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Skills to Develop Your Career

By: Lisa Koning - Updated: 10 Aug 2011 | comments*Discuss
Develop Your Career Skills For Your

Moving ahead in your career can be influenced by having the right skills at the right time. But without a crystal ball, it can sometimes be difficult to know what skills you should be developing to most to help you in your career. Some skills might seen obvious, such as technical skills that are appropriate for particular jobs, but what other skills might be helpful to develop your career?

Broaden Your Knowledge

It's good to be an expert in your field, but it may also be helpful to have a good general knowledge in other areas as well. It's unlikely that your field or profession exists in isolation, so consider what other areas might be useful for you to have some understanding of. Knowledge about the issues that affect your industry can help you make better and more informed decisions. What other fields impact your industry? Consider how you could improve your knowledge in this area, too.


Technology skills can be helpful for many careers. Whether it's using common IT applications, such as Word or Excel, or understanding some basic IT terminology, this knowledge can give you a bonus in understanding technical conversations. Being an effective user of technology can save time and provide many benefits. For example, being able to prepare high-quality presentations in tools like Powerpoint, without the need for support, not only saves time but gives you the ability to better communicate your message. Taking full advantage of the technology available in your organisation is another area you might want to utilise. Consider tools such as video conferencing and net meetings which can improve your communications and save you time.

Softer Skills

Whether it's giving presentations or improving your negotiation skills, there are some Softer Skills that everyone can benefit from. Skills, such as learning to Cope With Stress, being able to raise a concern in a professional manner, and being about to manage conflict, are important in building a career. Regardless of your level in an organisation, it's likely that you will have to learn to deal with stress and possibly conflict situations, so building up better skills to manage these situations successfully will be useful for the future. Negotiation is another skill that is useful, not only at work, but in many social situations.

Working with Others

Being able to work well with colleagues, even if we prefer to work alone rather than in teams, is an important skill to foster. Listening to others and acknowledging any of their concerns, earns respect and also demonstrates that you are willing to accept that you might not always be right.

Helping others and being a part of a team are abilities that management often look for when considering Possible Promotions. Consider how helpful you are to colleagues. Are there ways where you could assist them further? Are you approachable and do others seem at ease asking you for help?

When considering the skills you need to progress your career, look beyond those that typically apply to your profession. It is often those less obvious skills that, once obtained, can help you stand out from the crowd.

Identifying your transferable skills

Understanding your skills and strengths can help to increase your chances of making a successful career change. Find out more in our article How To Identify Your Transferable Skills.

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