The 5 Skills That Will Help You Advance in Any Organization

Which 5 skills will help you climb to the summit of your company?


With the economy just starting to claw its way out of the recent recession, a lot of business columns give advice meant to help readers find a new job or create a startup.

What if you like your current job, though, and you're looking for ways to advance your career, find more job stability and possibly work towards a promotion?

Make Your Voice Heard

Sharing your point of view in an interested and appropriate way is usually encouraged in any corporate setting. If you're in a meeting and have something valuable to contribute to the discussion, then get your point across in a direct and enthusiastic way.

Giving feedback or coming to a meeting with fresh ideas shows that you're engaged with your job and willing to put in more effort. Your interest and enthusiasm convey a passion that's encouraging for your superiors to see.

And if you know about some tool or software that is going to save the company loads of time, bring it up! Let’s say your organization is using Shopify for e-commerce and your boss wants quick reports of the data being collected presented in a visually appealing format. You find this app that works directly with Shopify to accomplish the task. Let somebody know about it! Efficient innovations in the workplace are important, be the one producing them.

Take Networking Seriously

Industry events and professional conferences are a great way to pick up new skills and increase your exposure. As with meetings, industry events and conferences are much more profitable if you've done your homework.

Find out who will be at the conference beforehand, brush up on their professional competencies and interests, and make a memorable first impression.

In the internet age, though, it's important to keep your online professional image current as well. Use Google+ and LinkedIn intelligently by purging your profile of any questionable pictures and highlighting your professional competencies and career ambitions.

Try to find a balance between getting your competencies across and bragging. Ultimately, you want your superiors or future employers to come away with an image of enthusiasm, passion, professionalism and competence.

If you're still having difficulty getting through to other professionals, consider taking a course in influence training. This kind of course can help you prioritize and achieve win-win outcomes with your peers.

Improve Presentation Skills

Creating an engaging presentation comes down to creating content that's customized for your audience yet distilled down to a few takeaway points. An effective presentation should also have time for questions and discussion while culminating with a powerful call to action.

Make an objective evaluation of yourself as a presenter before laying out the material. Consider all of your strengths and weaknesses from previous presentations and work on being present to your audience. Try to sidestep any awkward idiosyncrasies in your presentations while maintaining engagement with your audience through eye contact and distilled, thought-provoking points.

Many people get tripped up in presentations by trying to make too many points, which ultimately dilutes the overall message and call to action. Stick to only two or three points per PowerPoint slide, and ensure that all of your slides stick to the key issues outlined at the top of your presentation.

You want your audience to walk away from your presentation feeling inspired and with a sense of purpose related to your call to action.

Gain New Competencies

Consider going back to school or taking a seminar to keep up with current tech trends and shifts in business. You might also want to consider credentialed online courses that offer you the chance to bolster your resume without breaking the bank.

Every job has its own requirements and quirks, but learning a new skill is a surefire way of putting your name at the top of an employer's list. Consider, for example, the advantage you'd have if you picked up a third language as a professional translator or learned a new programming language as a computer designer.

Evaluate Your Options

Evaluate where you want to wind up in five years. Feedback from your superiors can also help you decide whether to continue working for your current company or whether applying to a new company would be in your professional best interest, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Thinking creatively and being realistic about your career trajectory is essential. Brushing up on your networking skills and gracefully taking feedback will help you wherever you end up.


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