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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

17 Work Related Skills to Equip Yourself with for a Successful Career

17 Work Related Skills to Equip Yourself with 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 Resources About 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 September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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