They say the business world is cutthroat.
I can’t tell you if they’re always right, but one thing is for sure—there are certain expectations in business that can be hard to meet.
Especially when the skills you need to succeed professionally are the kind that usually aren’t taught in schools.
Sure, you probably need to know math and writing to succeed too, but even those skills aren’t the ones that make or break your career.
You might be wondering what those life-winning skills are, and how you can attain them.
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Today I want to give you the keys to the kingdom, so to speak.
There are 3 of them, and if you can learn to use them all, anything you want can be yours.
You can navigate the complexities of starting your own business or wow your interviewer for your dream job. You can finally go that extra mile and get the promotion you’ve been chasing, or build up the courage to ask your boss for a raise, and get it.
Whatever your professional goals are, these five skills will hand you success.
1. Time Management
Now, you’ve definitely heard this one before, and it may not seem like a big revelation.
But here’s the thing: time management has been drilled into us as an essential skill, but no one ever bothers to teach us what it means.
And even more than that, because it’s such a basic expectation, most people assume that they have it down.
But the reality is, most people are TERRIBLE at this skill. In fact, according to recent polls, workers waste an average of 2 hours per person every day!
When polled, employees said that the cause for wasted time could be summed up to outside distractions (talking to coworkers, cell phones, etc.), being consumed by busywork (checking email, phone-calls, unnecessary meetings), and spending time trying to filter through which tasks to do when.
In other words, all this wasted time (amounting to billions of dollars each year) is due to poor time management.
The more efficient you are, the less stressed you are, the more time you have to put into making your work top quality, and the better you appear to your boss and anyone else worth impressing in your professional life.
You might be second-guessing your own time management skills right about now, and believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
Because the first step to gaining a new skill is recognizing where your weaknesses are.
Maybe you are easily distracted, or you spend a lot of time fretting about how much work you have to do. Maybe you take a long time to get going on your work, or you never know what order to do everything in.
Whatever the cause for your time management struggles, I have the solution.
Good time management is all about your mindset. If you walk into work with the confidence and motivation to get everything done, you will.
It may sound hard to believe, but it really is that easy.
If you are set on getting everything done, you will find yourself less distracted, more focused, and generally more productive.
To help you become a time management pro, you can also try these tips:
- Make a check list at the start of each day in the order that you should do things. Studies show people waste large amounts of time transitioning between tasks, and this can help minimize that.
- Keep a calendar! Time management isn’t just about productivity each day, it’s also about keeping track of appointments, meetings, deadlines, and other commitments.
- Do all of your most strenuous work in the morning and save light work and revisions for the afternoon. This is because we are much more productive in the first half of our days, and naturally start to slow down after lunchtime.
It may seem like another basic skill, but there’s a reason why there’s an entire industry named after it.
Communication is essential, from networking to conveying deadlines to splitting up work amongst coworkers.
Even just casual conversations with coworkers or your supervisor help inform your fellows about the sort of person you are, which then helps them to decide what sort of worker you are.
If you want to succeed in the business world, this skill is absolutely vital.
How do you get it?
Practice talking with friends and family about your work. See if you can explain how you break up your day and what kind of work you do to someone who isn’t a part of your industry.
If you can articulate your work to them, you’ll definitely be able to speak confidently about it in the office.
Along the same lines, always rehearse any presentations you are expected to give, and even take a few minutes to practice comments for meetings as well.
Make sure to answer emails promptly and articulately, and try to give updates to your coworkers and boss to keep them in the loop.
3. Think Creatively
This is the big one, and the most abstract.
It’s also the one that people think about the least.
But, it’s also arguably the most important. Plus, this is the skill that separates a hard worker from a gamechanger.
I’ll let you in on a secret: the gamechangers are the ones that take the business world by storm.
Gamechangers are the ones that build successful businesses, advance through companies, create new products, and make millions.
So how do you do this?
Well, the easiest way is by being yourself.
No matter how much the professional world might try to make you think so, you aren’t just another suit.
Every person has an interesting and unique way of thinking, and the more you tap into that, the more likely you are to think up innovative and intriguing solutions to professional problems.
By being yourself, you gravitate towards your own personal interests and way of thinking, which sets you apart from the crowd.
When you set that way of thinking on a task, you’d be amazed by what you can think up.
Maybe it’s solving a problem in the office, or a new way of tackling daily projects. Maybe it’s a new product that you want to start a business to sell.
It can be anything!
It’s all up to you.
It may seem oversimplified, but I can promise you, this is the truth. These three skills are your absolute guide to standing out from the masses.
These skills are ironically very rare in workers, and it’s especially rare for someone to exhibit all three.
If you can practice all of them together, you’ll be unstoppable in your path to success.