Why are reasons problem-solving skills are important for jobs? Besides the hard skills employers look for in an applicant for a specific field, they also take a good look at proficiency in problem solving.
You might be thinking that this should be common sense and everyone should have at least the smallest idea of how to solve problems on the daily. Most people, however, have different ways of doing this than others and employers have to make sure that their methods align with those of the company.
It must be sure as well that their mindset when it comes to navigating situations is beneficial for them and the parties involved. Besides this, here are other reasons problem-solving skills are important for jobs.
1. It connects with other soft skills
Problem solving is not an isolated skill. When you’re proficient at it, it shows your capacity to embody other traits that allow you to flexibly deal with different situations. This will be able to reflect your innovation skills as you try to creatively come up with solutions. This also involves critical thinking which lets you analyze the situation at hand and adapt to it accordingly.
Every situation has its own unique context, but one thing in common is that problem solving takes a lot of patience, collaboration, and adaptability especially if there are other stakeholders involved.
2. It assesses how you deal with different situations
If you’ve been to a job interview, you’ve probably encountered one of these questions:
- Tell me about a time you encountered a problem. How did you handle it?
- How do you describe your work ethic?
- Can you describe a time in the past when you had to deal with something under time pressure?
When they ask you one of these (or other variations), they are trying to evaluate the way you think and act on different problems. Usually, they will also give situationers, or prompts describing a specific hypothetical circumstance. From this, they ask you how you would deal with it as they mentally note if your way of managing it is viable.
Remember that there are so many people involved when it comes to decision making, so employers want to make sure that you deal with them in a manner that benefits the majority. Adapting to the given circumstances is a huge factor of problem solving and answering the interview situationers well can give you a good boost towards your job goal.
3. It lets you know if it can be improved on
Feedback is always important. Realistically, you should remember that there are always going to be alternatives to solving different problems. With that in mind, employers really do try to evaluate your skills based on if they are beneficial to the company and the career at hand. It could be possible that you have good skills already, but need to fine-tune them based on the job you are applying for.
In that case, it would be good practice to mentally run through situations wherein a problem actually arises in your potential workplace and figure out how you would address it. In fact, playing games like chess and sudoku actually help you sharpen your problem-solving skills further. Overall, it’s about how to wire yourself to solve problems for the company you’ll work for. Through feedback from your employer and colleagues, this will improve your adaptability as an individual and further your reputation as a worker who works well under different circumstances.
All in all, problem-solving skills are critical aspects of your work ethic that employers carefully evaluate. Having a calm and level-headed disposition while dealing with such is a huge plus for employers, so it would be good to start reevaluating your usual work habits while you prepare for your next job opportunity. Think about how to make yourself more efficient while also taking into account the perspectives of your potential colleagues. With that, your skills will be sharpened and can be adapted for different situations.