In todays day and age there a new opportunity is born every hour. This new opportunity can change your life for good and make you reach your dream much faster than you ever thought. Sounds exciting, doesnt it? But what if you didnt have the skill required to grab that opportunity? What if your biggest weakness is the biggest strength required to fulfil the needs of this opportunity? You obviously will have to give up on that big boost and continue your journey on the "planned" path. Wouldnt it have been so much better if you hadnt procrastinated and worked a little extra to get yourself upskill?
While there are theories that it takes 10000 hours to perfect a skill, it only takes an hour to get started on learning a new skill. Right from Bill Gates to Barack Obama to Elon Musk, everyone reached their position because they started to push themselves to upgrade their skill and then utilize those skills to grab every possible opportunity. So why not convert the hours of watching live streams on YouTube into hours of watching skill-building videos?
With that motivation to pursue a new skill, we bring to you the top 10 skills that you should get working on right now, right away to make your career trajectory a little less bumpy:
1. Public Speaking
Perhaps the most important skill today, the skill of public speaking can literally make or break your career. Now, when we say public speaking, it doesnt necessarily mean going up on a stage and speaking to hundreds and thousands of people. No! Public speaking is the art of effectively and efficiently communicating your ideas, thoughts and feelings to a group of people. This group of people is more often than not the team that we work with (if employed) or the leadership of a company (if we are contractually employed/freelancers).
Learning this skill is sure to help you gain more trust from people because you are clearly communicating with them and with higher credibility comes higher growth.
Now while speaking up at the right time is important, listening is even more important. This is simply because if you dont listen, what will you speak? Also, if you dont listen well, how will you make sure that you speak on what is required at the moment? While listening is a taken for granted skill, what we usually do is hearing and not listening. The art of listening involved being empathetic and being non-judgemental. This simply means that you should listen without prejudice and use the information coming towards you to formulate your next set of action items. A great leader has to be a great listener because it is only when you listen that you know what the pain point of your team or your clients is. It is only then that will you be able to come up with solutions that will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
3. Writing Skills
In the current COVID-19 situation and the subsequent times to come, it will be very likely that more and more jobs will be remote in nature. Remote jobs could also mean that teammates could be from around the world and in different time zones. This would imply more written than verbal communication because you may not be able to call someone right away due to low visibility into their current work or time zone differences.
Hence, effective communication through written media like Emails, slack or even WhatsApp will become crucial to ensure that you are understood well by your teammates/clients. Writing perfect communications will also help you get desired outcomes from the other party much quicker and hence improve productivity.
This is yet another skill that can help you get desired results out of a situation. While most people consider negotiation to be a fight where you want to get more and leave the other one worse off, its not really that. Negotiation is making sure that every party to a conversation is satisfied and no one is left worse off. Because if someone is left worse off, then you haven’t really done a fair job of negotiating.
Negotiations also help create your identity in a crowd because you create a space where your terms are not compromised very easily while still satisfying the needs of the other party in the conversation. If you dont negotiate and give in in every situation, you will soon face a problem where you’ll just be losing out more than you gain.
The biggest virtue of a leader is their ability to stay calm and focus under the most stressful and challenging situations. This is because panic leads to uncalculated decisions. Also, a panicked leader isnt what a client or team will trust. Meditation is hence the best way to stay focussed. Now meditation does not mean that you’ll have to buy fancy candles, a mat and therapy music so that the Instagram family can see what you’re doing. Meditation could simply mean taking 5 mins out of a meeting, doing deep breaths while focusing on them and recentering your energy at the moment. Yes, thats how simple it is!
6. Time Management
Continuing on the discussion of remote work, time management will play a crucial role in ensuring you don’t burn out while also delivering your expectations on time. Time management is the art of prioritizing work to ensure that the right thing happens at the right time. The best way to manage time is by spending some time at the end of every day to list down things to do the next day and how much time is needed to execute each task. This pre-planning will also give us a fair idea of how much time we still have on hand to take up any ad hoc tasks.
Every successful human is a great time manager because they prioritize their work well and make sure that the right amount of attention is given to every task on hand. This also helps team members and clients feel comfortable with an individual since they know that the attention needed to their work will be given.
7. Financial Management
Finances. The make or break item for an individual and a business. As an individual, it is crucial to manage your finances well. Because a situation like this current pandemic could hit us any moment and if our finances are not well planned, things could be very sour. Financial management is also crucial to ensure that when an opportunity presents itself you have the resources necessary to take a risk.
8. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking plays a crucial role in project management and day to day problem-solving. Nowadays most companies will require employees to critically think and plan their work. In fact, most jobs today be it social media influencing, podcasting, social media marketing, event management, culinary arts and even jobs like economic advisor, financial consultant etc will require you to think out of the box and plan for every outcome in advance.
Along with decision making, critical thinking also helps one understand themselves better. When you can find the parts of a situation where you can best fit, you create a clear pathway to success for yourself while ensuring great peace of mind too. So its crucial for both your personal and professional life.
9. Developing a Hobby
It may be too much to ask but every individual should pursue at least one hobby. Hobbies help you develop your personal being more and also helps you unwind from work. Especially in these times of work from home, a hobby will help you detach from work and focus on something that brings you more than money, inner peace.
Hobbies also make you think out of the box for yourself. It creates a space where you are the rawest form of you. There is no boss, no competition and no metrics when you sit down to do what you like. Hence, hobbies bring the much-required balance in your life.
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10. Social Welfare
Staying in touch with reality is essential to ensure that our minds are working straight and we do constantly push ourselves to solve problems of society and not just our homes. We should also ensure that we give back to the society that has been so kind to us and makes sure that we create a community where everyone cares for each other. Because what is the use of all the money and skills that cannot be of any use to someone who is really desperately in need of help. So no matter how busy you are, always take out some time to ensure that you go out and do your part for the society around.
So these are top skills that you should spend time in gaining and developing. While most of these skills will be great for giving your career a jumpstart, these will also help you grow as an individual.
Which is the skill you are planning to pick up right away? Do let us know in the comments below!