There are lots of skills that you can learn to advance your career, but instead of tackling all of them, focus instead on building one or two “hip pocket” skills that set you apart from your colleagues.
Hip pocket skills make you more valuable because they’re something useful that not many people on your team excel at, or they’re a specific skill usually not common in your field that you manage to make work well. Since they’re often unique to your workplace, you have a better idea of what they may be, but here are a few suggestions:
- Relationship Management: Good old “soft skills” and “people skills” are criminally underrated. Being able to establish and maintain good relationships between your team and other teams is invaluable. It isn’t always easy to do this in a way that comes across as genuine, which is why it can set you apart.
- Communication: Being able to explain your ideas in ways that are easy to understand puts you miles above others, especially if you become a good public speaker.
- Specific Tools and Software: If your company or team uses specific tools or programs frequently but they’re niche and difficult to manage, becoming the go-to person who understands them gives you knowledge others on your team will seek you out for.
- Data Analysis: Excelling with numbers, even if it’s just being able to track your department’s budget, is a hard skill that you can apply to roles throughout your career.
Once you identify the skill you want to build, set aside time each week to learn more until you’ve mastered it. Of course, some skills, like relationship management, take practise, so the sooner you start, the faster you’ll succeed.
Tips On How To Succeed At Work [CNBC (YouTube)]