These skills can help you in every part of your career
7 essential skills to boost your career
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“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca, a Roman philosopher and statesman
Specific skills can help you succeed at any stage of your career. Companies want employees who have hard and soft skills.
Employers want employees who thrive in today’s hybrid work world.
Having skills that employers are looking for is an essential part of developing and growing your career.
If you are unsure of your career path or want skills that can transfer from one industry to the next, you should develop a wide range of them.
Here are seven skills that will help you at every career step. Let’s dive in.
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1. Communication Skills
“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” — Peter Drucker, an Austrian-American management consultant, educator, and author
Your ability to communicate effectively is critical — whether written or oral. How you communicate in different formats is essential to your success. For example, great presentations inspire audiences to take action. The simpler your message, the more likely the message will be received.
Communication skills are about keeping your message clear and concise.
The best communicators are the best listeners. You must listen to what others say and provide thoughtful answers to improve your communication skills. That’s how you create an exciting and meaningful conversation.
Written communication skills are as critical as oral communication skills. You can improve your writing by better organizing your thoughts and taking advantage of the power of editing. Don’t use common buzzwords or jargon, write in the active voice, and review possible redundant sentences by reading your writing aloud.
2. Leadership Skills
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” — Lao Tz, a Chinese philosopher
Employers value leaders — whether they are formal or informal. A leader inspires, empowers, and serves others to produce successful outcomes over time. It is critical to understand your leadership potential, and what may hold you back from reaching it.
All leaders go through some level of self-doubt. That’s natural. The key is to recognize that you are holding yourself back in ways that prevent you from reaching your true leadership potential.
As a formal or informal leader, you must create a positive culture where colleagues are productive, passionate, and enthusiastic about their work. You’ll become more desirable to many employers by having a clear vision and building a strong culture that emphasizes teamwork.
3. Relationship Skills
The ability to build deep connections at work is essential to your success. A third of our life is spent at work, so we have a lot of time to develop meaningful relationships with our work colleagues.
Research has found that 70% of employees report that work friendships are one of the most crucial elements of a happy working life. Employers love workers who communicate clearly, listen actively, cooperate, negotiate conflict constructively, and offer help to colleagues.
Conversations are the foundation of great relationships at work. It’s crucial to start a conversation and end a conversation on a positive note.
To be successful in your career, you must deepen your relationships with interpersonal intelligence — the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. Interpersonal intelligence is gracefully navigating social settings by mastering verbal and non-verbal communication while entertaining multiple perspectives.
4. Self-Awareness Skills
“When we build on our strengths and daily successes — instead of focusing on failures — we simply learn more.” — Tom Rath, an American consultant
Self-awareness is about recognizing your thoughts, feelings, and actions. It’s a form of emotional intelligence of knowing yourself and being open to new perspectives.
Self-awareness is your ability to monitor your emotions and reactions. You get to know your strengths, weaknesses, triggers, and motivations. You look deeper at why you feel a specific way and how you interact with your colleagues.
These skills help answer questions during a job interview or how you present information to your team. Self-awareness is about understanding your internal processes and emotions to help you stay engaged, productive, and self-directed.
Self-awareness is about knowing your strengths — something you are consistently excellent at. When you know your strengths, you’ll be able to find the right job in the right industry, make sound decisions, and grow your career. For example, your strengths could be strategic thinking, relationship building, influencing, and executing.
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5. Public Speaking Skills
“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist, and poet
Public speaking is one of the best ways to increase your value at work. Everyone has a story to tell, so how well are you telling it? Learn how to tell your story and get comfortable speaking in front of people.
Record yourself so you can improve your public speaking skills. When you have mastered public speaking, you can get promoted to senior management roles, have better job opportunities, and increase your influence with peers.
Public speaking boosts your confidence, improves self-esteem, and helps you negotiate better. You don’t have to become a professional public speaker to master it; you must overcome your fear. You’ll attract more opportunities at work and increase your value.
6. Professionalism and Strong Work Ethic
“Professionalism is important, and professionalism means you get paid.” — Erica Jong, an American novelist
Employers want people who have a strong work ethic and professionalism. No matter what job or career you are in, employers expect you to be professional and have a good work ethic.
Employers want people who have a blue and white collar work ethic. In today’s modern workplace, high performers know how to work harder and smarter. Top performers are good at focusing on the physical blue-collar tasks and the courage and mental strength of white-collar jobs, such as creatively solving a work problem that combines two ideas.
They want punctual employees who have a professional attitude and finish work efficiently and on time. People with strong work ethics are less likely to procrastinate and take on new projects and tasks.
7. Critical Thinking Skills
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” — Aristotle, a Greek philosopher
Critical thinking is about analyzing evidence, questioning assumptions, observing the surroundings, and drawing conclusions. It is a habit formed over time to solve problems to pressing questions.
Critical thinking is about knowing what you want, dealing with cognitive biases, considering the consequences of different options, and simplifying things.
Employers value critical thinking skills because they are looking for employees who can identify the correct problems, research potential answers to those questions, ask intelligent questions, present solutions to colleagues to gain consensus on how to solve the issues, and analyze the decision-making process.
Read also: Soft skills employers want to see in your resume
Bringing It All Together
There are seven essential skills to boost your career. They are communication skills, leadership skills, relationships skills, self-awareness skills, and public speaking skills. Furthermore, these skills are professionalism, strong work ethic, and critical thinking skills.
These skills can help you in every part of your career. They can help you get more job offers and potentially a higher salary. When you interview employers, they will determine if you have these skills and can execute them.
“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” — Katharine Whitehorn, a British journalist, columnist, author, and radio presenter.
CONTRIBUTED BY MATHEW ROYSE
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