Day #893:Top 5 Skills You Need at Work That Have Nothing to Do with Your Job

As a Recruitment Manager, I make difficult decisions everyday on which candidate should get an interview with our company and advice Hiring managers on who they should offer a position based on who the best candidate is for the job.  I have also had opportunity to observe and work with key professionals from different industries. One thing is clear, beyond technical skills you need to perform your job, there are an array of Soft skills that if well mastered, will push you far in your career.Here are my top 5 additional job skills everyone needs.

5. Writing Skills

As more business communications are conducted through email, instant messaging, PowerPoint presentations and other written forms, writing ability can help today’s professionals set themselves apart. The ability to write clearly in reports or white papers is necessary to advance.

“Rightly or wrongly, people judge their colleagues based on their writing ability,” says R. Craig Hogan, director of the Business Writing Center and author of Explicit Business Writing. “Those who write poorly are viewed as less intelligent, less educated and less competent. Those who are articulate are seen as intelligent, educated and capable.”

In fact, business professionals may not realize how much poor writing skills can impede their careers. “It’s a silent killer,” Hogan says.

How can you improved your writing? Check out this Forbes article on How to improve your writing.

4.Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
We all have to make decisions at work, evaluate ideas and brainstorm new ones. Many jobs, at their core, are about solving problems. Knowing how to think is far more empowering than knowing what to think, but these are skills we have to work at. Learn how to train your mind to think critically, develop Sherlock Holmes-like powers of observation, and make decisions with the six thinking hats technique. When you demonstrate your powers of critical and creative thinking, you’ll earn much respect at work and become a more valuable employee.

3. Basic Technology Skills
Even those who don’t work with technology directly or don’t work in a professional office setting need to have some basic tech skills and knowledge. How to navigate your company’s web portal to make HR changes (for some companies, this is harder than it looks!), how to use whatever the company’s communication tools are (whether they use Slack, rely on text messages, or some proprietary system), and just the basics of how computers work and what the major components are so you could talk to IT when you need troubleshooting help. Even just prompt and efficient emailing is a valuable skill—Google’s Eric Schmidt says it’s the number one habit of effective people. Of course, the more technical skills you do add, the more you expand what you can do at work and improve your hireability—such as learning HTML and CSS, you can start contributing to your employer’s website and blog. Here are the top 10 simple things everyone who uses a computer should know how to do and more advanced ones if you’re a geek.

2. The Ability to Work Well on a Team
Hiring managers often emphasize the importance of cultural fit and the ability to work well on a team when they evaluate job candidates, whether it’s for entry-level jobs or ones in higher positions. Few people’s jobs are entirely solitary ones—we rely on others for our work as much as others rely on us. Simply feeling like a part of the team can fuel your work. Highly effective teams communicate well, share common goals, and even make time for humor. If you can follow these seven rules for collaborating with othersbuild trust with others, and handle criticism well, you’re golden.

1. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

Empathy is your most important skill, at work and at home. Empathizing with others will help you better understand the people around you, the needs of your customers, how to motivate others, and how to deal with conflicts with others. The difference between knowledge and understanding is empathy. You can improve your empathy by learning to really listen and practicing trying to see things from others’ point of view.

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