5 Essential Career Skills You Can Develop Starting Today
The world is changing and jobs are changing. Businesses are starting to use automations when they once had employees. A sharing economy like Uber, Airbnb, and Postmates has shifted big industries and made way for people & businesses to work more efficiently. It’s important for us to realize that as the world is changing, we need to grow and develop our skills to make us more marketable. The market has been saturated with college degrees, which typically give us one skill; but, learning the basics of a few different skills means that you are going to be capable of doing more complex projects and be an asset outside of your standard job contract. Luckily for us, we have extensive knowledge at our fingertips, and lots of resources!
Coding: With the tech industry + technology becoming more and more prevalent, coding is quickly becoming one of the most in demand skills in virtually every industry. Whether you’re in healthcare, education, or business, nearly every company requires at least some kind of knowledge in coding. Luckily for us, we have a world of knowledge we can access. You don’t need to worry that you didn’t take the coding class in high school or college because there are many online sources that you can utilize.
Code academy has a free course that teaches you how to Learn R… “a widely used statistical programming language” that helps with data analysis.
MIT also offers a free Computer Science and Programming course. This is a course for complete beginners and gives a broad overview of data structures, testing and debugging, the Python programming language, and the basics of programming. MIT has many other free courses to help you understand and grow in this widely sought-after skill!
VBA programming has to do with learning the code of Microsoft. Learning excel VBA programming can help you have nearly complete control in excel. There are plenty of free courses you can take to learn this, like this course here.
Management: It’s one thing to do well at your job, and another to do well, it’s another thing to ALSO teach others to do the same. While a lot of getting into management is putting in the hard work, sucking up to the right people, and having actual experience, there are a few ways you can improve your management skills without waiting around for a promotion.
Always be learning from books, podcasts, and leaders that you admire. Learn from how other people rose to the top and figured out how to manage. One person we love to hear from is Tim Ferriss… he interviews all kinds of successful people in all different industries.
Getting uncomfortable helps you step outside of your comfort zone and do things before other people decide to start following the crowd. You can begin by asking someone you admire from work to lunch, asking for a 10% discount at a coffee shop (without any reason), or doing something that defies the social norm. Practice being uncomfortable now, because management is all about making difficult decisions.
Learning how to listen and communicate better will allow people to enjoy working for you. The best managers are the ones who value your thoughts and opinions. Start now, by using phrases like, “My understanding is…” or “What you’re saying is…”
Copywriting: We’ve all heard it before: everyone wants an employee who writes well! However, a lot of “writing well” kind of feels like a vague thing that some people are just naturally good at. There are some tangible ways to become a more skilled writer and therefore help you be a more well-rounded employee. Some ways that copywriting is utilized is in email, sales page, promotions, about pages, home pages, pop ups, sign up forms, product descriptions, images, SEO, content, and cold emails.
The most obvious way you use writing in ANY job is through email. In the age of technology, our first impression of someone is often through email. There are a few ways to make you stand out not only as a professional, but in a personal way. Being intentional in using delicate and concise wording allows the reader to actually read what you have to say. Remember: no one likes long emails! Secondly, creating a signature at the end of each email by ending with “best” or “kind regards” creates a more personal, warm touch. Finally, learning how to write an engaging but informative subject line can be define whether or not someone actually opens your emails.
Although it’s not free, there is a great online copywriting course that can pay off immensely in the long term. If you’d rather not pay, the guy who created the course, Neville Medhora, sends periodic emails giving valuable tips on how to become a better copywriter.
Graphic Design: this is the kind of skill that is very broadly defined. Whether you know a little bit about graphic design, or a lot, employers love to know that you are at least capable of learning. Here is a list of courses you can take to learn a variety of types of graphic design; but, keep in mind that there is also a lot more out there!
The simplest way to understand graphic design is knowing how to create graphics. Canva is extremely user friendly and has loads of templates for you to choose from. You can also find high quality, free images on unsplash. However, learning more about creating your own templates on canva can make you more marketable as a whole.
With the increase of social media, shows, and advertising, high quality images are becoming more and more essential to adopt. Adobe is known to be a simple and effective way to improve your images. There are plenty of ways how to use photoshop + adobe, here.
Codecademy comes through for the win if you want to learn how to make a website. They offer a free course that will give you a beginners guide to creating a website. While learning how to use templates like Squarespace is definitely useful for employers, the most valuable skill is to learn how to create a website from scratch. This way, whether you are working for a start-up, or an already established business, you can help with the many nuances of website development.
Accounting: Sounds intimidating, right? Learning the basics of accounting can help you understand most industries. Accounting sounds like that really hard math class in college you didn’t want to take, but in reality, learning things like filling out a balance sheet, income statements, and working with QuickBooks is a lot simpler then you might think.
QuickBooks is the most basic way for a small business to keep track of finances. There are tons of ways to learn QuickBooks, like this online class; but, it could also be valuable to offer to help with spreadsheets wherever you work.
The basics of accounting is essentially understanding revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. Some of these terms may sound intimidating, but all it really is, is knowing where your money is coming and going. MIT offers basic accounting courses as well.
What comes to mind when you think of spreadsheets (outside of, BORING)? Excel is arguably the most used spreadsheet by any business or individual. If you DON’T know how to use excel, it is a super-duper important skill for you to learn. There are tons of helpful courses and information you can utilize to learn excel, but LinkedIn has great online courses for you to utilize.
Babes, we think that you are destined for great things. NOW is the time to get ahead and reach your fullest potential.
Let us know what skills you have found to be super valuable in the comments below. We’re in this together, let’s do great things!