6 New Skills to Learn to Advance in Your Career
The more you learn, the more you can earn.
Seeking knowledge and applying it is your key to success.
If you want to learn more skills and boost your career, then this post is for you.
Below are 6 top skills you need to advance in your career.
Ready? Let’s dive right in!
1. Landing your next job.
Whether you’re starting out for the first time in an industry or you’re ready for the next opportunity.
• Figure out what is important for you.
Do you love serving people, do you enjoy working with numbers, or perhaps you want a job with flexible hours.
The perfect job should also be something you enjoy.
• Identify the skills you have to offer.
Beyond your qualifications and academic achievement, you need to highlight what makes you valuable to a company.
Skills such as teamwork, leadership, and communication skills are becoming more and more important across all industries and worthwhile highlighting when you apply for a job.
• Think about how you’ll persuade your potential employers you’re right for the job.
Usually, that’ll be during the course of an interview.
Through a simple request of “Tell me about yourself”, the interviewer would want you to give insights into your professional experiences and how could you add value to the company.
To answer such a question, try to avoid presenting yourself as a series of facts and instead organize your thoughts into a story.
Remember to add numbers to make your story more tangible such as “in my previous job I succeeded in reducing yearly costs by 20%” or “I have 4 years experience in digital marketing”.
Make sure that you review the job description to ensure you address the company’s needs.
• Finally, treat the interview as a conversation between two people rather than a series of formal questions and answers.
It’s a chance for both of you to decide if you’re the right fit for each other.
Many people mistake self-promotion for bragging.
Self-promotion is about educating the relevant people, such as your potential employer or associates, about your skills and the value you can add to them.
This will help the person you’re interacting with to make the right decision about you.
• Write down your accomplishments list.
Write a list of what makes you remarkable. Any skills you have, awards you won, social activities you’re involved in…
• Ask your friends and colleagues.
Write e-mails to people you worked with or to friends and ask them what are the things that they really value about you.
You may find out that you’re more skilled than you thought you are.
• Create a confidence backpack.
The best way to increase your confidence is to practice talking passionately about your skills and past achievements when it’s relevant to mention them.
This will help you first to boost your confidence and believe that you can achieve more.
• Try power posing. Practice standing in a power pose.
Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart, stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.
The right posture can change your physiology and help you feel more confident.
3. Increase your productivity.
Increasing your productivity comes down to setting goals for what you want to achieve and prioritizing tasks that need attention most.
• Be aware of time thieves.
Over the course of your workday, there are many distractions that are pulling you away from your work.
Activities such as answering phone calls, checking your e-mails, a coffee break, chatting with your colleagues… can prevent you from focusing on the task before you.
Identify these distractions and look for ways to eliminate these interruptions or minimize the time allocated to them.
• Keep a list.
The first step to getting anything done is to write it down.
Start your day by writing down everything you need to do and start with the most important and urgent task on your list.
Ticking off items from your list will boost your motivation and help you build momentum in getting things done.
Remember to be realistic, trying to do too much can hinder your productivity.
• Take breaks.
Sitting at your desk all day might look productive, but taking a 10-minute break and moving around when you’re tired will help boost your concentration.
Lack of sleep or working when you’re tired can affect the way you work. Make sure you get enough sleep before starting your day.
4. Business writing.
Communicating in business is often done through emails, memos, and reports. It’s designed to be direct, clear, and easy to read.
• Get to the point. Tell your readers what they need to know upfront. Make your sentences short and direct and keep your paragraphs brief.
• Consider using a brief greeting or offering courtesies like “please” and “thank you”. It can go a long way.
• Also add a call to action, which is information that encourages a response from your readers.
• Edit and revise. Read your draft over and figure out how you can polish it. Clarify your ideas and simplify your word choice.
• Keep your writing formal and objective. Make sure that every fact is backed up by a legitimate source.
Some people might feel apprehensive about networking, but it can actually be a lot of fun.
Networking can be informal which includes socializing with colleagues and friends.
Or it can be formal when you set out with the intention of meeting new people in order to benefit your career.
Formal networking can be through attending events in your field or becoming a member of a professional association with organized networking activities.
The key to successful networking is to realize when there is an opportunity to network and act on it.
People are usually nervous about starting a conversation and networking with others.
So, if you’re nervous about the idea of engaging in networking, don’t panic.
Confidence is something you develop with practice. It’s something you learn over time.
Also, you might arrive in the room, spot a friendly face and that person can introduce you to other people and the whole thing becomes less scary.
Planning and preparing can also help you feel more relaxed and confident and thus leaving a good first impression.
• Assess the situation. Figure out who’s going to be there, and what would you like to achieve through networking with these people.
Try to find out if you know someone who’s going to be there, he might be able to introduce you to other people.
• If you don’t like the idea of joining a big group, try approaching someone individually. Smaller groups allow you to have a more detailed conversation.
• If being the center of attention doesn’t come naturally to you, then listen to others by asking open-ended questions. People actually enjoy talking about themselves and appreciate a good listener.
• Take a break. Networking can be tiring. Make sure you escape the room every now and then.
6. Boost Your Creativity.
Creativity is an essential skill that you can develop to help you generate creative ideas and flexible solutions to problems.
The following are some ideas to boost your creativity:
. Work Alone.
Many scientists are convinced that group brainstorming is more effective than individuals working alone.
However, an analysis of several studies revealed that “generally, brainstorming groups are significantly less productive than nominal groups, in terms of both quantity and quality” (1)
One reason why group brainstorming is less productive than individual work is because of the diffusion of responsibility.
When people work alone their failure or success is entirely the result of their own abilities and hard work.
But when it comes to group work, individuals know that they won’t receive personal praise if the group did well, but they can always blame others if things went wrong.
In other words, people using group brainstorming are probably stifling their creativity and spending more time thinking inside the box.
. Let Your Subconscious Mind Take The Lead.
When you can’t think of a solution for a problem, studies (2) suggest taking time out to relax before trying again.
In fact, even when you’re not thinking about the problem, your subconscious mind is working on finding a solution.
The conscious and subconscious mind could be described as two persons one is highly creative but very shy and that’s the subconscious mind, while the other is more domineering but not at creative and that’s the conscious mind.
When you present your subconscious mind with a problem and you relax and try to think of something else, you give your conscious mind a distraction while your subconscious mind steps in and make his voice heard.
. Stay In Touch With Nature.
Several studies, examining the effect of nature on people’s thinking and behavior, have shown that even a small plant can have a significant impact on people’s life.
For instance, patients in hospitals who were able to see trees from their windows, have reported a higher recovery rate. (3)
Moreover, adding plants to an office helped increase employees’ ability to generate creative ideas and flexible solutions to problems according to one study (4).
Make sure that your working space has a look out on trees and grass or get a plant on your desk, but don’t fake it. Pictures of nature or even high-definition screens showing live feeds from nature don’t help boost creativity (5).
People under stress become very focused, concentrate on the task at hand, and rely on their well-established habits and routines.
However, they start seeing the world from a less creative perspective. In contrast, people who are relaxed are more likely to explore new and unusual ways of thinking and behaving.
They start seeing the bigger picture and think and behave more creatively.
Did I miss anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Which techniques from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favorite techniques.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now!
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