Here Is Why You Need Commercial Awareness As An Employability Skill
Applying for a job? Do you know commercial awareness is a skill you should have as an employee?
Commercial awareness may also be referred to as 'Business Awareness' or 'Organisational Awareness'. Commercial awareness is a highly-valued skill in the current employment market.
Commercial awareness is a transferable skill that is a requirement for many jobs.
A commercially aware employee is one who understands the inner workings of both the organisation they work for and the industry it operates within.
Commercial awareness not only improves their overall performance; it allows them to recognise the different trends (both political and economic) that can impact their workplace. Being commercially aware makes you a better employee – influencing both the way you work and think.
What Do Employers Mean by 'Commercially Aware'?
A person who is commercially aware has developed a deep understanding of their industry and the marketplace in which it operates. This will affect the way in which they work and the decisions they make.
Commercial awareness is cultivated through research into the (i) company in question, the (ii) industry to which it belongs, and the business (iii) marketplace in general.
Commercial awareness is a highly-valued skill in the current employment market.
Who Needs Commercial Awareness?
It’s not just those working in business. With increasing levels of competition in the public sector and voluntary organisations, for both resources and to supply goods and services, these organisations are looking for commercially aware employees.
Ask yourself and research the following questions:
Does the organisation produce, sell, or buy products? Or is it in the services or ideas business?
Who are its customers? Are they other businesses, or ‘ordinary people’?
What’s going on in the market sector?
Are there legal or regulatory changes on the way, or does the economic situation have a larger-than-usual impact?
The next part is understanding how you will fit in to the organisation.
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•What job would you be able to do, and how will your unique skills and attributes help the company more than anyone else’s? In other words, what do you bring that the company needs to meet its goals?
•Are you the sort of person the company needs, and will what you want to do fit into the company structure? More generally, for new graduates, and those who have not worked before, it’s helpful to demonstrate that you understand how organisations are structured.
No matter what role or industry you work in, commercial awareness is useful. Even professionals in nonprofits and the government will benefit from building it – in fact, commercial awareness can be a key personal advantage if you want to get ahead in these sectors.
If you are preparing for a job interview and want to demonstrate your commercial awareness, here are some quick tips to help you shine in the process:
•Do your research. Try to know the ins and outs of the company. Read the company's website, Wikipedia page, LinkedIn, Twitter.
•Demonstrate your willingness to learn. If you are moving from one career to another, discuss your transferable skills – and stress how you are willing to learn and develop from the experience.
•Be confident in your ability and knowledge. Your career should be your passion.
How to Develop Commercial Awareness
1. Understand the Organization
The foundation of commercial awareness lies in developing a deep understanding of your organization, including how it works, how it makes money, and what it cares about most.
2. Understand Resources and Suppliers
Every organization depends on resources and suppliers to operate effectively, and it's important to use resources effectively and get the best price for goods and services.
3. Evaluate and Prioritize Projects
Another part of developing commercial awareness is learning to evaluate and prioritize projects, so that you can ensure that your ideas are good before you try to sell them.
4. Stay Up-to-Date on Industry Developments
Keeping up-to-date on your industry is part of developing commercial awareness.
Start by subscribing to industry trade journals, periodicals, blogs, Twitter feeds, financial reports, and websites, and make time to read them.
Commercial Awareness is not just for those in business sector. As a freelancer, solopreneur, online vendor, social media influencer, NGO staff and volunteer, it is very good to be commercially aware.