The 10 Life Skills You Need to Move Forward in Your Career


Many jobs require specific skill sets and levels of experience, but some requirements are universal. To work in any position and excel, you need to possess certain skills. Coming in to work on time, adhering to the company dress code, and following company policies are all par for the course. The specialized skills that every working professional needs are critical to career advancement. If you have become stagnant and want to know how you can receive more accolades from your employer, pay attention. These are the 10 life skills that are necessary for moving forward in your career.


1. Verbal Communication

Rest assured that if you made it past the interview process and were hired for your current position, you have adequate verbal communication skills. During an interview, you are asked questions that are meant to expose your strengths and weaknesses, right on the spot. It doesn’t matter much if you get tripped up a couple of times, so long as you recover and come back with a solid response. In a professional work environment, your verbal communication skills may be tested in other types of settings. While giving presentations or even talking to co-workers, verbal communication is tantamount to success in your career. The better you are at communicating at work, the more influential you will be.

2. The Development of Micro-Skills Such as Strong Ethics and Authenticity

Employers test and measure the ethics of their staff in many ways, including pre-screening and personality assessment tests. Ethics relate to whether a person is more inclined to tell the truth or not, would look the other way if they saw a co-worker stealing and overall, what kind of person you are. An employer will want to know the ethics of any person they are considering for a promotion. Demonstrating that you are an ethical person will put you on the shortlist for future career advancement.

Go to this site for detailed information on how to improve authenticity, ethics, and other soft skill in professional work settings. You can’t exactly develop your ethics as you would other skills, but you can practice how you authentically communicate your belief system while in the workforce. This is the point in which you will need to worry about cultivating your image more so than demonstrating your loyalty to fellow co-workers. Make it apparent from the start what you will or won’t condone, and you will be viewed as an ethical person.

3. Cooperative Skills

Being able to cooperate with others in the workplace is an important skill to hone, if moving forward in your career is your end goal. Not all of the collaborative work projects you participate in are going to be easy to execute as various people are going to have their own communication styles, temperaments, and ideas. What is critical is how you respond and how well you are able to navigate these different work scenarios. Your conflict resolution skills, self-management skills, and tenacity will be key to getting through all of the times your cooperative skills are developed. Learn from each cooperative project you are assigned to at work, and try to let your enthusiasm shine through. You will go through this process repeatedly until you feel totally comfortable working in group settings.

4. Accountability

As a working professional, you should know that errors do sometimes happen. It may have actually been another person on your team who sent out the wrong email, or gave a customer outdated information. When constructive criticism is being given, you have to be open to receive the entire message. In short, you have to hold yourself accountable when blame is being assigned. Of course, you have the right to explain yourself and detail the actions that you took. At the same time, showing that you hold yourself accountable means that you are acknowledging what went wrong. Try not to take a defensive position or focus on other people’s role in the situation. Just acknowledge the problem, accept your role, and make a point of using that information to improve your performance.

5. Written Communication Skills

Just as you should be able to communicate verbally in a professional manner, your written communication also needs to be impeccable. Whether you are responsible for submitting work reports, creating presentations, or sending emails regularly, all written communications should be proofread and contain no errors. Typos happen, as no one is perfect. However, making grammatical errors, misusing punctuation, or making spelling errors will make you appear to be unprofessional, no matter how strong your other skills are. Try an online English course designed to improve your grammatical and written communication skills if you have any trouble with this area.

6. Leadership Capabilities

In some situations at work, it may be necessary for you to assert yourself when no one else is willing to do so. Demonstrating leadership is the way to land on the fast-track to a promotion. Leadership may come more naturally to some people than others, but it really all boils down to confidence. If you believe in yourself, then you can unleash those leadership skills at the times when they are most needed. For example, if your boss were to be called out from work and the rest of your co-workers were left scrambling, would you know what to do next? Even if you don’t do everything that your boss could do, if you are confident that you would be able to improvise, then you may have more leadership capabilities than you thought.

7. Able to Handle Stress Well

Work will be stressful at times, but you have to keep your cool no matter what. In the retail industry, the fall and winter months can be absolutely brutal. In finance, quarterly earnings calls and reports can have the entire company pulling all night shifts. Stress is sometimes completely unavoidable, but it can always be managed if you are a true professional. If work is stressing you out, there are ways that you can decompress and relax during your time off. Meditation techniques can even be carried over the workplace so that you know just what to do when a stressful situation comes about. Breathing deep, thinking of peaceful things, and centering yourself will guide you through trying work scenarios.

8. Coachability

Can you receive criticism at work and turn it into a valuable piece of advice that you use to improve yourself? All professionals know that they will only get better at their jobs as they gain more experience. You can learn a lot in a class and study up about a topic by reading textbooks, but the coaching that you get on the job is one of the best types of education you will get. Coachability is basically just the hands-on instruction that comes with working in real-life settings. Nurses who have been on the job for years can find themselves being coached on bedside manner or even new computer systems. Being coached doesn’t mean that you are necessarily even being corrected. It is just a form of instruction meant to get the recipient to see something in a different light. If career advancement is important, you will be more amenable to being coached.

9. The Desire to Learn

Educators are required to earn continuing education credits to maintain their teaching licenses. Learning even after receiving a degree is not an unusual requirement for a lot of fields. Continuing education is meant to keep professionals sharp, and to help them remain knowledgeable about the newest developments in their industries. Being required to continue to learn and having a desire to continue learning are two different things. If you still have the desire to learn, then you will move forward in your career. Some of the best managers, supervisors, and company heads are still learning and growing, even if they are only a few years away from retirement. Know that if you love learning, you will also love moving on to another position.

10. Professionalism

Professionalism is a quality that is mostly learned by way of observation. Highly professional individuals have a certain air about them no matter what task they are engaged in. Whether answering the phone or leading a business meeting, professionalism entails communicating clearly, concisely, and politely. It’s the tone that you take, even when you are being criticized or being questioned. If you want to hit all of the metrics during your next performance review, you will need to work on your level of professionalism. There will always be an area where you can improve.

Sometimes, people think that going further at their places of employment means volunteering for extra work assignments, working loads of overtime, and generally being self-sacrificing. It can help to go the extra mile and present yourself as a team player, but burning yourself out probably isn’t going to yield the type of results you’re looking for. Upper level management looks for workers who exude confidence, demonstrate discernment, and come across as being very balanced. You will do better by honing your verbal and written communication skills, holding yourself accountable, and showcasing your leadership abilities. Show your work superiors that you are professional in all situations and your natural potential for greatness will be noticed and appreciated.

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The 10 Life Skills You Need to Move Forward in Your Career
Many jobs require specific skill sets and levels of experience, but some requirements are universal.
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