7 Essential Skills You Need to Keep Your Job

By the SMU Social Media Team

With the world’s economy in a state of constant flux, here are a few skills you should have to keep ahead of the curve in our unpredictable job market.

The ability to cut through the noise

Effective communication is key, especially in this day and age where we are constantly bombarded with information. Knowing how to sieve through tons of information and communicate only the essential points in a swift and succinct manner however, is a skill that many are still trying to master. Where time is of the essence, the ability to cut through the noise and isolate the right messages is most essential, whether you’re speaking to a boss, co-worker or client. It could very well be the deal breaker.

 

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Using social media the right way

Using social media in a personal capacity is vastly different from how you use it to communicate your business. Ultimately, it is about finding structure in an unstructured universe, and the first step is to clearly define your objectives. While the sky’s the limit with what you can come up with, always remember to stay grounded to your defined objectives to stay on track.

Social media has been and will continue to be inextricably entwined in our lives. But the way social media is being consumed is constantly evolving – if it’s not a new channel, it’s a new feature that Facebook or Instagram has just launched. With roles like Social Media Manager in high demand across companies big and small, it’s imperative that we stay ahead of the game to ensure we’re always relevant.

 

Problem-solving skills

Finding and addressing potential weaknesses or fault points in a situation or environment is an indispensable skill to have, regardless of whether you’re applying it to work or daily life. Beyond simply assessing bad situations and having a better allocation of resources, Ken Watanabe, former management consultant at McKinsey & Company and founder of the Problem Solving Tool Box relates that true problem solvers are constantly trying to proactively shape their environment. They are essentially the changemakers (think: Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.), and no company will pass on this special mindset.

 

The art of negotiation 

Part persuasion, part confidence, negotiation is an eclectic mix of these two very essential skills. Being a good negotiator helps your company secure new clients, strike deals with potential partners, and find the most economical way out of a situation.

A key tip to remember: Stay calm and keep your ego off the table. The negotiation table can become a fight cage if you go head-to-head and let your emotions do the talking instead. It’s important to keep in control of the situation to assess when you can push some buttons and when it’s time to take a step back, or even walk away.

 

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Teamwork and delegating

The unpredictable job market usually spells headcount freezes, budget cuts, and layoffs to even the most secure companies. That is why teamwork is ever more important in today’s economy. Knowing the individual strengths of your team members and playing to each of their strengths helps you better optimise the resources at hand. The better you know how to manage tasks to your different abilities, the more efficiently you are able to work as a collective.

 

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Smart resource management skills

The ability to tap on the individual strengths of your team members also requires something called smart resource management. Beyond ensuring the company works cohesively as a collective, resource management also extends to economising your given resources. Any supervisor will be happy with an employee who achieves above and beyond the expected within a stipulated budget.

 

Time management

It’s a cliché but it’s true – our biggest (and perhaps most underrated) resource is time. How often have we worked overtime on a job that you know should have easily been completed within working hours? Poor time management can be due to anything from procrastination to spending too much time overthinking a simple project, to being easily distracted. On the other hand, effectively scheduling and managing your time can allow you to accomplish more tasks, boost morale, and productivity for your company.  Time to check off those items on your never-ending to-do list.

 

Inspecting and updating the project plan

 

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