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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.

17 Must-Have Work Related Skills for a Successful Career 15 Productivity Chrome Extensions To Boost Productivity in 2020 16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity 9 Best Sleep Tracker Apps To Help You Get Adequate Sleep Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter

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1 How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways 2 How to Use the 5 Whys to Get to the Root Cause of Any Problem 3 4 Ways to Focus on Your Goals and Avoid Distractions 4 How to Bullet Journal to Skyrocket Your Productivity 5 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

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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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