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Skills You Need To Develop For Advancing In Your Career

Updated on July 1, 2014

Academic skills alone are not enough for climbing in a career ladder. You must look outside your classroom and start developing certain skills if you want to land in a good job and advance in your career. Otherwise, you may find yourself stagnating even if you are lucky enough to land in a job. The following are the skills you may have to develop and this process can start even when you are doing your college studies.

Making Decisions

Life provides you with a lot of opportunities to make decisions. In fact, there is no moment in life that does not involve the process of decision-making. Some of the decision-making moments may be very important and some others may be trivial. But whatever may be their importance, life involves decision-making at every step. You should therefore acquire the necessary skills to make decisions. If you practice making small decisions, it may help you when you confront important moments in life.

If you are good and quick in making decisions, you are certain to advance in your career.When you face situations during which you have to make vital decisions that may impact your company, you should ask yourself a few questions. You should first ask if the decision you make will help your company. The decision may involve certain costs and therefore, the second question is if the benefits will outweigh the costs. If you get affirmative answers to these questions, you can then be sure that your decisions will help you advance in your career.

Consequences Of Your Decisions

In situations when you are forced to make decisions, you should also pay attention to details like their immediate and long-term consequences. Though you may be confident of getting a positive outcome out of the decisions, you should be ready for failures also which means that you should be ready with a back-up plan. Of course, if your decisions fail, you may learn your lessons but you should be certain that the company's interests are not affected due to such failures.

Listening Attentively

Almost all the career experts insist that this is a very important skill you should acquire if you want to succeed in your career. Some people keep talking continuously and they neither allow others to talk nor do they listen to what others say. These people are sure to stagnate in their careers. You should therefore remember the 70/30 rule according to which, 70% of your discussion time should consist of only listening. This means you are allowed only 30% of the discussion time for expressing your views. Even when you listen, your focus should be 100% on what the speakers talk. You should not only listen to the words spoken but should observe the body language, the tone of the speakers' voice, etc. as well because the body language, the tone with which the speakers talk, etc. may convey several important messages.

You may sometimes have opinions that are different from what the speakers express. This does not mean you should interrupt and try to push your ideas. You must patiently wait for the speakers to complete, imbibe every part of the message they try to convey and if you feel that they are wrong, should express your opinions politely.

Build Your Connections

You should build a good rapport with everyone in your workplace. It is not necessary to limit your connections to your own team or department. You should make it a point to mingle with members of the other teams and departments as well. You should reach out and create personal relationships with them also.
Similarly, you should create a good rapport with the customers and other business associates of your company. This will help in increasing the sales volumes and also in expanding the company's client base. If you are good at this, the company will automatically consider elevating you when there is an appropriate opportunity.

Time Management

A lot of people lose out because they are not good at managing their time. They may be highly skilled but if they are not able to complete the tasks on time, their credibility and reputation will get a beating. It is possible to create time if proper planning and prioritization are made. By curbing your tendency to succumb to distractions and by starting your day earlier than others, you can accomplish even big tasks easily. If you learn the art of time management, you are sure to advance in your career quickly.

Understand Your Company's Business And Align Your Goals With Those Of The Company

You should keep abreast of whatever happens in your company. The company's policies may keep changing. So, the plans and strategies of the company may also undergo changes. Only if you keep yourself updated of all these details, you can align your goals with those of the company. Every moment should be considered a learning moment. You should learn to view things differently and with an innovative mind. This will give you many ideas and you can present the relevant ideas to the company management. This means you should always be alert and keep track of things that are happening in the company and also in the industry.

If you keep these points in mind and keep polishing your skills, your growth in the company is certain to be rapid.

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