Oh, hello there, job-seekers! I didn’t see you there, probably because you were standing in a line behind me and the other exceptionally qualified people, blocking our view of our dream careers.
In a time during which everyone is building kingdoms and starting businesses by age three, it’s a little difficult to show potential employers that we can kill it if they just give us a chance. If you’re one of the lucky employed ones, you probably want to show your bosses and co-workers that you are the best they’ve got.
The best way to hone your work-self skills is to practice the same ones in everyday life or at least think of them in a more straightforward context. Many of the skills you can use to succeed in work, you can use to succeed in just about anything else (and vice versa). There are some skills that, across the board, will set you apart from the rest.
Without further ado, here are 22 of the most valuable skills that can be applied to any job!
22. Active Listening
Don’t just “smile and wave”—work to process that information you’re hearing. Active listening requires focusing and responding to the speaker, confirming that you understand what they’re saying. If you don’t understand, that’s okay too! Asking questions shows that you’re listening.
21. Keeping your Cool
A hotheaded employee is just as confusing/frightening/uncomfortable as the volatile guy at a party kicking over a lamp because someone dropped a chip on the floor. Don’t be that guy; don’t kick over a light.
Don’t shoot down an idea or task right away. Take some time to consider the benefits, and perhaps try it out. It will show that you can adapt to change and embrace new ideas.
19. Ability to Influence Others
Yep, that’s right. Forbes knows that one of the most valuable things you can be is a persuasive force.
This one seems like a given, backed by US News & World Report listing it as one of the top five soft skills to showcase in an interview. If you believe in your abilities and mission, you can persuade others to do the same. This one might be the most difficult to develop, but certainly not impossible. It may also be the most rewarding.
Not everyone can be a Type-A mastermind, but please, at least, use Post-Its®.
Networking can be done in everyday life. For introverts like a specific Miss Millennia writer who is happy to be in her quiet room right now (hint: it’s me), this can be a daunting thing. However, simply meeting people that you wouldn’t normally do can open doors to aid, promotions, or new career opportunities for the future.
15. A Sense of Humor
If you can laugh at yourself, you can honestly do anything.
14. A great butt
(Just kidding. See? Laugh!)
Just as you cannot have a parent telling you to put your pants on your great butt every day, your boss can’t guide you through projects every step of the way. Quint Careers lists the ability to work independently as one of the top skills employers seek from job-seekers.
12. Going the Extra Mile
Taking the initiative to go above and beyond can distinguish you from a crowd of entry-level employees. Take opportunities to learn and use those new skills to show your bosses that you can absorb them quickly and effectively.
People will put their complete trust in you if you are honest with them and the company. Even if you are searching for another job while employed, for example, keep open lines of communication to assure your boss that you aren’t doing so to spite your company (unless that’s the goal, in which case, good luck to you).
This should go without saying, but as is proven by recent national events, I feel that it should be repeated: It is critical to “build a rapport with a diverse workforce in multicultural settings.”
9. Focus on Your Goals
Cheddar or provolone? Cheddar. See how easy that was? Now, apply that to your work.
Employers want to see that you can use your processing skills to assess a situation and make the best choice that you can.
7. Writing/Editing (and doing it well)
Thank you, Forbes, for justifying my creative writing degree! Employers agree that communicating effectively via the written word is crucial (and a rapidly disappearing skill).
5. Kindness (Aw) (But actually)
You don’t have to be sappy, but don’t be rude. Aside from nepotism being a genuine thing, being friendly to your co-workers can make for a pleasant work environment and potentially lasting bonds.
4. Emotional Intelligence
Whether in the office or a relationship, a lack of communication will break down a good thing. Keep your bosses and co-workers in the loops just like your friends. Don’t leave anyone hanging, and if you have a problem with something, try your best to work it out rather than throwing a fit (or worse, saying nothing at all).
Brian Goodman, manager at Experis, says that positivity is “contagious.” People are drawn to optimists; negativity is “a drag on a business” and can be challenging to work alongside.
1. Ability to work on a team
Forbes lists this as the number one skill they want to see in 2015 graduates. This doesn’t mean you must love group work, but you must be able to hold your own and communicate with a team to complete a task and complete it well.
The amount of things on this list might seem intimidating, but odds are, you’ve probably had many of these skills. The next step is to locate them within yourself and use them to your advantage.