Understanding the basics of professional skills
No matter your industry, it’s important to have a solid foundation of professional skills to help you advance in the interview process. Not only can these skills help you impress hiring managers, but they can also help you grow as a working professional in your chosen field. When you understand which professional skills provide for greater opportunities and growth, the more equipped you are to succeed in your industry. In this article, we explain the importance of professional skills in the workplace and which skills are the best to have.
Why are professional skills important?
Professional skills help you succeed in your job, no matter the sector you’re in. While it’s important to have specialized knowledge in your field, having the skills to show your maturity and dedication to the job can help you advance in your profession even further. Essentially, professional skills show your boss and employer that you take your job seriously and that you value your employment.
Professional skills for the workplace
Along with having a specialized knowledge of your field, it’s important to have professional skills that can help how you’re portrayed and how you get along with others in the workplace. In other words, they’re s3soft skills that dictate how you interact with those around you. Professional skills are often needed for all positions, so while they may not be included in a job description, having them can help set you apart. Here’s a look at the best professional skills to have and various examples to help you better understand each:
As a working professional, you need to know how to communicate effectively with your boss and co-workers. Not only do these skills help you establish business relationships but they also ensure you understand the work you need to complete. Whether you’re a manager or an entry-level employee, here are some examples of communication skills to help you succeed in your chosen profession:
- Brainstorming: Having strong communication skills allows you to contribute to group discussions and produce thoughtful ideas to help the company as a whole.
- Seeking advice or help: Communicating effectively allows you to ask for help regarding a problem you’re facing. The better and more clear that you communicate, the easier it is for others to understand what you’re saying and provide you with the assistance you need.
- Active listening: When you’re an active listener, it’s easier to fully understand what someone says. For example, when you’re in a business meeting, actively listening to the speaker ensures you know the points that were discussed and what’s expected of you.
Though not all professions require teamwork, having this skill allows you to show your employers that you can successfully work and collaborate in a group setting. To have good teamwork skills, you need to support your co-workers and ensure a positive working environment. Here are some examples of teamwork skills in the workplace:
- Team building: When you’re working on a project at work, teamwork skills help you improve your social relations with your co-workers. Building your professional relations with your team helps to create a positive environment for all involved.
- Conflict resolution: As with any group project, conflict may arise when you work as part of a team due to different personalities and opinions. Having solid teamwork skills can help you handle issues as they arise and resolve them before they become too much of a problem.
Leadership skills help you manage, supervise, and inspire your team. No matter your role within a company, having leadership skills can help set you apart. Here are some examples of leadership skills:
- Decision-making: As a leader, you need to make both simple and difficult decisions. The decisions you make can lead to positive or negative outcomes, so understanding how best to approach situations where you need to make a decision is key.
- Reliability: No matter your position within a company, it’s important for others to know they can rely on you. As an employee, your employer needs to know you can show up for work on time and get your tasks done. As a manager, your team needs to know they can count on you for assistance and guidance.
When you’re flexible, you’re better able to meet sudden changes in the workday. When you cope well with change, it can even inspire others to do the same. Here are some examples of flexibility skills:
- Patience: This refers to your ability to accept or tolerate certain situations that arise. When you work alongside other people, having patience can help you reduce conflict and better achieve long-term goals. It also helps you establish greater professional relationships in the workplace.
- Adaptability: When problems arise, you need to be able to move your schedule to fit the company’s current needs. Being adaptable not only helps you remain calm during stressful situations, but it also shows your boss that you’re willing to set aside your pre-planned schedule to accommodate emerging problems.
Personal skills refer to soft skills that can help you in a variety of fields. Essentially, they help you work well with others including your clients, managers, co-workers, and vendors. Some personal skills include creativity, critical thinking, honesty, respect, and self-confidence. Here are some additional personal skills:
- Organizational: Organizational skills help you stay on task, meet deadlines, and keep track of your projects and resources. Being more organized can also help you with time management.
- Time management: Time management involves being in control of the time you devote to certain tasks. To better manage your time, set goals, create a schedule, make to-do lists, and use other tools to help you make the most of your workday. When you manage your time well, you’re better able to achieve a work-life balance.
- Stress management: Though stress is normal in the workplace, managing it effectively can help avoid problems for both you and your workplace environment. Some methods of stress management include eating healthy, exercising, and keeping a positive attitude.