Career success comes from mastering a core set of skills that can be applied to any role you might have or wish to pursue in the future. When you practice and strengthen these skills in the workplace you will increase your chances of success.
Below are the top skills you should continually focus on developing:
Selling. Sales is the basis of all business success. Like it or not, you are always selling, even if your role does not include sales in the job description. You sell during marketing activities, team meetings, customer service, product management, conferences, business development, presentations, user experience and more. A solid foundation in confident communications can give you a competitive edge.
Transferable skills. Transferable skills give you the ability to see your experience in a new light. That experience can be as varied as volunteer work, to a full-time job, to your weekend hobby to working as a bartender. During each experience, you acquire skills that can be applied to your career success. Such skills might include crisis management, teamwork, resilience and problem solving.
Be curious. The ability to have an enquiring mind and ask questions is the easiest, most underutilised skill to progress your career. Remember: “If you don’t ask, you don’t learn”.
Technical skills. An increasing number of positions require technical knowledge, but even if your job never requires you to be truly technical, you should have a general knowledge of what technology means for your business and the industry you work in. This knowledge will help you have a deeper understanding of how your business works and differentiates from others.
Communication skills. Both written and oral communication skills are basic, but that doesn’t mean they’re not difficult to master! Think about ways to challenge yourself and refine how you write an email or behave in a meeting.
Interpersonal skills. The ability to be a team player is so fundamental to your work that there are few better things to focus on. Interpersonal skills are just a fancy way of saying how you get along, relate and communicate with others. Employers hire people with domain expertise, of course, but mostly they hire people they like and can get along with.
Organisational skills. Can you see the big picture and break it down into small, manageable and action-oriented steps? Then you have undeniable value. Many employees consider themselves “idea people” but don’t have the ability to execute on those ideas. If you can prioritise and get things done, you’ll be able to lead a team in no time.
Initiative. Do you have an entrepreneurial or innovative drive? Employers increasingly value individuals who can take initiative and own a project from start to finish. As a creative self-starter, you should take calculated risks, brainstorm new ideas and execute with precision.
Results oriented. Through it all, you should know what your values and goals are and how you are going to achieve them. This skill requires you to bring together many of your other skills supported by intense passion and focus. Results-driven individuals are metrics-oriented and can quantify outcomes to motivate themselves and their teams, all the while contributing to the bottom line.
As you cultivate and master these skills, you’ll create the career you want – for now and for the future.