As we watch the cycles of the economy react to a new world under duress with a new breath of hope of a new administration, many professionals are seeking ways to stay competitive in the workplace. Investing in your own skill set will always be one of the best investments you can make in a time of rapid global change. But what skills are in demand? What skills can actually help professionals get to the next level?
It takes a diverse set of skills to be an entrepreneur and a lot of founders wish they had learned those skills in school, myself included. Access to education has become much more accessible with the internet of things (YouTube, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.) and there are many available for free to help you grow.
Here is a list of in-demand skills to help you grow within any field.
Top Skill #1 – Negotiation & Deal Making
As a business owner or manager, you participate in various negotiations every day. If you are hiring a new employee, you negotiate their salary. When you are talking to a prospective company, you negotiate your terms of business. To be an effective negotiator, practice clear communication and listen to the other person’s needs. Think about the words you use and the atmosphere you create. Try learning negotiation skills online or find a mentor with these skills to show you the ropes for a successful career.
Top Skill #2 – Managerial Psychology
Managerial psychology is a subcategory of organizational psychology. It focuses on the leadership effectiveness of people within groups. This skill helps leaders with the ability to read workplace behavioral patterns and adjust the work environment accordingly. How many times have you misread a co-worker’s reaction or struggled to get your team to work well together? Leaders who understand managerial psychology will know how to make better leadership decisions to create ideal work environments by learning how to read their teams.
Top Skill #3 – Consumer Psychology
Consumer psychology is the study of human behavior regarding their buying patterns, customs and preferences. It looks into their reactions and preferences to advertising, packaging and marketing of those products. This skill aims to understand how and why consumers make purchasing decisions. Understanding psychological factors affecting consumer behavior is a key challenge for marketers and business owners. Having this skill will help you develop excellent marketing, branding and selling abilities that go beyond traditional methods. This skill helps companies connect directly with a target demographic by designing the most effective and positive brand management and advertising strategy.
Top Skill #4 – Coding
Computer coding is a critical skill that makes the modern world go around. Almost every electronic device and software program you use relies on code. Coding is the process of using a programming language to get a computer or program to behave how you want it to. Understanding code can help you build websites, apps, or devices to automate business processes. Coding can be simple and anyone can learn the basics. With technology advancing rapidly, newer opportunities are being created and has become one of the highest-paid skills on the market.
Top Skill #5 – Creative Writing
Creative writing is a business skill that few professionals choose to develop. It has a tremendous effect on providing a competitive advantage in your career. Many of the nation’s top CEOs have well-developed writing skills they use regularly. These skills help companies win contracts and investment opportunities, present new ideas and soften bad news. Creative writing helps you develop concise ideas, express with confidence and boost your credibility.
Top Skill #6 – Communication
Developing strong communications skills is a sure way to help many aspects of your life, career and social influence. We rely heavily on sharing clear ideas to understand each other. Good verbal and written communication skills are essential to deliver and understand information quickly and accurately. Communication can be defined as the process of understanding and sharing meaning. To communicate well is to understand, and be understood.
Top Skill #7 – Financial Management
Finance is the language of business and financial management helps us determine planning priorities and be aware of revenue pitfalls or opportunities. Financial management is an important skill for business owners to have because it helps to properly create financial projections, read statements correctly and make informed decisions to ensure the business will run smoothly. Business goals can only be achieved thanks to effective financial management.
Investing in your professional development will have many rewards beyond monetary. You will notice how your personal and work relationships begin to improve. There is a famous Chinese proverb that says, “Learning is a treasure which accompanies its owner everywhere.” Think about your current skills and compare them to this list. Is there a gap you can fill by taking an online course or talking to a mentor? You have everything to gain by trying to learn something new.
EDGAR RAFAEL OLIVO is a bilingual business educator, economic advisor and contributor for several media outlets. He’s a nonprofit executive who is passionate about education. He is certified in finance and data analytics and holds a business degree from Arizona State University.
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