Competencies for Life

Today, a city’s capacity to develop talented people underpins its economic and social prosperity. Calgary is no different. Calgary is a city in transformation. Our city’s ability to transform is defined by Calgarian’s ability to adapt to change. Being adaptable can be reactive, like how many are learning to live in a new reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, being adaptable can also be proactive and intentional; like having a plan. Today, we all need a plan.

Competencies are the combination of ability, knowledge, and skills to complete a job or perform a task, and as a city, we need to shift from thinking about jobs to thinking about competencies. The right competencies will allow you to adapt and transform as fast as the world around us. Aligning your enabling competencies (sometimes called soft-skills or transferable-skills) are what allow you to expand into new job-specific competencies. It is estimated that in the next few years, 50 percent of people globally will need to be reskilled or upskilled. This makes enabling competencies the rocket fuel that will power every Calgarian in the new economy.

If you don’t have these competencies today, this is where we come in… the Competencies for Life are an integrated set of 25 enabling competencies anchored in six clusters.

Competencies for Life

The six clusters and competencies within each cluster include:

Competencies for Life Problem Solving

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • System Thinking

Competencies for Life Collaboration

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Conflict Management
  • Inspire and Lead Others
  • Trusted
  • Value Relationships

Competencies for Life Core Literacies

  • Reading Literacy
  • Good with Numbers
  • Financial Literacy
  • Civic Literacy
  • Technology Literacy

Competencies for Life Self Reliance

  • Adaptable
  • Determination
  • Takes Initiative

Competencies for Life Communicating

  • Active Listening
  • Effective Verbal Communications
  • Effective Writer

Competencies for Life Core Workplace Skills

  • Define Workplace Goals
  • Manage People and Money
  • Professional Identity
  • Time Management
  • Continuous Learning

Through this pilot project, we bring attention to the Talent Marketplace where Talent Developer and Talent Seeker partners, including Genesis, work together to help Individual Talent map their professional path. Our small team of post-secondary students have created a robust library of tools and resources to help support our audiences in developing these competencies. It is our hope that through this model, we can shape the growth of the talent marketplace in the new economy and make Calgary a hub for talent.

To learn more about this project and the Competencies for Life model, please visit

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