There are numerous skills that one needs to compete and excel in the work environment. Different careers or job roles requires different skill set. However, there are four skills I believe every career person must harness to be able to compete and remain relevant in a highly competitive work environment or in a difficult economy. I termed them the four cardinal skills.
Effective oral communication
Good oral communication skill is primarily the face value evidence of your education and ability (even when you don’t really have any ability). No matter how much you know or how much you can do, people draw their conclusions about your knowledge and ability when you open your mouth to speak – at least in Nigeria.
For instance, you graduated in flying colours majoring in mathematics and most probably you do have good analytical skills. However, the truth of the matter is that, on our first meeting, I wouldn’t possibly ask you to prove any complex mathematical theory or expression. In fact, nobody will ask that from you. That means, you can only sell yourself with your mouth. If you communicate effectively and confidently, you will be adjudged educated and good. Your oral communication gives you away.
For job seekers, I don’t even think it is necessary to state it on your CV. If you have good communication skills, it will be obvious; you wouldn’t need to put it in your CV. By the way, it is expected that a collage graduate should be able to communicate effectively, so I see no reason why we keep making it look like it s something an employer is looking for in your CV. Just ensure that you have the ability to communicate effectively both in one- on- one situations or before a public and you must have put yourself on a vantage position of landing a job or remaining relevant in your job. Like they said, a closed mouth is a closed destiny. I also say that, a disjointed mouth is a disjointed career destiny.
If you must compete effectively in the corporate world or in a work environment, then you must pay attention to your writing skills. The day you decided to be a career person, you also decided to be a ‘writer’. You kickstart your writing career by first doing a clear and convincing CV and drafting a good cover letter. When you have gone past this stage, depending on your job role or career path, you will be doing a whole lot of writing. Some jobs or roles will demand more writing from you, but regardless of your job or role, be rest assured that you will be writing, either a proposal, a plan, a report, a memo, mail, or a presentation.
How good you are with this skill set, will also determine how soon you land your dream job or how long you remain in your dream job. If you cannot communicate it, it is assumed that you don’t know it. I have seen people that have great ideas keep calm in meetings. Some even whisper the idea to a colleague sitting next to them just because they lack the ability to either communicate their thoughts orally in public or in a written format. And you know what? The one who communicated the idea or strategy owns it. When will you stop allowing people scoring cheap points over your inability to write or speak convincingly?
Call it emotional intelligence, inter-personal skill or political awareness, one thing is certain: he who can do this, has the world under his control. The ability to influence people’s choices and actions without arousing resentment is one of the greatest skill any man can posses. As a career person, this particular skill would help you manage individual differences and idiosyncrasies. It can help you secure deals, win bids, navigate office politics, lead a great team, command loyal followership, and eventually get you to the pick of your career. No man is an island of himself. Nobody is self made. So, if you must remain relevant in your organization or your industry, then you must usurp the power of synergy both with friends and foes.
Yes, efficiency. Most of us don’t know that work efficiency is a skill – a priceless one at that. A lot of people are effective but few are efficient. It is not just enough to be effective at your job especially when you consider the times we are in. To your effectiveness, add efficiency. A lot of people have what it takes to deliver on the job, but what this economy demands is someone that cannot just deliver, but do so without consuming so much time, resources and energy.
You want to remain relevant in your workplace in these times? It’s simple. Just develop the ability of doing MORE with LESS. If you develop that ability, you will become an asset anywhere.
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