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Staying ahead in the modern workplace

Keeping your skills current and flexible is crucial to secure a good role and be successful

In an ever-changing business climate, keeping your skills current and flexible is crucial to secure a good role and be successful.

Core skills such as marketing, financials, project management, leadership, problem solving and so on are no longer enough – a blend of additional soft skills are crucial to navigate the current business landscape.

A good communicator

The umbrella of communication covers a wide range of skills. Effective communication goes further than the verbal, non-verbal and written categories. Skills in listening, empathy, respect, friendliness and clarity are expected skills. But in any industry, employees are expected to engage with people from all backgrounds, ages and cultures, and being able to connect with as wide a variety of people as possible is a valuable skill. Being able to adapt your communications skills to suit your customers, co-workers and in some cases, your location, will widen opportunities to work within different cultures. Cultural competence is often overlooked as a key leadership skill. Developing it relies on the observation of customs and etiquette in order to do business with confidence.

Data analysis

A key skill that has expanded in recent years is the ability to analyse data. Once confined to the IT sector, these skills are now applied to sales, marketing and human resources, or any area of business that produces data. Data analysis doesn’t just help target customers, but can also be used to identify strengths to build on and weaknesses to address, to make the business stronger. If you’re looking to develop skills in data analytics, it’s advisable to enrol on a good course to get started. There are also good resources around the web to help build on this valuable skill.

The drive to keep evolving your skills

Don’t be a dinosaur. The willingness to learn and reinvent yourself is a skill in itself. Broaden your horizons, update your existing skill sets, and don’t be afraid of change. Employers are more likely to take on candidates with a flexible attitude and an appetite for developing new skills. Whatever stage you are at in your career, whether you’re just starting out or nearing retirement, the ability to adapt will help you keep pace.

It’s important to keep your skills fresh and relevant not just to the industry you’re working in, but to the general social climate, too. Whether these skills come naturally or not, don’t be afraid to do research, attend courses and gain experience. Make sure you detail them on your C.V. to market yourself when you’re applying for a new role.

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