General Labor Skills

4 Important General Labor Skills For Every Job

The job market is becoming more cutthroat with each passing year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the country as of February 2023 is at 3.6%. No one can claim safety from the uncertainties of economic downturns and layoffs.

This is also why a lot of people no longer rely on their existing knowledge and skill sets. It is advisable to constantly upskill and learn new skills even those which are not necessary for one’s current career, like in general labor help or any skilled working jobs that may only take a few weeks or months to learn or get necessary training.

Before you update your resume and look for job openings in an industry you have always dreamed of joining, do a self-evaluation and identify your skills and skill level. Determine what skills you need to develop to advance you career. A willingness to do a regular self-evaluation can serve you especially when the job market is full of competition.

Basic skills you need to get the job and get the job done

These are the crucial general labor skills that every employer will look for:

  1. Communication skills

Often considered as one of the top soft skills that employers and managers look for during a job interview, good communication skills are the basis of teamwork. Cooperation and coordination starts with the willingness to listen to the person you are working with.

General laborers are expected to work closely in groups or at least with other people and getting along with co-workers can affect a project’s progress.

Communication is not confined to speaking abilities and social skills. Listening is an important part of it. Most, if not all good communicators are also good listeners.

Since general laborers work with clients on a regular basis, good communication is an essential tool especially when the schedule is tight, and the stakes are high. Knowing when to clarify what the client means or automatically following instructions can either build rapport and good business relationships or create a not so good first impression that is not easy to take down.

Be mindful of the nonverbal cues and other messages that the client gives out. Learn how to read the room and read between the lines while maintaining professionalism and efficiency.

  1. Time management and organization skills

Everyone is trying to get somewhere in the shortest possible time. Clients usually hire workers to speed up things or to do more tasks in a short period of time. Long periods to get the job done are not that common.

Employers no longer hire a person solely by virtue of their educational background or knowledge of the field. An employer now expects the worker to develop skills needed by the company to stand out in whatever industry it is in. The ability to do multiple jobs and assume multiple roles is valued in the workplace.

General laborers are usually engaged during relocation projects or construction projects when the schedule is tight and the timeline to accomplish a lot of things is to be strictly followed. To make the process faster, companies and customers hire additional extra hands.

Sometimes there are raw materials needed to complete the job and these often have an expiration date. In these types of projects, being late can be very expensive and can even lead to failure of the whole enterprise.

Employers are always on the lookout for workers with the skill level to effectively carry out tasks with high quality results and manage a variety of items in their ever changing to-do list even under high pressure.

  1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving skills

In every job, you are sure to encounter challenges. In fact, when you look at it closely, the client is paying you to solve his problems.

You are expected to be ready to give alternatives when the plan does not work. You are supposed to be on your toes all the time. Hence, it is important to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to effectively carry out your job. This all starts with the willingness to look at a problem from different perspectives, not getting stuck in just one position.

This can also mean knowing how to collaborate with your co-workers to exchange knowledge, especially technical knowledge, to come up with a solution as soon as possible.

In a line of work where customer service is the top skill, keeping your customers happy or at the very least not in an angry state, is really one of your many jobs and responsibilities. To do this, you are often expected to address their problems and have the ability to immediately get this done.

At the end of the day, labor skills often boil down to service execution excellence. When you are able to solve your customers’ problems each and every time, you become indispensable, and this is a position everyone should aspire for.

  1. Physical strength for heavy lifting and hand-eye coordination

General labor basically relies on your body’s strength. You have to be able to lift bulky and heavy objects. You have to be able to lift these heavy loads in stairs and bring them to different floors.

Although not a strict requirement, training can increase your physical abilities. This is why general laborers who previously worked in construction sites have an easier time adjusting to responsibilities and expectations in this field.

While there may be another career where physical strength is not a requirement, it still pays to be healthy and fit.

Most jobs require physical endurance along with mental endurance. Being fit means you will be less likely to get sick or tired. Develop healthy eating habits to ensure you have enough energy to carry out tasks.

Additional expectations on employees and general laborers: technological know-how skills and other skills

Nowadays, the expectation is that an employee, including a general laborer, will be able to help the client even in tasks which are not in the to do list.

A person’s abilities are no longer confined to those related to his educational background or previous career experience. With the advent of remote work and new professions

One of the various tasks most likely to be asked and is currently highly valued in the market is, operating home appliances especially smart appliances like televisions and robot vacuums. Aside from being able to understand the product manual and follow instructions, you should be able to turn on, turn off and use the equipment even if you will be using it for the first time. The ability to use power tools and other hand tools are also expected from a general laborer.

Aside from fitting the job description and the key skills mentioned above, supervisors now expect general laborers to help the company in performing tasks that will communicate to the client that the organization values their satisfaction and happiness.

General laborers and employees are expected to go beyond their duties and many jobs expect you to do everything to be top of mind.

How to survive massive layoffs in 2023

Reportedly 15.5 million people in the United States were laid off in 2022. As of writing, US-based tech companies laid off more than 102,000 employees in 2023. Although it is ordinary to get paranoid about what is currently happening, it will be more productive to try to prepare for what is coming.

A self-imposed audit of one’s skills and how they can possibly fit in available jobs in the market is a good first step in this preparation. While labor skills will always be in demand, looking for a job might not be as easy as it was years ago.

If you have savings another option would be starting your own small business depending on what is currently on trend or on a skill you are sure you have already mastered. This will come at a great risk and a stable income is something that not everyone can live without.

Some people try to start their business as early as possible without letting go of their day jobs. Others explore their other skills and look for freelance opportunities.


With the trend in remote work, the relocation business has boomed. The industry is filled with cutthroat competition. General labor has become in demand especially since not everyone can afford painters and landscapers with complete licenses to do basic tasks.

Oftentimes the affordable option is to engage other workers with labor skills that can fit the requirements and duties needed to accomplish the tasks and get the job done.

Of course, safety rules must never be taken for granted and adequate training should be provided before asking someone to carry out tasks especially if these tasks will cause physical strain.

In any case, whether you are an employer or an employee, there are basic skills that are indispensable. Mastering these skills can provide an edge over all the other thousands of job candidates. In whatever industry you are in or wherever your workplace may be, if you have these skills in your arsenal, it would be a bit easier to roll with the punches.