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Master These 15 Skills for Success to Get Ahead in Your Career

Master These 15 Skills for Success to Get Ahead in Your Career

You may have been working at a particular job and believe you are fit to lead a team or should be promoted because of the extensive experience and technical skills you have.

But you should understand that the workplace and career trends are constantly evolving. It is a world where creativity and possessing different skills apply.

To meet up to new organizational or workplace objectives, you have to bring something new to the table. While it may go beyond skillsets, other requirements for being selected for a position could be based on personal involvements, attributes or extracurricular activities. In this digital age, you’ll need these set of skills for success to stay ahead:

1. Accountability

There is a difference between passionately volunteering for a project and being committed to its execution. This is where accountability comes in. You really don’t want to bite off more than chew when you take that assignment.

In the modern workplace, you do not simply have to be fully aware of what you are getting into when it comes to accepting a task, you also have to be accountable for the success of such task.

Stepping up and acting responsibly could be what is stopping you from getting that promotion.

2. Adaptability

Nothing stays the same. Change is not something you should shy away from in the modern workplace, rather it is something you should embrace.

Getting stuck to old ways of doing things or old rules may not really help the advancement of your career. You really need to take some time to open your mind to new approaches and thoughts that would help you solve problems faster and better for your organization.

It is indeed all about responding to what the current situation requires. Yes you may have to bend your own rules and beliefs, however, this will eventually make you a good people person and next in line for that promotion.

3. Networking

A simple conversation is not that simple anymore. A simple conversation could pivot your career. You really never know who you are going to meet in life and what impact they could make to influence your career.

It becomes important to hold a conversation with about anyone at any time and make it drive your progress in the workplace.

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From speaking to attending events, and sending out your business card, you surely need to start considering what networking better could do for you.

4. Focus

This one comes down to how productive you want to become. It is hard to focus or concentrate when there are so many things begging for your time in the workplace.

We all reach that point or know that scenario where it is more fun to accomplish the easier things such as checking emails or going through our social media page.

When it comes to standing out and staying ahead, you may need to practice focusing more so that you have more satisfaction and meaning in getting work done.

5. Listening Attentively

Listening attentively is backed by taking the right actions after you understand a matter. You wouldn’t really understand a matter if you don’t listen or question every decision that is made.

Yes, you should be asking for specifics and getting to the root behaviors or observations. This way you would have clearer judgement and take smarter actions.

Take a look at this guide to learn how to listen attentively:

13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

6. Being Innovative

It all comes down to asking the right questions and figuring smarter and better ways of getting results in the workplace. It could be your approach, it could be positioning yourself stronger and meeting the right people in the right way.

You may not necessarily be the hardest worker in the room, but you would be more effective if you push yourself to look for creative solutions to a problem in the work place.

7. Confidence

There is a difference between misguided arrogance about your achievements and developing the ability to stand up for ideas.

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Sometimes, developing confidence helps you to ensure and promote the achievements of others. You need confidence in the workplace if you are to deliver, engage and reach certain goals.

Here’re 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence.

8. Leadership

Leadership skills could be a source of influence for your co-workers and would get them on board on how to reach future objectives. Anyone with leadership skills will always gain visibility within an organization and would certainly be considered for more opportunities or promotions.

These 10 Leadership Qualities Revealed by the World’s Most Successful Leaders will help strengthen your leadership.

9. Communication

Whether it is written or verbal communications, communication skills are vital in the workplace.

One of the major reasons is because it helps foster relationships with co-workers and superiors in the workplace.

With good communication skills, clear expectations can be extracted so that you meet deadlines and deliver excellent work.

Workers are more productive when they know how to communicate with their colleagues in an organization.

10. Teamwork

Certainly, there is not much a company can do if it all depends on the activity of a singular person. Success is achieved when different people are working together for a common objective. Team players tend to build a friendly office culture and aid collaboration.

Moreover, an organization will fare better when its employees can synthesize their varied talents or strengths.

The modern workplace is looking for persons who can collaborate well with co-workers. If you possess the skill of being a good team player, then you are certainly going to be considered for promotions and career advancement.

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11. Persuasive Skills

There is always that point in your career when you have to tell others about your ideas, services or products. You may just be selling any of these things to them.

Persuasive skills are necessary for career advancement because you have to be able to form a strong, convincing argument for why the other person should buy your products or services.

If you want to pick up the art of persuasion, learn these 20 Skills That Make Everyone Agree with What You Say.

12. Negotiating Skills

From negotiating your salary to swaying coworkers to a new way of thinking, you can never underestimate the power of negotiating.

In today’s workplace, good negotiating skills are beneficial during both internal and external discussions. Sellers of a new product or idea and customers always require negotiations to thrive in the marketplace.

If you can have this quality and maximize it, then you have a great chance of moving upwards in your career.

13. Knowing When and How to Show Empathy

Building relationships and sustaining them is important to long term career success. Having the ability to place yourself in someone else’s shoes helps foster relationships and is a key ingredient to getting ahead in your career.

With empathy, you can provide insights and offer them the support that will help them grow in their job. You don’t have to be in a robotic work environment that limits growth, but with compassion you can steer your coworkers to performing at their peak.

So learn to offer support, sympathy and feedback everyday you do business. This way you will have a more human work environment and would be blessed with positive emotional returns.

14. Problem Solving Skills

You should be proactive at solving problems. Your work environment presents a series of problem solving situations.

To be proactive at solving problems in an organization means you are willing to go the extra mile to take the pressure off your boss and colleagues. With this skill, you are sure to get ahead in your career.

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Here’re 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills.

15. Patience with Others

Your patience with others could be vital in a tense situation. While the modern workplace could present stressful situations, how patient you are with coworkers and your superiors could determine your career advancement.

Patience is a difficult skill, however this skill will be noticed by management and perceived as a very strong asset in pushing the company forward.

There will be times when troublemakers are brought to book for their actions, but you wouldn’t be one of them if you have patience as an asset or skill.

Not sure how to practice patience? Some advice for you here:

Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life and How to Practice Patience and 

The Bottom Line

It is not simply about having the aforementioned skills, it is about maximizing them and using them for your career advancement.

You should understand that these skills make you more human, more prepared for new challenges. The more you demonstrate these abilities, the faster your career will advance.

You have to understand that such skills will help forge relationships, build diplomacy and respect while you become at the center of both individual success and corporate productivity. These skills will also help when mitigating conflict and reducing bad behavior in the office.

The modern workplace needs strong and effective corporate leaders brimming with positivity and confidence that will inspire growth and make a better workplace.

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

More by this author

Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

Memory plays an integral role in our lives, both in the short and long term. If you’re wondering how to improve memory, I’m here to tell you that there are natural and effective ways to do so.

Despite what you might think, improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it.

Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve memory efficiently and reduce the risk of memory loss.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts, and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder, then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. Research suggests that the more information and distractions you receive, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory[1].

Fortunately, meditation can help.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which, in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

While any amount of meditation will do something to help your memory, one study pointed out that “8 but not 4 weeks of brief, daily meditation decreased negative mood state and enhanced attention, working memory, and recognition memory as well as decreased state anxiety scores”[2].

Therefore, if you’re looking for the most benefits, try sticking with a meditation practice for at least 8 weeks.

However, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then it’s likely that you’re not able to remember well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities, including your memory.

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If you want to learn how to improve memory, how much sleep should you be getting?

Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation[3], you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things[4].

If you want to improve memory, get plenty of sleep.

    Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!), but if you care about improving your long and short term memory, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

    Try these three things to naturally improve your sleep cycle:

    • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
    • Don’t eat too late
    • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

    Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

    However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory.

    3. Challenge Your Brain

    When was the last time you challenged your brain?

    I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or under-sleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and memory games.

    To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

    Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-solving ability, and memory.

    There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

    • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

    If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

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    Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it; try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

    4. Take More Breaks

    When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctly remember working all the hours under the sun—and many under the moon, too!

    At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat, and tears.

    However, if you want to know how to improve memory, taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative, and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

    Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

    One 2011 study from the University of Illinois concluded that “the brain is built to detect and respond to change…and prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance”[5].

    This is based on something called the “vigilance decrement.” This can be applied to many things. For example, we often don’t notice the feeling of clothing touch our bodies because our brain becomes accustomed to the sensation. However, if you change clothes, you’ll likely notice the difference in texture and temperature for a few minutes.

    When you take a break from memorizing information, it refocuses your attention and energy, leading to increased focus overall.

    It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart, and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

    Basically, make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

    5. Learn a New Skill

    I love this quote, as it’s 100% true but frequently overlooked:

    “Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

    From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

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    Let me give you an example of this:

    Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day, many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

    Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

    The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you rather than letting you work in your own way.

    Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction into learning a new skill (computer coding).

    It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career, and the ongoing learning made the call center job much more bearable.

    Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus, and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking out new information. When learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly becomes a habit, too.

    If you want to know how to learn something new every day, check out this article.

    6. Start Working out

    If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

    Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory[6].

    Regular physical activities increase blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. A well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

    Even if you don’t have much time, research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines[7].

    Interested in getting started?

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    Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

    • Join a gym
    • Join a sports team
    • Buy a bike
    • Take up hiking
    • Dance to your favorite music

    7. Eat Healthier Foods

    I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

    This applies to your brain, too.

    The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health, as well.

    Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery, and dark chocolate. But any fruits, vegetables, or foods high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory. Here’re some ideas: 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power

    Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain, leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

    If you want to improve your mental health, eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

    • Turmeric – Helps new brain cells grown
    • Broccoli – Protects the brain against damage
    • Nuts – Improves memory
    • Green tea – Enhances brain performance, memory and focus[8]
    • Fish oilFish oil supplements can increase your brain power

    Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

    Also, remember that your brain is about 75% water, so dehydration can have a huge effect on the way your brain functions. Stay hydrated if you really want to improve memory!

    Final Thoughts

    I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be helpful for you.

    You don’t need to implement them all, but you can try out the ones that appeal to you.

    But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory and avoiding cognitive decline, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested.

    More on How to Improve Memory

    Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

    Reference

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