We are living in a time when the secure job positions that kept you safe and tucked in from the college days right until you retire are considered an ancient past. According to a recent survey, US citizens change as many as 12 job positions before they retire. These numbers paint a picture of a very competitive and adverse labor market.
But, if you are just entering this arena, you shouldn’t be discouraged by everything we talked about above. Adversity and competition always paved the way for developing stronger skills and ultimately becoming a better professional.
If you focus your efforts where they count the most you won’t only be able to successfully navigate the present-day job market, but also turn its mobility and flexibility to your advantage. Let us take a look then what are these critical skills you should develop.
Engage in online networking
You have probably heard the old saying that in the world of business it’s not that important what you know but rather who you know. Well, although very exaggerated, these claims hold quite a lot of truth since developing an extensive professional network will help you to quickly uncover new work opportunities, keep up with the trends and get access to influential figures in the industry. Of course, in this day and age, most of your outreach efforts will occur online, more precisely on social media sites like LinkedIn. But, we say you can do a lot to boost your efforts by creating a professional website where you will be able to showcase your portfolio, start a blog and demonstrate your other professional skills.
Nurture entrepreneurial mindset
In other words, you need to know what it takes to make one company grow and how to implement these steps in real-life situations. Why should you bother with these things? Well, at some point you may want to start your own gig, so entrepreneurial chops will definitely help you to branch out. Second, your future employers will be interested only in how much value you can add to their companies and help these organizations thrive. Being aware of how things work behind the curtain and what you need to do to grow a company will help you apply your skills in a way that will produce tangible results.
Embrace the mindset of lifelong learning
The present-day business world is moving at a lightning pace and the things you have just mastered may become obsolete as soon as you close the cover of the book. That is why you will need to develop the mindset of lifelong learning and use it every day to expand your skill set in any sensible manner. In order to be successful at that, you will also need to learn how to efficiently find suitable material. So, look for alternative sources that go beyond the first page of the SERP. For instance, useful Warwick materials have a great selection of notes and assignments covering a wide variety of valuable, applicable topics.
Master foreign language fluency
The present-day economy is incredibly globalized and there are very high chances your career road will lead you outside your native country. Although in this globalized arena the English language serves as an effective lingua franca, your ability to master different languages will greatly improve your employability in different corners of the world and demonstrate your will to work hard and self-improve. Also, learning a new language, even if you don’t plan on expanding abroad, will allow you to improve a great number of skills like communication, work ethic, and time management all of which have strong real-life value.
Ramp up communication skills
Many people tend to take communication skills for granted thinking that effectively conveying some important information doesn’t require a conscious effort and years of practice. It is only when we break down communication to its simplest building blocks we will find a lot of room for improvement – active listening, high level of concentration, public speaking, writing skills, focused reading, and presentation skills are only some of the areas that first pop to mind. Also, keeping in mind that the bulk of modern communication envelopes in the digital environment a certain level of technical prowess is more than advised.
Develop high technical prowess
Speaking of technical prowess, we would like to remind you that the outbreak of COVID-19 had a great influence on the inner workings of the business world and pushed all industries in the online, digital direction. Therefore, no matter what your native industry might be, the chances are you will need to work in the Cloud environment, use technologies like VR, AR, or machine learning, and stay in touch with the clients in an entirely digital environment. So, a good knowledge of these tools and technologies is something you must possess. To go one step further, try developing some basic coding skills.
We hope these few examples gave you a general idea about the skills that can help you become more competitive in the current labor market and use its dynamics to your advantage. Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg and the opportunities for learning new things and developing new soft skills are truly inexhaustible. But, everybody needs to start somewhere and the skills we have covered in this article will definitely push you in the right direction.
Suman(Kul Prasad) Pandit is a graduate from Tribhuvan University with four-year experience in corporate and start-up sectors in UK and USA. Being a responsible & sustainable business enthusiast he is dedicated to business education to solve problems in entrepreneurship and business growth.