheap loans and grants to help us build much-needed infrastructures not to mention the number of projects that cost billions of pesos. which they build for free.      Last week our vaccination program started fueled by 600,000 vials gifted to us by China. Another 400,000 Coronavacs are scheduled to arrive soon.       That is what friends are for.

READ MORE
Letter to the Editor:

May 13, 2020

Objectively looking at our present circumstance, it is obvious that the President has taken initiatives within the realm of the powers of the state, and his presidential duties and responsibilities, to do what is possible to mitigate and control, if not stop entirely the coronavirus-19. The president’s affirmative actions may not be perfect but it is a work in progress. As is appearing, he tried and continues to explore conceivable options to save Filipino lives while trying to rescue the economy, sustain and preserve our homeland, so that the present and future generations may continue to enjoy a healthy and comfortable life. In fact, he has the audacity to spend billions of public funds and, if need be, to even sell some of our sovereign assets, at the high risk of weakening our cash flow and financial position if only to protect Filipino lives and alleviate the family and household economy during this period of crisis. Ironically, if not paradoxically, it is unfathomable why many of us Filipinos remain ambivalent and even defiant of government lawful orders. Viewed from television images of how our compatriots behave, it is weird that many have even become incorrigible recidivists-violators of the government’s legitimate human security and healthcare government policies. Such display of human behavior triggers the questions: Have they lost trust of our duly constituted authorities and institutions? What happened to our inherent law-abiding nature and value system? Have they lost their patriotism? Metaphorically, our nation may be compared to the human body - a compound complex biological organization comprising of numerous organs separate and distinct from each other with and different functions. Yet it remains mutually inclusive. Similarly, each of us is a part of our respective family, culture, community country, and of humanity – co-dependent or inter-dependent of each other.   Yet, it is intriguing to observe why many of our fellow citizens seems to have forgotten that this government is not solely the responsibility of President Duterte and the 16 million Filipinos who voted for him; nor that of his appointees, or of those we voted to positions of power and authority. Rather, this government is the collective and mutually inclusive responsibility of all Filipinos - leaders and followers alike. Thus, while we don’t have the slightest intent to father anybody’s destiny, we join all Filipinos in believing that the phrase “We the People” signifies our shared goals - the common denominator for our common future.   Virgilio L. Leyretana Sr. Former Undersecretary & Chairman, Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) Father of RA 1996 creating Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA),

READ MORE
WEARING MASKS

February 15, 2020

The present Virus illness keeps each one of us in a  panic mood. Very understandable while following innumerable news at the moment 24/7. But nowadays, wearing masks has another reason ... .  Before Ash Wednesday, one can experience in my home country Germany people wearing masks of faces like animals, horrible human faces or the devil. Why all these masquerades? Actors and actresses on stage or in movies wear also masks. They pretend to be what they are not. They play a role. Hence, in Greek they are called "hypocrites". In our life, we always wear masks. Please think about.  You  and me will understand, that we do not want to show to people our real  selves because of the fear of rejection or displeasure of other people. In society, they call it public relation. Men and women would go out smiling and greeting politely other people with a set of purpose: to win them to their business or organization. But the more important point is: should we always wear masks in our daily life? Can we not put these masks aside and be our true selves? Should we be always afraid to show to people in our surroundings what we are before God, who sees everything? Maybe we could look back on what William Congreve (1670-1729) wrote in his "Preface to Dryden": 'No mask like open truth to cover lies as to go naked is the best disguise'. But let's remember, even Jesus Christ, the Son of God, wore the mask of being human. "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!" Later, people thought he was a lawbreaker, an impostor, claiming to be God, a seducer of the people. "I have hidden my face from them and they did not recognize me!" Let's try to put our masks aside from time to time, especially, if we are together people we can trust. On the other side, today's global illnesses shows us different ways of how to move on. +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

READ MORE
ARE YOU A WORRIER?

February 1, 2020

Life is better than ever, so, why so many people seem to be unhappy? Whenever I hear people saying that everything is bad, I think of my late grandmother, born in 1899 (!) into a really awful world in Germany and its surroundings. Yes, I wrote about it already several years ago.  The so-called "Golden Twenties" between the two World Wars (now 100 years ago!) have been everything but golden for her, my relatives and millions of people. "Lola" never complained, even during the sorrowful time in the former East Germany, the "German Democratic Republic". Lola reached the ripe old age of almost 86. We hardly count our blessings. I really count them daily. And praise the Lord for everything! Most people enjoy counting their crosses. Instead of gains, they count our losses. Actually, they don't have to do all that counting - computers do it for us. Information is easily had. Just remember this: Opportunity doesn't just knock - it jiggles the doorknob, and "your friend" - the worrier, is with you day and night, at every corner, following your every step. Complaining and grumbling are good excuses, aren't they? We have time and opportunities to do almost anything. So why haven't we done it? We have the freedom of bondage or restraint, every one of us in his or her very special way - but, we're still our old inferior selves. The job is boring! I don't find a good job! The house is an unpleasing mixture of tidy and dirty things. It's a mess! I am not in the mood to arrange my garden. I can't afford a gardener. That's life. How sad! No, it's not MY fault. Of course not! The whole world is an awful place filled with dreadful and horrible negativism. No wonder, if you look around right now. Yes, I confess, I am also surrounded by many worriers who put their fears into me! Politicians, i.e., many times love to search for some grave alarm that will cause individuals to abandon their separate concerns and act in concert, so that politicians can wield the baton. Calls to fatal struggles and fights are forever being surrounded. The over-bearing person, who tyrannizes the weak, the person, who wants to domineer and to bluster, is simply nothing else than a worrier, who might claim to be a friend. But he isn't! Really not! The bullying of fellow citizens by means of dread and fright has been going on since Paleolithic times. The night wolf is eating the moon. Give me silver, and I'll make him spit out. Well, when will we start counting our courage and not our fears, or enjoy instead our woes? Worrying itself is pointless. Of course,  no society has achieved perfectly rules of law, never-ending education or unique responsible governments. Let's seek out the worries but avoid the worriers, because they try to avoid liberty. +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

READ MORE


Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Business Week.