It’s easy to think that the route to learning essential skills for employment is simple. You go through formal education, you select an area you want to specialize in, and then you focus on developing specific abilities and skills related to your chosen career niche. When you have reached a certain level of aptitude in this regard, you enter into the workplace, and put those skills to use.
While the process of acquiring employment-related skills can be this linear, the learning process rarely stops when you enter employment. Many people find that their skillset increases the longer they are in the job, and sometimes in rather surprising ways. In terms of your future career options, learning to maximize on the additional, vocational skills you have learned can be key to delivering the working life that you want to achieve.
Below is a comprehensive look at some of the skills you may have learned while on the job, and which may be essential to helping to decide your further advancement in life. No matter your chosen job or niche, you are more than likely to have picked up at least a few of the following additions to your repertoire…
When you have been working in any job for a period of time, it is inevitable that you will have picked up a few organizational skills. Whether it’s the management of the entire calendar for your workplace or having control over a specific project, these skills can be used to enhance your resumé and improve your job prospects in the future.
How to make the most of organization skills: If you have found that you are particularly adept at management and organization, then retraining by taking an online project management Masters could give you a wide range of future career options. If you want to remain in the same role, then utilize your organizational skills as a discussion point in your next performance review— you could request more responsibilities, or the opportunity to be involved in larger-scale organizational projects.
No matter your chosen career, the need to establish good diplomatic skills is something most people will pick up over the course of their working life. Whether it’s helping to control disagreements in the office or assisting customers to help solve any problems they are experiencing, diplomacy skills are vitally important to the modern workplace.
How to make the most of diplomatic skills: If you find you have a natural ability for helping people build bridges and move on from issues, then you may want to consider retraining— working as a negotiator or in dispute management may be a natural fit for your abilities. If you’d prefer to stay in the same career, be vocal about your achievements and your ability to work with people to solve issues or calm customers down. Diplomacy is definitely a quality that is well-appreciated at management level, so you may want to consider tailoring your resumé to reflect your abilities and apply for more senior positions.
It’s likely that you write more in your line of work than you think. Sending emails, preparing reports, communicating messages to other staff members— it can all begin to add up into an impressive command of the English language. Being able to write well in a business context is a fairly uncommon skill, so if you have received praise for your ability to do this in the past, it’s worth wondering if this is something you may be able to capitalize on in future.
How to make the most of writing skills: While there are qualifications you can take to enhance your writing skills, these are far from necessary. Instead, you could look to make the most of your prior experience, working freelance alongside your day job. If you are writing material as part of your current work, then it’s fair to assume that other companies need writers to do produce the same text for them, so there’s no harm in reaching out and “blind pitching” your services— your experience in your normal job should help you to attract clients. Alternatively, you could look to retrain; most writers tend to specialize, so you could look into formal business writing full time, copywriting if you have a flair for sales, or even editorial-style writing if you want to share your opinion.
There are precious few jobs that don’t, in some way, involve using a computer. If you have had to get to grips with customized software or have had to learn about the ins and outs of cloud computing as part of your job, you will be pleased to learn that these skills are incredibly useful in the modern marketplace. You don’t have to be a tech maven to use your newfound IT skills to improve your career prospects in future.
How to make the most of IT skills: If you have discovered a passion for IT, then retraining could be a wonderful choice. IT is generally an under-subscribed industry; there are more jobs than there are qualified employees, and the industry is generally considered to be well-paid. Alternatively, you could harness your IT experience to potential freelance or switch to working as a digital nomad— if you’re comfortable with technology, there’s no need for you to be restrained by an office environment. We’re at a point in history where remote working is becoming more common and accepted, and being able to rely on your own IT nous and skills is an essential requirement if you want to leave the office environment behind.
By making the most of the additional, work-based skills you have picked up over the years, your opportunity for career advancement could increase almost exponentially. Whether you consider a complete career change as you have discovered an aptitude for a particular skill, or you just want to enhance your prospects in your chosen field, knowing how to capitalize on these added skills is a key tool to help you advance your professional life in future.