Valuable Skills To Learn For Any Career Path
If you’re fresh out of the education path finishing College or University, you may find yourself presented with the daunting thought: ‘Now what?’
This isn’t anything out of the ordinary — not everyone has a set career path. You may wish to and are entitled to change your mind at any point. I myself have had a recent shift in mindset about my future work-life intentions.
Despite this, there are several skills anyone can learn that are advantageous for almost any job in the 21st century. Here’s my take on the most beneficial skills to be practising to put you in the best possible position no matter what future you may choose.
What will be most helpful perhaps is looking at how you can easily apply these skills to your daily routine.
Learning to write is one of the strongest elements of this list and can be easily worked on in a variety of ways.
Beyond Being a Better Writer
I’ll skip past the obvious benefits of writing for your work-life such as maintaining a strong CV. The benefits writing has to offer overlap with contrasting skills.
If you write more, you will broaden your understanding of language and thus, find yourself making confident word choices in your area of work. This will give you a strong impression for others —an impression leaving people thinking ‘They know what they’re on about.’
Being articulate doesn’t just achieve this; your ability to communicate will vastly improve. Whether it’s an idea, an opinion or a situation where you need to explain something quick and concisely, the language you use plays a key role in getting your point across clearly.
The benefits of writing stretch beyond life at work, however. Through gaining further insight into the English language, you’ll be able to express your feelings, emotions and any situations you’ve been in to friends more easily. When thinking in deeper terms, language is merely a tool for us to communicate our ideas and thoughts.
Writing Doesn’t Have To Be a Chore
The great news is you don’t need to drag yourself through 100 essays or write a novel to improve your writing skills. Numerous fun daily activities give you the chance to practise writing without even realising.
As an introductory example, imagine you’ve just watched a fantastic film. You could write a film review and post it on social media as a recommendation for friends. Or you could keep your writing to yourself and document a valuable book, film or event you’ve recently encountered.
Journaling is another daily exercise (which I strongly recommend doing for various reasons but) that specifically provides a great opportunity to write. You might go for a diary approach (like the previous example), keep a gratitude journal, or use journaling to reflect on your work and passions.
Goal setting is another example — through asking yourself questions and answering them (by writing them down), you’ll gain a deeper understanding of yourself, and you’ll become better at understanding the language of your own thoughts and emotions.
The Easiest Way To Write
Perhaps the greatest, simplest exercise you could try: Take out a sheet of blank A4 paper in the morning, grab a pen and just write. It doesn’t matter what comes out first.
Dedicating a 10 or 15-minute slot where it’s solely you and the paper is a fantastic way to start your morning for the day ahead.
The two words everybody dreads. But public speaking is a game-changer in several spheres of life, and it needn’t be feared.
What’s important to learn is that often, it’s not just about what we have to say, but how we say it. If it was indeed all about the what, imagine a person set with a convincing story to tell who, instead of describing it to the audience, hands everyone a sheet listing the events that took place in plain bullet points.
The style in which we speak can most shine in interviews but also plays a part in several other job-related skills. Being able to persuade, convince and describe aren’t just skills used by salespeople to sell their latest product; they are necessary for any type of job whether big or small.
There may be, for instance, an alarming situation that occurs in a superstore you work at and you find yourself needing to explain the events to your manager quickly and coherently. You may also be benefited if you can convince your boss of a solution you have in mind to a problem that’s cropped up at work.
With the skill of talking in front of new people comes the power of networking. Forming strong connections is a key ingredient for climbing up the ladder of whatever profession you pursue.
Mastery of conversation is another skill that stretches beyond the workplace. Making deeper connections with people won’t just put you in touch with more successful people, it could well benefit your social life as you begin making valuable friendships within your profession. This, ultimately, will succeed in making your job a more fun and fulfilling experience.
Try This at Home
You don’t need to have a large stage filled with audience members to practise public speaking. Michael J. Gelp in his book ‘How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci’ provides an insightful range of exercises to try with just a small group of people. One of these includes each person picking their favourite piece of art and explaining to everyone else what makes it so appealing for them.
This of course could work with a piece of music, and there are countless similar exercises that you can do with your family or friends.
With your friends, each take turns to tell each other what your favourite film genre is and why. To make it more interesting, have each person predict what they think others will choose.
An exercise I have thoroughly enjoyed doing with my family is each picking our top 3 favourite holidays and explaining what made them so special for us.
Uniqueness is key here — it can be very insightful to see how people’s opinions compare and contrast.
Now, though this may seem minor in comparison with the previous skills, it is often here where people fail at this underrated skill.
Some business coaches go so far as to say this is the #1 business skill you should learn. Think about it this way: if you can’t remember somebody’s name, what else does it show you care about them?
There are plentiful creative ways to remember somebody’s name:
- Create a rhyme
- Make up a silly picture in your head associated with the name
- Relate it to somebody else with the same name
It’s also a great way to show off at a party. But personally, I think what’s equally important is expanding this skill to remembering details about people.
By recalling what somebody has told us before, it shows them that we care about them. Even if it’s the name of their dog, showing people that we’ve remembered something they’ve told us will give them a message signalling that we listen to them when in conversation. This nicely links back to networking and constructing a strong base of contacts.
So, there are a handful of skills that you can be learning for any hand that life deals to you. Regular practice of these will arm you in a strong position that you can indeed thank yourself for later.