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Last Updated on March 17, 2020

17 Must-Have Work Related Skills for a Successful Career

17 Must-Have Work Related Skills for a Successful Career

While core skills will always be the most important to pursue any career stream, complimentary skills help you to move up the success ladder.

These are work related skills that enhance your work, productivity, personality and leadership qualities. So what work-related skills you should acquire to equip yourself with a successful career?

1. Communication

Communication, written or spoken, is important for any job form. Your work could be internal or external, communication will always be a key.

Paul J Meyer said,

“Communication – the human connection is the key to personal and career success.”

Having strong communication skills mean that you will always be able to connect better with your peers and will be able to articulate and present your thoughts in a clearer manner.

Having strong communication skills mean that you can express ideas and thoughts clearly and with a flair, through written, oral and non -verbal mediums.

Learn more about effective communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

2. Team-work

You will always have people around you who you are working for or working with. Often team-work is an extremely crucial skill. It means that you can see the larger picture, work with individuals who may or may not share the same point of view, and still get the work done.

It involves mutual respect, the ability to listen and be amicable to other individuals. This would also mean that you will act as a catalyst for others to do their job better and mitigate conflict.

Learn more about team building:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

3. Adaptability

A lot of organizations are becoming extremely dynamic. This means the structure, be it internal or external keeps changing. This can also mean slight modification in your job role.

As an individual, if you display adaptability to meet the needs of a modern-day organization, you will surely be appreciated. People who embrace change find it easier to stay on top of things as opposed to people who are stringent and don’t have the ability to adapt.

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Learn more about how to adapt to the ever-changing environment:

Adapting to Change: Why It Matters and How to Do It

4. Critical Thinking

What is the objective of the business? Why is this task happening? What is the expected outcome? What return on investment (ROI) would it yield?

If you are able to analyze and think about the fundamental and critical factors, then you are sure to bring in better results.

Critical thinking is also becoming important in businesses because of the constant disruptions happening. Individuals who can solve for unforeseen industry changes become a sought-after asset.

Learn how to improve your critical thinking skills:

How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills and Make Smart Choices

5. Initiative

Initiatives is all about contributing more and doing better than you were asked for. Task-executors never stand out, people who constantly improve and take initiatives take the lime-light.

As an individual, you should be looking to add value to improve processes, yield better ROI and motivate others to do well. Handling issues before they take place is a great way to demonstrate initiative.

“Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.” — Gary Ryan Blair

6. Problem-Solving

Individuals who can problem solve become much more important than people who are looking for others to fix things for them.

Problem solving means having the ability to gauge an issue and find a way to fix it, rather than waiting for things to fall in place. It also means taking logical and matured decisions and to do what is best for the business.

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

7. Reliability

If you constantly miss deadlines and your team can’t look up to you for delivering quality work, then essentially you are not reliable and will soon be unimportant.

A lot of “work from home” has started to happen in recent times owing to technological advancements.[1] In this scenario, managers are always looking for people who they can rely upon and will always deliver.

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Reliability would also include basics like showing up on time, meeting deadlines and producing quality work.

Learn to develop reliable work ethic:

How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

8. Learning & Development

Whatever your skills are, they will soon become irrelevant because of the advances in technology, industry adaptations and consumer needs.

Willingness to invest in self development here holds the key to a path to success. It not only helps you to stay ahead of the curve but also pitches in ideas that would ultimately benefit the organization and makes you a valuable resource.

Life long learning is important and this is how to train your brain to crave lifelong learning:

How to Train Your Brain to Crave Lifelong Learning (And Why It’s Good)

9. Leadership

Organizations always respect and value individuals who bring in leadership qualities. Leadership not always necessarily means managing a team of people, it also means being responsible, producing results and getting the most out of the resources provided.

Leaders are people who the organization can trust to deliver result and champion critical projects. It also means that you are a role model in terms of the tasks you perform and results you deliver.

Take a look at these leadership qualities revealed by the world’s most successful leaders and learn from them:

10 Leadership Qualities Revealed by the World’s Most Successful Leaders

10. Professionalism

Every organization has a code of conduct and following them adds to your personality. It may sound basic, but a lot of employees really miss out on this.

You might be monitored on your punctuality, reporting ability, minimized unplanned leaves and acceptable dressing. It also means that you respect your peers and their space and don’t get too personal with them.

Still not sure how to do it? Here’re some tips:

11 Ways to Impress Employers and Network with Your Professionalism

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11. Planning & Organizing

“For every minute spend organizing and hour is earned”.

Efficiency in any work is critical. Your per hour output matters a lot.

Time, resource allocation and prioritizing tasks have become key skills for managers to look for in their team members.

Learn how to prioritize right here and how to manage your time here.

12. Self-Management

Self-Management means the ability to work with minimum supervision. It means that irrespective of whether you are reporting regularly or being watched, you are disciplined enough to organize yourself and deliver the task at hand consistently.

Take a look at this article to better organize your life:

12 Rules for Self-Management

13. Technology

Software is eating the world. But it doesn’t mean that you must be adept at coding (unless it’s your job of course) but you need to be able to understand how software works. It is important to pick up skills in platforms and digital tools that are directly related to your job to be able to climb up the success ladder.

It is also imperative to know how technology will be affecting your industry for you to stay relevant. Manual jobs will get automated. More and more job descriptions are asking for technical skills and if you are not adding value to the process, you might feel stagnant or even irrelevant in your organization.

So you may want to start to improve your computer skills first:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

14. Global Perspective

The world has become flat. Buying and selling now happens across the globe for all marketplaces. As a professional, you would need to have a broader outlook and think about audiences around the globe.

This also means bringing to the table best practices and benchmarks that have been deployed globally. Hence, having a global perspective not only helps to broaden your thinking but also add value to your job role.

One of the best ways to maintain perspectives is to learn continuously:

15 Ways to Cultivate Lifelong Learning for a Sharper Brain

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15. Values & Ethics

Most good organizations put values and ethics above all skills that an individual might have. Integrity is non-negotiable.

As an individual, all your dealings and working should fall within the values defined by the organization.

Compromising on ethics could not only be a downward spiral but it might also be something where you can never come back from.

So, irrespective of any situation or circumstances, ensure that you always do what is right – for the organization and morally.

16. Resilience

Things might not be going according to how you want them. It could be professional or personal reasons.

However, not to give up in those situations makes up resilience. The idea of always moving ahead irrespective of any circumstances shows a great character.

Organizations always look forward to individuals who never give up and keep trying hard, even in unfavorable conditions. As an individual, you should accept your current situation, believing better times are to come and work towards it.

Learn how to build resilience to face what life throws at you:

We Don’t Need a Lot of Self-Help Books, We Need Resilience

17. Attitude

A positive attitude does more for you than you can think. A lot of people talk about having a great attitude and most of them are correct. Your attitude defines not only who you are as a person but also how you will be able to handle organizational tasks.

Work towards developing a learning attitude where you say “let me try”, instead of “this can’t be done”.

Take a look at this article to learn more about how to stay positive:

10 Tips To Make Positive Thinking Easy

Final Words

I am sure most of you would possess some of the above-mentioned skills. The idea is to keep working towards self-development and never stop learning.

Do not be afraid of feedback both external and internal. It is important to constantly evaluate yourself and try to be a better version of yourself with each passing day.

More Tips for Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Harsh Binani

Harsh has helped a lot of multi-national corporations and startups to leverage technology for greater productivity.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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