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These 6 Skills and Traits Could Be Halting Your Career Advancement

When I was a teacher at a private business college, the questions my students most often asked were about finding jobs and careers.

Every Employer's Needs are Unique

Every employer is seeking out unique skills when they are searching for employees. The skill they are looking for depends on the position they seek to fill. Some skills are transferable - they are required in many types of jobs. Other skills are specific to the job.

There are six skills and traits you will need to have in almost every job and if you don’t have them, it could prevent you from getting jobs. Lacking these skills could also hold you back from being promoted.


Employers Want To Know You Have the Skills They Need Before They Hire You

#1 Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic - The Basics!

These skills might seem really basic but amazingly, many are going into the work force with only the bare minimum of reading, writing, and math skills. Even those who have graduated from college or university may have skimmed through with the bare minimum of skills in these areas.

Reading is more than just taking in the words - it means understanding. If you can’t read and understand the material, you’ll struggle in most jobs.

While the majority of people can write a few sentences, not all of them can do it well. These days, employees need to be able to write in a manner that conveys the intended message.

Math is easy if there is a calculator handy. But can you understand math concepts and figure out what equations are necessary to solve a problem?

#2 Verbal Communications

In almost every job, you will have to communicate verbally with other people. You may have to communicate with external customers (those that buy from your business) or internal customers (those that you work with).

You need to be able to answer questions thoroughly and provide people with the information they need. You will need to be able to request information from others. You will also need to be able to deal with a certain amount of conflict.

The stronger your communication skills, the better your chances of getting hired regardless of the job for which you’re applying. You’ll do better during the interview, as well as on the job.

— The Balance Careers

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#3 Desire and Motivation

It isn’t easy to find the job you want. You need to put a lot of work into it and you might hear a lot of “no”s. This can be very discouraging, and many people give up along the way. You need to put in your full effort all the time because if you slack off and start putting in a half-hearted effort, you will not get the results you desire.

Someone that has desire and motivation will take the time to do job research. They will learn how to present themselves in the most appealing manner. They will learn how to speak clearly and effectively. They will put serious time and effort into resumes, cover letters, and interview preparation. If you do these things with the least amount of effort that you can get away with, you will get the least amount of results.


#4 Be a Survivor

In our day and age, layoffs are the norm. We hear about them every day. Large companies lay off entire departments, sometimes entire offices in a city. How do you survive these layoffs? Sometimes you can’t - you just have to be ready to move on‌. You need to have contacts and a resume that is ready to go when you need it. You need to keep up to date with current job search trends and know who is hiring in your industry.

That being said, not everyone is subjected to the company layoff. There are people who consistently take initiative and make it a priority to be an asset to the company that they work for. Sometimes that is so obvious to the owners of the company that they know they simply can’t let these people go and they provide them with other opportunities within the company. You might be offered a job in another city or the opportunity to continue working from home. There are options and businesses might provide them for those that show that they are worth going above and beyond for.

Those Who Do Not Give Up Will Survive

#5 Professional Development

You should always be on the lookout for ways that you can increase your skill set. You need to constantly work on professional development. Update your skills, learn new ones, and think about skills that might be useful to your career in the future.

Look for workshops, seminars, and short courses that you can take. Learning should be a lifelong activity.

Join a professional organization. You'll get access to events and people who can help you move forward in your career.

#6 Career Development

Career development is the process of planning and setting goals. You should have short term and long-term goals for your career. Write them down. Make sure that they are measurable. Give them deadlines. Work out steps for each goal to determine how you are going to get there.

Make your goals known and discuss them with a mentor in your company. Businesses love it when people plan to stay with the company for the long term and by working on your goals with your superiors, you can show that you have that intention.

Sit down and discuss your career development goals with your employer. You might be surprised at how many businesses will jump at the chance to help employees work towards their career advancement goals.

© 2022 Danielle McGaw

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