To be successful in the workforce, no matter the job or career, adults need a broad set of knowledge, skills, and competencies that match their job choice. They also need the ability to deal with the challenges, relationships, transitions, and social systems that make up working life. These abilities are often referred to as social emotional skills, personal success skills, or executive function skills.
A recent report from SRI Education and the Joyce Foundation highlighted the problem some workers can face when struggling with personal success skills:
“Although no statistics are available on the personal success skills attainment of the U.S. adult population, it is clear that individuals with weaker personal success skills may struggle in many ways. They find it difficult to get good jobs, manage everyday challenges of multiple priorities and communication, keep up with rapid changes in technology and other aspects of work, effectively seek to expand their education when needed, engage successfully with complex knowledge work, build and leverage the social capital necessary to build professional pathways, and so on. The consequences can be dire, with many adults potentially facing chronic unemployment or underemployment.”
The good news, the report argues, is that working adults, even those who have had difficulties in school and work in the past, can build and enhance those skills with the right supports.
In this video, we profile Access Green in Washington, D.C., and its work as a career incubator with underserved adults. Using a program they call Mindful Warrior, a combination of technology including online lessons and text-based daily affirmations, and on-the-job experience and coaching, employees at Access Green and across the city are building their executive function skills and paving the way to greater success in business and life.