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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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Published on January 20, 2020

What are Goals? Achieve More By Changing Your Perspectives

What are Goals? Achieve More By Changing Your Perspectives

As simple as it sounds, the question, what are goals, is a very important question to answer if making the best out of our daily lives is something of great concern.

Anyone will assume they already know what goals are, they’ve probably been setting goals all their lives. However, when we get too familiar with certain concepts, we tend to forget their real meaning and essence. Hence, it is not surprising that people set many goals but achieve too little.

When you don’t understand what goals are or what they are meant to be, you might scribble anything on paper and call them goals and then get frustrated when you fail to achieve them.

There are different perspectives on goals and what they represent. However, this article looks into the real meaning of goals and provides clarity on some misconceptions about goals. It also suggests better ways to look at goals; in a way to use them as progress markers rather than yardsticks for measuring success or failure.

What Are Goals?

There are different definitions of goal(s) out there, however, let’s look at this one from the early pioneers in goal-setting theory:[1]

A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, plan and commit to achieve.

Goals represent the decisions we make and the commitments we take in order to reach attainment, break some bad habits, adopt useful habits or achieve more in different areas of life.

Goals enable us to achieve focus in life by helping us to determine what we want. They keep us motivated and propelled, constantly putting us in state of action.

Goals, when properly conceived and pursued can help us to maximize the one and only life we have to live.

Goals can be applied to different areas of our lives and they can also be based on a time range. For example, life-based goals can be personal development goals, career goals, educational goals, health goals, family and relationship goals, spiritual goals, social goals, etc.

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Moreso, goals can be set based on time and duration such as life-time goals, long term goals, short term goals and even stepping stone goals which are small unit goals that we undertake in order to achieve the short, long and lifetime goals.

Common Confusions About Goals

In order to put goals in their proper perspectives and make the most of them, certain clarifications are required between goals and its related concepts.

The following are often confused with goals, although they have their own relevance on goals and goal setting:

Goal vs Dream

Dreams are aspirations fuelled by desires. They exist in the realm of imagination and often give us inspiration.

However, goals are action-based. Goals stretch us and help us to achieve results. Our dreams can only be actualized by setting realistic goals and working diligently to achieve them.

Goal vs Vision

Visions are important in life but they are not the same as goals. Your vision represents where you want to go or be in life, a destination you aim to arrive at. However, the paths that will get you to that destination are often undefined until you break them down into goals.

Goals help you to understand and quantify the steps you will have to take in order to actualize your vision. Having a broader life vision will help you to achieve more goals.

Besides, vision will bring focus to your goal setting when your goals are directed at getting you to the final destination of your vision. When this happens, you will not only be satisfied with achieving a particular goal, you will view your progress and success in terms of their contribution to your overall vision.

Goal vs Expectation

Goals should not be confused with expectations. Expectations are things that we think we should have or heights we feel we should attain. It is said that expectations can generate frustration when you feel you aren’t performing up to your potential.[2]

Do you notice that when some Olympic teams are being interviewed before a tournament, many of them expect to win a medal? But do all of them win medals?

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When you listen to the real winners after the tournament, they will tell you how their goals helped them to structure their attention and focus, and keep them involved to strive for excellence.

Goals demand more focus and clarity whereas expectations are often not realistic.

Goal vs Desire

We all have desires, they represent the things we want. However, in order to get our desires, we might have to set goals.

While desires are usually pleasant, goals may not be.

For example, slimming down feels good, but exercising does not. But it takes a reasonable amount of exercise to burn fat.

Vacationing on a cruise ship feels good, who doesn’t want it? However, working extra hours to save money for the trip is hard.

Goals are the specific actions we set to accomplish in order to satisfy our desires.

Goal vs Objective

Objectives are the tasks we must accomplish in order to achieve our goals. It will be more useful to differentiate between goal and objective by looking at the differences between a broader term G’SOT which stands for Goals, Strategies, Objectives, and Tactics.[3]

  • A goal is a broad primary outcome
  • A strategy is the approach you take to achieve a goal
  • An objective is a measurable step you take to achieve a strategy
  • A tactic is a tool you use in pursuing an objective associated with a strategy.

The Intel example below is also useful to illustrate the difference:

Goal: Make our Core PC microprocessors a category leader in sales revenue by year X

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Strategy: Persuade buyers that our Core processors are the best one the market by associating with large, well-established PC manufacturers.

Objective: Retain 70 percent or more of the active worldwide PC microprocessor market, according to Passmark’s CPU benchmark report.

Tactic: Through creative that underlies our messaging, leverage hardware partner brand awareness to include key messages about the Intel Inside program.

What Most People Are Wrong About Goals

According to a study, only 8 percent of people get to achieve their goals.[4] When goals are not properly conceived or when we go about goals with the wrong perspectives, we might not be able to achieve our goals and even get frustrated as a result.

Some people have abandoned their goals or given up on setting goals altogether as a result. Others have gotten to the point of staying frustrated for failing to achieve their goals. These are not unconnected to the misconceptions that many have about goals.

Let’s look at the misconceptions about goals:

Goals Are Used as the Only Measure of Success?

When goals become our only measure of success, we might get obsessed with the results we want to achieve that we don’t consider the process that will lead us there.

Process goals and outcome goals come to mind on this. Most people set outcome goals rather than process goals. Outcome goals are only based on results while process goals are based on undertaking the right activities that will eventually lead to a great outcome.

Let’s say I currently make $1000 a week and then I set a goal of making $2000 but only ended up with $1300 after putting in all the work and strategies. If this is an outcome goal, I would probably be unhappy for not attaining my goal. However, if it’s a process goal, I would be happy that I have improved on my earning and would be motivated to do more.

Goals Are Connected with Happiness?

Another myth about goals is that achieving them brings happiness. Of course, it feels good to shed the weight or spend a vacation on a cruise ship. However, there are no guarantees that you will always be able to achieve all your set goals.

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In order not to get frustrated often, choose to always be a happy person rather than letting outcomes determine your happiness.

Redefining Goals

So, what really are goals if you want to succeed with them?

Goals Aren’t Connected with Deep Ambitions

Many people have the wrong motivation to set goals. They might have been genuinely inspired by what they see other people achieve, however, such goals may not connect with their deepest ambition. This might lead to a lack of the required motivation to pursue and achieve the goals.

Genuine goals must connect to a bigger and broader life vision. Goals are not an end in themselves, they are supposed to be stepping stones to achieving something bigger.

Goals Have to Be Achieved to Prove Commitment

If the target is to achieve ten and you are only able to achieve six, it doesn’t mean that you are not committed. It might have been that there are greater obstacles you didn’t think would come up.

This is why your goals must be flexible, adjustable and reflective of current realities.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, the ideas shared above will help you to set the right goals and put them in the right perspectives.

You have seen that it is more appropriate to set goals that fit into a larger, broader vision of your life. This will help you to begin to see your goals in terms of the progress you are making towards your broader vision rather than on specific outcomes. You will become happier, knowing that you are taking specific steps in the right direction irrespective of what the immediate results look like.

All these will altogether help you to love setting goals again, and enable you to make the most of them in order to make your life count.

More About Goals

Featured photo credit: Dan DeAlmeida via unsplash.com

Reference

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