How these top 10 skills will accelerate your career

Planning skills are required for almost every project and someone who knows how to plan will be a step ahead of the rest.

Planning skills are required for almost every project and someone who knows how to plan will be a step ahead of the rest. Photo: Getty

It takes more than experience to nail that new job.

Skills are top of the list for employers looking for candidates who can not only work, but excel, in any situation.

These skills are transferable skills, named for the fact they can easily shift from one job to another and from one industry to another.

These time-honoured skills are not only useful in the workplace, but in life.

They are abilities you are likely to have built and strengthened throughout your career, and they are sure to be recognised by employers looking for quality and value now and into the future.

Here, we look at the 10 most sought-after skills for high-performing employees.

1. Planning

Thorough planning skills are required for almost every project today and someone who knows how to plan an event or a campaign will always be a step ahead of the rest.

It’s a well-honed skill that shows employers you can take a systematic approach to achieving goals in the workplace, said Leah Lambart, career and interview coach.

“Well-developed planning skills means that the candidate can understand the desired end result and be capable of defining tasks and milestones, setting priorities and using systems to organise and track information such as ‘to do’ lists, appointment reminders, calendars, diaries or tracking apps in order to achieve maximum productivity and effectiveness in the workplace,” she said.

2. Negotiation

Strong negotiation skills are important for relationship building and dealing with conflict.

A skilled negotiator is patient, empathetic and aims for a solution that will reach mutual benefits.

This comes in handy in organisations requiring good stakeholder management, Ms Lambart said.

“Employers are looking for candidates who can achieve the best possible outcome for their position whilst still ensuring relationships are kept intact and that the negotiation process is in line with the values of the organisation,” she said.

Strong research skills are one of the most sought-after transferable skills for high-performing employees. Photo: Getty

3. Research and analysis

The ability to perform solid research and analysis is desirable across many industries and professions including policy, marketing, social research, IT, finance, actuarial, psychology, science and law.

With technology feeding more data into organisations, your skills in research and analysis are more in demand than ever before.

“An employee with highly developed analytical skills will be able to collect the data, detect patterns, synthesise the information and interpret the data so that it can be fed back into the business,” Ms Lambart said.

4. Great communication skills

Communication is key to understanding tasks, problem solving and working with others. Remember communication isn’t just verbal, it encompasses good writing, grammar, spelling and even body language.

Great communicators know how to tailor their messages to different audiences and are mindful of sensitive issues.

5. Flexibility, adaptability and innovation

Embracing change is an advantage in today’s work environment where organisations need to be agile to succeed.

Adapting to technology and being open to new ways of working enables your organisation to innovate in competitive markets. It’s even better when you come up with new ideas of your own.

6. Creativity and problem solving

Creative thinking goes hand in hand with problem-solving skills. By exploring novel ways around obstacles, you can demonstrate your ability to look at issues from many different angles to produce a solution.

Here, you might call upon your knowledge and passions to fuel the creative juices that result in a unique way to solve a problem.

7. Results focused

Keeping your goals top of mind is a great way to tackle any project. It’s important to be rated on your results at work, while understanding how to attain them in a way that’s best for all parties involved.

Understanding the commercial side of your organisation will help you achieve those results, too.

Ask yourself: “Are the actions I am taking good for the business? Is it the most cost-efficient solution?”

8. Great interpersonal skills

Warm, friendly people are people most of us want to work with, so it’s no surprise they are the ones who get ahead.

Working well with others is a prerequisite for almost every job – even if you only see your colleagues at weekly team meetings.

If you can build internal and external relationships, create teams or organise colleagues to collaborate, you’ll rack up both results as well as solid working relationships and achievements.

Strong interpersonal skills including listening, fairness, resilience and empathy.

9. IT skills

Being technology literate is an essential skill for any workplace.

You may not have completed any IT qualifications, but it helps to have the basic skills so your employer doesn’t need to spend time and money training you.

It’s an advantage when you’re open to learning about new devices and software.

10. Initiative

We’re not all born leaders, but we can all use initiative.

This means being able to motivate yourself and working autonomously.

Demonstrating a willingness to harness new methods and contribute new ideas will show your managers and your team that you’re committed to achieving the best results possible.

You may possess some of these skills. Being able to identify the skills you do have and how to use them to your advantage in the job hunt is crucial in attaining your next role.

Remember, these skills take practice and need regular maintenance. So keep yourself informed on how to advance your skills and develop your career further.

You’re more skilled than you know.

Visit SEEK Career Advice to discover your hidden talents today and put your skills to work.

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