Stories of self-made business people are incredibly common. You hear almost every week of an inspiring professional who dropped out of school at a young age in order to start a business and who taught themselves all they needed to know to make a success of it. Whether you’re planning on starting a business or you’re looking to join one, these skills are things you should be keen to develop in yourself, too. Here are the key tips you’ll need to educate yourself for a future business role.
Often called “soft skills”, people skills help you communicate better. Put another way, they’re useful in all those moments when your job involves people – from moments when you’re trying to put your point forward to colleagues to when you’re trying to win a sale or seal a deal with a client. Picking these up isn’t just something you can rely on to do naturally – you need to work on it. And you can do this via public speaking classes and other business workshops to put a sheen on all of your face-to-face communications.
Digital skills are a given for those born after about 1990. But the more skills you’re able to pick up, and the more knowledge you’re able to pin down, the better. You should always be searching for ways to improve your digital skills, especially where they could be most useful for business. Taking up cloud computing training, for instance, will equip you with the knowledge of the best cloud programs out there and the skills to use them – hugely valuable in a world in which most business operations are now conducted via the cloud.
Even if you’re going to be entering your job at the entry-level, with no one to manage, you should still make picking up management skills a priority as you’re educating yourself for your career. This will mean reading books on management and learning by doing – by, for instance, taking up responsibilities in your local charity or at your current job. Being able to handle responsibility and manage people’s expectations and work are crucial skills for those who may one day wish to start their own business – and it pays to get this experience as early as you possibly can.
Finally, all good workers are well organized. If you want to leave an impression on your manager so that you’re promoted sooner, you’ll achieve this by being punctual and organized. If you’re looking for a job, being professional and organized won’t harm your chances of securing it. And if you’re hoping to start a business, being able to keep track of tasks and hit deadlines will sit you in very good stead to manage a startup with great aplomb. Learning how to be organized is a work in progress, but you can make a good start by ensuring you’re always hitting targets and short-term goals that you set yourself throughout your personal and professional life.
These four key skillsets will help you sail through your career with success and competence, making you an excellent employee or business leader.