Today’s workplace is as diverse as ever, with people from all backgrounds coming together to solve problems. In this new era, it is important to not only have many different skills, but to also be strong in 5 core skills. Let’s look at each of these skills and what you can do to improve them.
Ability/Willingness to Learn New Skills
Going from working a part-time job in high school to working a full-time career-driven job after college is a huge shift to make. While your previous positions may have been fairly easy, chances are that any job you have as an adult will come with a learning curve. This is why a learning attitude is essential in every company. To achieve this skill, you must change your mindset in a few ways:
- Be open to new information, even when it contradicts what you used to know.
- Be willing to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.
If you are able to approach new situations with these two mindsets, you will find that learning new skills is a breeze, and your employers will thank you for your cooperation.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Every job boils down to one thing: solving problems. However, figuring out the best way to solve a problem often takes creativity and strong critical thinking skills. To hone this craft, try brainstorming ideas to solve regular day-to-day problems you have in your own life. You can also take a look at a process and think of ways to make it better. By doing so, you’ll easily become a more innovative person.
Most jobs require teamwork of some kind, so it is vital to be collaborative. To help yourself be a better collaborator, practice empathy and negotiation. Empathy will help you see the other person’s perspective, and negotiation will help find a common ground that both sides can agree upon. Try watching videos and reading up on these skills to learn more about implementing them in your life.
Being able to speak is only half the battle when it comes to communication. The more difficult part is having the other person interpret what you said in the way you meant it. People pick up on many cues (tone, posture, etc.) and filter them through their life experiences to find meaning behind what is said. Therefore, you should make an effort to watch how you communicate, as well as what you communicate. Furthermore, you should become acquainted with different personality types and how they prefer to communicate, to make sure you are adapting to each person.
Ability to Analyze and Synthesize Information
Unfortunately, we’ve reached a skill that is very difficult to learn. Analyzing information requires a tremendous amount of knowledge on the subject, or at least the ability to utilize context clues. Analysis and synthesis are developed most when you become familiar with the task at hand. To practice, try guiding a newer coworker through a difficult problem. Your ability to lead them to a solution will prove your analytical abilities.
While you should definitely aim to gain many skills, these five are essential to anyone in any position. Try to improve these skills on a regular basis in order to make yourself more attractive to potential employers.