What Is Employment Readiness?

Employment readiness is defined as being able, with little or no outside help, to find, acquire, and keep an appropriate job as well as to be able to manage transitions to new jobs as needed.

The Employment Readiness Model is based on the assumption that becoming "employment ready" involves achieving three interrelated goals:

  1. Being self-suffient on four Employability Factors that prepre you to manage your work life:
    • Career decision-making, or knowing what type of work suits you
    • Skills enhancement, or having the skills and education for the work you want
    • Job search, or having the skills to find work
    • Ongoing career management, or being able to manage career changes
  2. Being strong on five Soft Skills that help you manage challenges and perform effectively in your work life:
    • Self-efficacy, or a sense of being able to perform well
    • Outcome expectancy, or whether or not you expect to succeed and are willing to take responsibility for creating that success
    • Social supports, or your network and ability to get help
    • Work history, or your feeling that you have performed well in previous work contexts, paid or unpaid
    • Job maintenance, or having the skills to keep work once found
  3. Understanding the particular stresses or challenges you face:
    • Personal challenges, which you can usually address yourself
    • Environmental challenges, which you can manage with help
    • Systemic challenges, which have to be addressed on a community basis

Research shows that just being self-sufficient in the four Employability Factors is not enough. Most clients face a number of barriers or challenges that act as stressors and can be incapacitating if not managed well. Clients facing significant challenges without assistance in handling them are likely to fail at work even if they are successful in getting a job. The five Soft Skills that help clients manage challenges and perform effectively are becoming increasingly important. So all three parts of the Employment Readiness Model are equally important.