Certain Skills You Need to Succeed in Any Job

Certain Skills You Need to Succeed in Any Job

Have you ever finished work at the end of the day and reflected upon what you have achieved during the course of that day? What went well? What could have gone better? I expect you have, and may even have looked at alternatives to improve upon your performance for the next time. But have you ever finished work and asked yourself “what skills have I used today? Which ones was I particularly good at? How do I measure this?” This is a harder set of questions to answer, mainly because they are more difficult to measure. However effective use of management skills can be more influential in your career development than achieving objectives, as these are more likely to be recognised than task-based activities.

As an example, one of my clients asked me some time ago why he was stuck in the same job without any success when applying for promotion, although his auditable tasks always met the standard, and he had a good track record of achieving objectives.

I persuaded him to carry out a network interview with a senior manager in his organisation who was in the same department, and who knew of him. During this interview it came out that he was seen by the senior management team as someone who quietly went about his job, doing it efficiently, and was basically a good manager to have in the team. He thought that this was good feedback and asked me to analyse it for him.

I pointed out that there was a particular word within his feedback that stood out, and had been the main cause of his lack of success – ‘quietly’. The challenge here is that this individual needs to develop a specific set of skill clusters that are particularly targeted towards his career development. A skill cluster dependent on social interactions would be one area that I strongly recommended. This would include learning skills such as communication (involving listening skills, giving feedback, learning the company jargon, body language), leadership (establishing a rapport with senior management, motivational skills, empowerment), and networking (interviewing, consulting, decision-making, evaluating).

These types of skills, and others, are an executive’s ‘toolkit’ and, if used effectively can greatly improve your chances of career development and success on the corporate ladder.