PERKINS PROFESSIONAL SEARCH BLOG
10 Essential Business Skills - March 7,20140 comments
1. Think Social
Social media is not a fad—it’s here to stay. You need to be savvy in the way social media works for you as well as against you. Be mindful of what you post online. Social media has changed the way that we communicate and in turn the way we conduct business. Information that used to take days or weeks to spread can now be posted on Facebook and be distributed around the world in seconds. Make sure your “internal editor” is always turned on. There are way too many examples of where someone has posted something on a whim which has come back to haunt them. This is especially true of the photos you post on Facebook, or Twitter. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your mother, clients, employer, or colleagues to see. Be mindful of privacy settings to keep friends and professional life separate.
2. Develop Rapid Skill Acquisition
In an economy that’s virtually reinventing itself every day, perhaps the most essential skill is the ability to learn—and master new skills in real time. What’s needed is a combination of skill and ability. The ability to learn independently with very little direction and the skill to apply new knowledge is essential in the work place. If you do not know how to perform a task, learn how and … quickly. Take the extra time to do this; it will pay off in the end.
3. Be Tech Savvy
Staying in touch, being able to access information on the go and information sharing are all keys to success. Stay on top of technology. If you are not the most tech savvy person, surround yourself with people who are more knowledgeable than yourself so you are in a position to have readily available resources. Whenever possible take a course or class to help build and maintain your computer skills as programs and computers are constantly changing. It is essential not to fall behind.
4. Embrace Continuing Education
As mentioned in previous points the economy and workplace are constantly changing. With an increasing focus on technology, specialized skills and a faster pace it is imperative that your skills remain sharp! Consider taking a course or class to maintain your skills and enrich your knowledge base. You’ll have more to offer your employer and clients. Take advantage of continuing education opportunities, employers respond positively to those who take initiative when it comes to you investing your time and efforts to broaden your knowledge.
5. Be Organized
A disorganized leader is not a productive leader. Disorganization breeds more disorganization. If you’re frazzled and messy, your team will be too. When you’re organized you’ll be much more productive and so will everyone else. Clean up your workspace and keep clutter to a minimum. Use a calendar or PDA to keep appointments. Use a notebook to diarize any meetings, important messages or follow up information; add a few of these tips into your daily routine and you will see your productivity increase.
6. Be Passionate
Passion is infectious… and you can inspire others through your own passion and enthusiasm. That doesn’t mean you have to be constantly cheery, it means you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing and what your company stands for. At PPS we pride ourselves in matching employee and employer values so their goals align. When others, especially your employer notices your enthusiasm for your career it can only be a good thing for everyone.
7. Communicate Effectively
It might seem easy, but communicating effectively actually takes finesse. Choosing the right words, listening with our minds instead of just our ears and getting our message across are skills that we all need to work on. Miscommunication can lead to mistakes, poor productivity, unmotivated employees or worse! Work on being precise, specific and clear. Emails and text messages can be misinterpreted. Take emotion out of the equation. Have more over the phone or in-person meetings. Often times what was misread can easily be resolved with a good old fashioned conversation. Don’t just hear – Listen. Being a good communicator means listening as well as talking.
8. Develop your Social Skills
Employers often seek to hire staff with strong interpersonal skills – they want people who will work well in a team and be able to communicate effectively with colleagues and clients. A few ways you can improve and develop these skills are to:
Learn to listen – as mentioned previously, take time to listen to what others are saying. Communicating means listening as well as conversing.
Choose your words – be aware of the words you use when speaking. Could you be misunderstood? Be clear and seek feedback to ensure you are being understood.
Relax – Don’t be nervous. When we are nervous we tend to talk quickly and less clearly. Stay calm, make eye contact and smile. Let your confidence show through.
Be Positive – People are much more likely to respond and be drawn to you if you maintain a positive attitude.
Empathize – Try to see things from other perspectives. You may learn something and gain respect and trust from others.
Be Assertive – Be neither passive nor aggressive. Being assertive means expressing your view so that others understand and respect you.
9. Time Management
Effective Time management skills are essential, you’ll need to master these as your career grows. Leaders are extremely proficient with their time management and little time goes to waste. Below are a few tips time tips to help improve your productivity.
• Make lists
• Make use of your downtime
• Concentrate on one thing at a time. Often multi-tasking can hinder productivity
• Avoid procrastination
• Set deadlines
It’s a known fact the network you have is tremendously powerful. You are as powerful as the people you surround yourself with. Networking can be a great way for young professionals to accelerate their careers. Sometimes opportunities come from “who we know.” Relationships you cultivate through networking ultimately build your credibility as a professional and in turn will draw people and opportunities to you. Having a strong presence at networking events is also great for meeting new contacts that could result in business opportunities for you.