Skills to help you grow in your career
The job market is changing and so is the demand. It is easier to land common jobs but harder to get more specialised ones. But it’s only harder because most people don’t choose to specialise. If you simply follow the usual pathway of a degree or a Master’s, then you will be like everybody else, and you don’t want that. If you plan on having it easy in the interviews and landing that job you have been chasing for a while, you need to get yourself some very unique skills!
There is a bunch of amazing skills that you can get with just a few weeks or months of courses. So make sure to note them down and turn a “no” into a “hired”!
Coding and Programming
Everything around us is digital now. Speaking a foreign language is almost as important as speaking a coding language. Coding and programming are the new ways of communicating with others from the other side of the world. These are international languages that create experiences for the user.
There are tens of programming languages available at the moment, from the basics such as PHP, HTML5, C++, Java, to newer ones that are released every day. These are skills you can learn on your own by doing extensive research on the internet
You can also learn more programming languages by enrolling for a course in Computer Science. Do a thorough research on what is available in schools near you and their requirements and once you’re sure of what you need, go ahead and start speaking a new language.
Climbing the ladder within the company is something that takes years of hard work and long hours. But you can shorten this process by taking specific management courses such as a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management or a Ph.D. in Business and Management.
Additionally, most people only know how to use Word and Excel at the user level. So that does not set you apart from the rest. However, not many know all their tricks and can perform complicated tasks on any of these two. This also applies to all the other Office package programs such as Powerpoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. If some of those sound like Greek to you, then it means you are far from being an expert. So get started on the journey to expertise by finding some online tutorials or local classes and start learning the ins-and-outs of the Office package. If you’re the only one that is specialised in Excel and Publisher, for example, you will be given higher responsibilities and will grow faster in the company as everybody will need your skills.
Most people in the world speak either one or two languages depending on where they were born. If you grew up at a place where two languages are used, everybody else will also speak them. So you won’t be considered unique but average. The trick, therefore, is to learn an extra language or two in order to stand out.
Learn a language that is in demand in your area and is not widely spoken. It could be languages such as English, Chinese, French, and Japanese, which are growing in the business world. Or it could be a very specific language which nobody speaks in your area, for example, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Hindi, etc. Check out the jobs in your country and see what the demand is, for each, then choose one that you feel you’ll be good at.
Like everything else, marketing is also adapting to the new world and going digital. Many of the old fashioned marketing concepts still apply, but there are many new things to learn to thrive in the digital world.
If you like understanding the buyer’s behaviour, guide them to a purchase decision, showcase products, and see results, then marketing is the thing for you. Marketing and advertising courses now cover a huge variety of skills such as social media marketing, search engine optimisation, AdWords, e-books, sales funnels, content marketing, among others. If you feel like you would have the creativity to enjoy this type of tasks, then this one is definitely your skill to learn.
Design and Video Production/Editing
This skill is a little bit unique. Everybody can learn to design, but not everybody will have the eye for a good graphic. If you have always enjoyed art and feel the bug for drawing and composing, then this might be the skill for you.
Learning graphic design can help you become a freelancer or land jobs in diverse company-departments, such as marketing, book publishing, TV channels, magazines, restaurants for their menus and posters, and any company that needs logos and catalogues. It is a skill that can be used for a variety of jobs.
Video production and editing are also very sought-after technical skills. Likewise, video production is extremely difficult if someone does not have the creativity to put it into practice. It is necessary to have a good eye, a lot of patience, and good understanding of composition.
More and more companies now need project managers in their daily operations, as there are many projects to be launched and managed within the core business. However, most people studying business related degrees don’t consider the use of Project Management Institute (PMI) certificates.
If you want to stand out, you need to take PMI courses. There are several levels, so you can start from the basics and keep growing. The basic certificate will already make you stand out from the crowd. Once you get your PMP (Project Management Professional) certificate, you will need to continue taking courses every year to maintain it. However, they will feel very easy as you will be practising every day since you will already be in project management.
It may sound a bit dull, but public speaking is not everybody’s cup of tea. Many people lack the skills to transmit and be interesting when speaking publicly. Try to remember the last time you attended a meeting, a conference, or just a class. If the speaker made you sleepy and lost your attention, then he/she was not a good public speaker.
It is a skill that you can learn and perfect with lots of practice. Public speaking is not only about how to tell something to a group of people. It has to do with manners, posture, the tone of voice, voice modulation, storytelling, among others. You need to keep your audience entertained and make your listeners feel that they left knowing something more without being bored or sleepy. You can find online tutorials on how to improve your public speaking skills and dazzle your audience the next time you have a speaking engagement.
Even though this does not sound like skill that can be learned, it actually is. Critical thinking is something that 9 out of 10 companies regard as important in their hiring processes. It consists of analysing problems or processes and finding logical solutions.
Just like any other logical process, critical thinking may come naturally to some, but it can also be learned. If you like analysing and finding solutions to complicated problems, then this might be the skill for you. Approaching problems from a different point of view, finding the best path to complete a process, or just help a team improve their productivity are some of the areas that make use of critical thinking skills.