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7 skills that are hard – but worthwhile – to learn for your career

We all have an inner critic, but allowing it to dominate will damage your self-esteem

There are some skills which can’t really be taught, but they’re still worth spending time and effort in mastering if you want to get ahead in your career.

1 – Time management

Learning how to manage your time effectively is vital if you want to impress your managers. Develop a system that works for you, but make sure that you include highly detailed To Do lists and allocate time to complete each task.

2 – Establish a sleep routine

You need to manage your down time as much as your work time, so create a sleep routine and stick to it. An effective sleep schedule ensures a great night’s sleep, and being consistent is an important element.

3 – Empathise with others

Empathy is often overlooked as a desirable skill for businesses, but it’s actually a very important trait. Empathising with others, and being able to see things from their point of view, can give you the edge when it comes to driving sales and customer satisfaction. It also fosters good team spirit and ultimately leads to better performance and a good work ethic.

4 – Consistency

It’s no good being the top-performing employee one month and then dropping to the bottom of the league table the next. Flashes of brilliance are all very well, but employers like to see consistent results from their staff. Being consistent means doing whatever it takes to ensure continuing success and never resting on your laurels. It can be all too easy to take your foot off the pedal, particularly when you achieve that promotion, but don’t be tempted to coast. Keep driving forward to ensure top results every day.

5 – Ask for help

Many people think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. In fact, according to the Harvard Business School, the opposite is true. People like to engage and are happy to answer questions, or offer advice, as it shows you consider them knowledgeable. Nobody expects you to know everything, and asking questions shows that you are taking the job seriously. A failure to seek help from others could lead to costly errors that damage your reputation and potentially your career too.

6 – Positive inner dialogue

If you don’t believe in yourself then you make it hard for others to believe in you, so promote a good self-image and work on maintaining it. We all have an inner critic, but allowing it to dominate will damage your self-esteem. Some people like to use positive affirmations whilst others thrive on a morning pep talk in the bathroom mirror. Discover what works for you and stick with it to ensure that the image you project is always positive.

7 – Know when to keep quiet

We all have opinions, but knowing when to keep them to yourself is an important business skill. Learn to mind your own business and you will avoid a host of thorny situations that could reflect badly on you.

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