2 min read

How To Develop Your Critical Thinking Skills & Get Ahead

by Tenzing Tsewang

20/02/2024

Overview

As you'll find out when you leave school, there are many skills employers value highly - one of which is critical thinking. In this article, we look at what they are, why they're essential to your career and how you can develop them and get ahead of the competition.

In today's ever-evolving job market, standing out from the crowd is more important than ever. After leaving the academic sphere, you'll need the appropriate technical skills for your desired career. However, sometimes more is required. What do we mean by that?

Well, everyone can take job training, which means people you compete with when applying for jobs will often have the same 'hard skills' as you. As such, it's then your 'soft skills' - your personal skills and character traits - that hiring managers use to determine whether they employ you or someone else. In this article, we look at one in particular - critical thinking.

According to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Future of Jobs Report 2020, critical thinking is one of the most crucial skills for success at work. So, come with us now as we look at what these skills equip you with and how to work on them for the benefit of your career.

What Are Critical Thinking Skills?

Critical thinking can be described as the ability to see things around you as they actually are. People without strong critical thinking skills will take things at face value rather than ask why something is the way it is - or even if it needs to be that way.

For example - if one of your schoolmates tells you something negative about someone, do you believe it simply because they tell you so? Or do you ask yourself questions like, "Why would they say that?", "How do they know?" instead of jumping to conclusions? It's about looking at the facts objectively or from a different angle to see whether something is true or wide of the mark.

Critical Thinkers Learn From Their Mistakes

Why do employers value critical thinking? People with this ability tend to make sensible decisions based on what they know without making assumptions. As such, they tend to learn from their mistakes and have the foresight and wisdom to consider the viewpoints of others and consider why people hold different opinions.

As a school leaver, you're relying on your critical thinking skills to determine your best career path - showing you how relatable they are. Wandr courses help to give you insight into the many available professional paths you can take, and you can choose the right direction for yourself instead of simply taking the same route as your school pals.

Critical Thinking & Why It's Important On Your Career Journey

Now that you know what the basics of critical thinking mean, we'll examine some specific examples of how skills in this area will help you throughout your career, regardless of whether you're a fresh-faced team member or an experienced leader in the workplace.

  • Decision Making - In most professional environments, you'll often be required to make decisions based on rapidly changing or incomplete information. There may not be an obvious answer, but critical thinking skills allow you to assess each situation logically and choose the best path.
  • Problem Solving - Another common requirement for professional employment is problem-solving, whether you're a boss or a newbie. While you'll have a set way of working, sometimes things crop up that need you to think differently and anticipate the best way to achieve a positive outcome. Critical thinking plays its part here, too.
  • Teamwork - Naturally, any team comprises a number of different personalities, strengths and abilities. Critical thinking makes you a better team player, as it helps you objectively evaluate your place within a group and how to collaborate most efficiently.
  • Communication - Good communication at work involves more than simply transmitting information accurately. Sometimes, you may need to be persuasive or resolve a disagreement between your colleagues - which calls for critical thinking.
  • Professional Growth - Developing yourself as a professional as you progress through your career requires self-reflection so you can accurately determine what you're doing right and what you could do better.
  • Adaptability - Most industries evolve and morph into a newer version of themselves, and adapting and remaining relevant is important. Also, great opportunities might arise during your career that require you to try something new, and critical thinking equips you with what you need to make the most of every situation.

Critical thinking for modern professionals is more than just 'nice to have'. Instead, it's an essential skill that will shape your long-term career. From routine tasks to personal development, it's a skill that can mean the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

"What Can I Do to Develop My Critical Thinking Skills?"

So, as you move towards leaving school, you may be wondering…"All that's great, but what can I do to develop my critical thinking skills before I join the workforce?". Well, actually, quite a bit. You can practice it with others or by yourself, whatever suits you best.

You could try:

Reading more broadly - By expanding your reading list to include various perspectives and subjects, you'll better understand other viewpoints while honing your analytical skills. This might include books that conflict with your beliefs, newspapers, and scientific articles.

Engaging in debates - Whether online or in-person, why not join discussion groups covering various topics? This will help you clearly articulate your thoughts while also considering counter-arguments.

Using the Pros & Cons approach - Whatever decisions you have to make, try listing out the pros and cons of each path. Do this regularly, and it will become an approach you use naturally.

Taking Wandr Online Courses - At Wandr, we offer thousands of courses covering a wide array of professions that help to instil soft skills, like critical thinking. Investing in just a few hours of structured learning might surprise you with how much it can help you develop.

When you actively integrate these practices into your day-to-day life, you can slowly but surely build your critical thinking abilities and adequately prepare yourself for the job market.

Take a Course With Wandr & Develop Your Critical Thinking

At Wandr, our Essentials, Skillin' It, and Career Kickstarter courses give you an accurate feel for working in various professional roles. Furthermore, they help you to develop valuable soft skills like critical thinking while learning about industries like Graphic Design, Travel & Tourism, Trades & construction, photography and more.

At Wandr, we know how hard it is to find a career direction, but with our discovery and learning platform, you get the insight you need to make the right decision. Whatever your interests, we've 1,000s of courses for you to enjoy while learning directly from the pros via interactive video-led careers content.
To learn more about us and how we can help you find your way, visit us today at www.wandr.au, where you can find a wealth of information. Alternatively, call 1300 611 404 or email support@wandr.au today, and we'll do our utmost to help on your way.

by Tenzing Tsewang

20/02/2024

Overview

As you'll find out when you leave school, there are many skills employers value highly - one of which is critical thinking. In this article, we look at what they are, why they're essential to your career and how you can develop them and get ahead of the competition.

Fitness and Business Mentor

Tenzing

Tsewang

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