9 Must-Have Job Skills You Can Use Anywhere
Wondering what job skills should you focus on the most for your leadership growth? We’ve got you covered!
Success often rests on more than just your technical ability. That’s why all productive leaders know the importance of soft skills – or non-technical skills that don’t apply to a specific job field or type of profession – just as much as their more specialized counterparts.
These are skills that organizations want to see their leaders demonstrate regularly. Moreover, they are job skills the most effective leaders cultivate in their personal lives.
1. Memory Recall
The first soft skill on our list is one that benefits everyone. The ability to recall important dates, names, and tasks comes into play daily in the workplace. How else can you keep track of important deadlines or meetings? Or even better, recall that important information or the data that helps guide your team to success.
You can boost your memory skills by utilizing lists, mnemonic devices, or even creating associations for each task on your daily schedule or piece of information you want to recall.
2. Critical Thinking
While it might sound like just another buzz word, critical thinking – or the ability to analyze and evaluate information gathered from observation, experience, reasoning, or communication – is probably the most important skill you can take into any new job. In short, it’s your ability to think logically and rationally, even under pressure. You can see why this is such an important soft skill to bring into any situation, whether it’s your professional or personal life.
Leaders understand how to use context to make logical connections between ideas and find the best solution for any given problem given the circumstances. They analyze (or examine) data from all sources with an open mind and can pivot when one idea doesn’t work out to find a new solution.
3. Agility or Adaptability
Speaking of being able to pivot unexpectedly – be flexible! Whatever your field, you never know what curveball might be thrown at you on any given day, even if you think you’re ready for the daily grind. Adapting to change can be difficult but embracing it with positivity will keep you motivated even when others become discouraged.
Being agile and willing to learn new things is an advantage in any field. Technology, for example, is forever evolving and innovations are available constantly. Being agile enough to adapt to new devices or software when they are integrated into your workflow will make you an asset in your industry.
How well do you work with others? This may seem cliché but ultimately, your success may depend on how well you can work with a team of others to get the job done. However impressive your skill set may be, there will come a time where it’s important to know how to connect with others on a professional level and without issue. Great leaders motivate the people around them, whether it’s as a co-worker, a supervisor, or their team.
What does your workspace look like? No, we’re not talking about a little bit of clutter on your desk but rather how quickly you can find the documents or important information. How well do you manage your workday from beginning to end? What is your repeatable system for consistent performance?
If you frequently misplace paperwork or can’t find an important piece of information when it’s necessary, you might find yourself being seen as unreliable or, at worse, a liability in your workplace. Organization comes down to more than just the physical as well. You need to be mentally prepared for your tasks and have a methodical approach to managing your day and organizing your life. This will help you be more effective to lead or help others. Try the POC Principle to get you started.
All great leaders are good communicators. Throughout history, you’ll see this to be true. It’s something great men and women like Winston Churchill, Oprah Winfrey, John F Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr have all had in common. The ability to communicate effectively isn’t always a natural trait. It must be honed and learned the same as any other skill. One accompanying trait overlooked by many is how to utilize active listening as part of their communication skills.
It doesn’t just include one-on-one conversation, either. In the modern era, you must consider social media, phone calls, and other forms of electronic communication as well.
7. Public Speaking
While public speaking is a facet of communication, it deserves its place on this list. Most of the best-known leaders in history (especially those with political or military merit) are known for their public speaking prowess. In many careers, you’ll need to hone these skills for presentations, staff training, or even running meetings.
Public speaking is more than just standing in front of an audience. The best public speakers know how to capture – and hold – an audience. It’s about engagement, often replying on enthusiasm, proper cadence, and a certain degree of charisma. As we’ve mentioned, great leaders are always great speakers. You only need to listen to their greatest speeches to understand how they inspire others to follow.
8. Time Management
Working efficiently without the need for micromanagement is another one of those key job skills that everyone should develop. Saving time often saves money, which can increase the overall revenue of a company. Time management includes everything from the delegation and prioritizing of tasks to schedule management. Each component is valuable to the overall skill.
All too often, managers see delegation as a weakness; that just isn’t true! Learning to identify the strengths of each team member will go a long way to motivating them and show that you appreciate their performance. Delegating also helps you prioritize your most important tasks, which in turn helps the overall workflow of any project.
Leaders are responsible for the overall success or failure of their teams. That simple fact makes this skill equally as important as any of the others on our list. Responsible leaders practice self-reflection and prepare for problems well in advance. They take time to plan for the success of projects, resolve any problems before they escalate, and are transparent in their practices.
No one likes admitting their mistakes. However, you may find that the real benefit of responsibility is simply the act of owning up to your mistakes – even if you face some penalty – will go far to showing your commitment to your organization or project. Pointing fingers and placing blame only indicates that you aren’t willing to take responsibility for your actions or contributions to a given failure or setback. Strong leaders make commitments to their works and take responsibility for their actions, both good and bad. They also can see the trait in others and reward it accordingly.
Build on these Job Skills
Each of these skills builds upon each other in both obvious and subtle ways. By developing them all in tandem, you can cultivate your leadership skills in the workplace to become an asset to your organization while tackling anything that comes your way!
RECAP: The 9 Skills You Can Use in Any Job
- Memory Recall
- Critical Thinking
- Agility or Adaptability
- Public Speaking
- Time Management