10 September 2021

What universal job skills can help you succeed in your career?

In a hotly contested job market, having a comprehensive skill set can give you that competitive edge. But what skills can you focus on to give you a leg up on others? Developing universal skills will make sure you can apply them to any job throughout your entire career.

Communication and teamwork skills

Communication is everything in a team and business. Developing excellent communication skills will help you to advise, train, listen and empathise with your coworkers. Don’t overlook listening and understanding! So often we focus only on what we’re saying to others, that we forget listening is just as important in building trust and quality relationships with our coworkers. If you’re looking to develop your emotional intelligence, you can read our guide about empathy.

In a survey of 350 executives across nine industries, the World Economic Forum (WEF) found emotional intelligence and coordination with others to be among the top-most desired employee traits for businesses. Every job involves working with others, whether it’s your manager, co-workers, or customers. If you can collaborate with others as a team-oriented employee, you’re boosting your value in the eyes of recruiters.

Critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills are desired by employers and will help you stand out. When you’re using critical thinking skills, you’re assessing all the details of a situation, understanding the connections between these ideas and using that to make decisions to solve problems. No matter your position, in any business, you’ll need to utilise critical thinking to resolve everyday issues and put out fires in times of crisis. This does not mean making decisions alone. Seeking insights and advice from others is just as important when assessing a situation. Once you’ve reached your decision, you’ll also need to communicate your reasoning with others so that they see can your vision. 

We’re also now moving to an age where technology and automation are solving the smaller tasks. You now need to know how to work with technology, as it helps us identify patterns and gather data while we analyse and conceive new ideas from the information provided.

Computer skills

Even if you work in an industry that does not typically use computers, you’ll probably need digital skills. Technology is all around us today and is being used to automate certain tasks and streamline communication in the work environment. Video communications are becoming a key tool due to the pandemic. While using video conferencing is becoming a staple for office jobs, as employees work from home, even industries such as healthcare, retail and education have moved online or over the phone to comply with restrictions.

It’s important to be flexible when it comes to working face-to-face and remotely, as we deal with the uncertainty of the pandemic and beyond. At the very least, developing skills such as using the Microsoft Office suite will go a long way to increasing your value as a job candidate.

Learning skills

Learning is a skill in itself. No matter how much experience you have, you will always be learning new things as you step into new roles. This can be learning the processes of your new company or even learning fresh skills in your first job. Having skills such as being able to read properly, listen effectively, retain information and think critically as you apply what you learn, all make up the skills of learning.

Being able to proactively develop yourself is also a desirable skill to have in any workplace. The ability to honestly reflect on your past performance and self-assess to improve for the future will help develop you into a sought-after professional.

Time management skills

Managing your time is incredibly important, as we all need to meet deadlines while keeping our work to a good standard. If you can effectively manage your time, you’ll not only fit everything into your workweek, you might also find you’re not as stressed and produce better work.

If you have a large project that needs to be completed by your team, you’ll need to use time management skills such as planning out key deadlines, knowing what tasks need to be prioritised, delegating and outsourcing tasks to meet your deadlines. To learn how to properly schedule your time and eliminate issues such as decision fatigue read our blog.

Whether you’re looking for permanent or short-term positions, we can help you find the right job for you. Our recruitment specialists at PERSOLKELLY are here to help you by providing roles in a range of industry sectors including professional services, ICT, government, STEM and management roles. If you are looking for assistance with finding an employer, contact us at PERSOLKELLY today.