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Skills You Should Pick Up If You Want a Successful Career Change

Are you someone who is currently looking for a change in career? Or are you a fresh graduate looking to land your first “real job” in the working world? Regardless of which category you are in at the moment, having a set of skills your employers are looking for is pretty much important. More so important are transferable skills your new employers are looking for.

Skills can be categorised into two obvious categories: hard skills and soft skills. According to Investopedia, hard skills are “specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured”. It includes skills such as writing, math, having the ability to use software programmes. Hard skills are often listed on the applicants’ cover letter and resume, so employers know his/her qualifications for a position.

Soft skills, on the other hand, usually refers to interpersonal or people skills. Sometimes, it is also called employability skills. It is said that these are more difficult to define and evaluate. Soft skills usually include communication skills, listening skills, empathy, and similar.

If you do not wish to be left out of the job market, here are a list of hard skills and soft skills that are good to have. Skills that may be good and benefit both you and your future employers in the long run. Do keep in mind that demand for hard skills tend to change periodically, and can be volatile if one may put it that way. Soft skills, on the other hand, changes less. One thing everyone can agree on is the fact that each industry looks for different skill sets, and is not the same across all industries.

HARD SKILLS

Digital Marketing

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Digital Marketing is a relatively new area of profession. It includes all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Or both. In digital marketing, business leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, websites, etc., to connect with existing and potential customers.

With the introduction of the internet and various social media platforms, people’s behaviour around us changed with it. You will see digital marketing everywhere, and almost everyone is a digital marketer. The only people who don’t do digital marketing are the ones who do not have an electrical device.

In current age, digital marketing is becoming a medium of communication. It forms the backbone of today’s economy. You may not be in a digital or marketing industry, but to have skills in digital marketing company will be an advantageous skillset to have in the long run. Considering how most people have at least an electronic device, or have social media accounts to say the least, promoting your own product and services will be a lot easier henceforth.

You can most likely learn digital marketing on your own. Either that, or you can learn the skill from existing digital marketing agencies. iPrima Media have launched iPrima Society for people who are interested in learning this skill. Find out more here.

2. Having good writing skills


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It’s a good trait to have, even when you are working. Writing is a crucial hard skill valued in nearly every industry out there. Doctors write medical reports for their patients. Technicians and software developers write instructional manuals for users. Nearly everyone across all fields write emails to fellow colleagues and managers.

Having good writing skills is, therefore, valued in the workplace. Should one mention, people who write better appears to be more capable, intelligent, responsible, and credible compared to those who sends an email filled with typo errors. Good writing skills not only ease communication in the workplace but also positively affects your career.

You can be more influential if you have good writing skills in the workplace. With good writing skills, comes good persuasion skills to help you influence others to achieve your goals. It’s more accurately true if you are working in media industries where you are to convince, inform, and persuade your readers to buy your products and services.

Did we mention how having good writing skills help you through career promotion? Well, yeah, it does.

Should you need to learn to improve your writing skills, do not hesitate to check out iPrima Media and their services here. iPrima Media have content writing and copywriting services at your doorstep.

 3. Administrative Skills


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Administrative skills may come across as dry and boring at cursory glance. As a matter of fact, it is. It is mostly due to the fact how it mostly includes paper works, filings, and answering the phone.

In all honesty, having administrative skills is important in the workplace as it reflects how resourceful and coordinated you are as a staff member. You may not need outstanding skills in the area, but it does help reflect you as an organised and clean person. It shows how you are a detail-oriented person and a staff who anticipates company’s needs.

Up that admin skills. You may not be an admin, or a secretary. Nonetheless, it helps you be a team player in your office. Having admin skills reflects you to be an all-rounder person, a staff management love to have around. Be a bit more “automatic” in helping your managers complete their projects. Take that initiative. Who knows, you may even get that promotion in the future.

4. Microsoft Office


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Microsoft Office is used in majority of companies out there. Some figures claimed 80% of companies globally uses Microsoft Office in their workplace. Popularity may be a reason why most people will take the initiative to learn how to use Microsoft, but there are more reasons to it.

It is claimed that if you know how to use Microsoft Office, you can communicate and collaborate more effectively with the tool. Whether you are using Outlook for emails, taking advantage of co-authoring feature in Word and PowerPoint, it’s a “common language” between you and your colleagues. The ease of communication helps decrease errors and improve quality of the services you are providing for your clients.

With Microsoft Office knowledge, you can be more productive as you can operate more efficiently. Microsoft Excel, for example,   don’t just help you quickly enter data, it also has advanced analytical tools so you can discover patterns and make sound financial decisions.

Also, individuals need not be an IT expert in order to be able to learn how to use Microsoft. Take Microsoft Word for example. People learn how to use the programme so they need not use the chunky, outdated typewriter to write a simple letter. Moreover, any mistakes made on Microsoft Word can be easily corrected.

If you are a fresh graduate, do pick up this skill. It’s the easiest skill to learn as Microsoft is considered affordable to obtain. As mentioned before, it is used in most companies globally, so this would be considered as a transferable skill.

SOFT SKILLS


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Since we have touched on what hard skills are good to have, let’s have a look at what soft skills are good to possess. Keep in mind that soft skills mean interpersonal skills, or people skills.

1. Problem Solving Skills


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Problem solving is one of many much sought-after soft skills by many companies. According to aol.com, problem-solving activities are a blend analytical and creative thinking skills to find solutions. Key problem solving skills include: analysis, logical reasoning, observation, brainstorming, decision making, amongst many others.

People who work in law enforcement, information technology industries, and medical-related fields would usually need problem solving skills in their everyday work life. That is not to say people who work in fields any other than these will not need problem solving skills. They will still need it but in a different manner. A different manner in a sense that how would you handle a difficult colleague, how to rush multiple deadlines, and similar.

According to Jobstreet, it’s stated that ideal candidates should be able to dig deep into the root of the problem. Candidates are expected to know the right questions to probe, gather information, analyse, draw conclusions, and take actions to remedy the issue.

2. Communication Skills


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Communication skill is an important soft skill to have, as it sets the tone for how your colleagues look at you. It’s not just applicable in the office, but outside of the office as well. According to Monster.com, having good communication skills improves your relationship with your colleagues and boosts your work performance. It helps you “extract clear expectations from your manager” so you can deliver excellent work.

According to Virtual Speech, having bad communication skills can have a negative impact. A poorly delivered message will result in misunderstanding in the workplace. Sometimes it may lead to frustration, and worst, disaster.

To improve your communication skills, join toastmasters, debate clubs, public speaking societies, and similar.

3. Listening Skills


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If you haven’t got good listening skills, start learning to have some. It’s important to have listening skills because some people listen to reply, and not listen to understand. Listening allows you to understand what other people are saying. It is a skill that allows people to understand the meaning behind the words.

Having good listening skills make you more productive. The ability to listen carefully allows workers to understand their assignments better. They will be able to understand the expectations given by their management.

The ability of listening to understand allows you to build stronger relationship with co-workers, managers, and clients. With good listening skills, you will minimise unnecessary follow-ups and problems in the workplace. Staffs who are able to listen well, perform accordingly will find their work results fit better than those who do not understand.

To show you are listening, maintain an appropriate level of eye contact. Don’t stare as it may be intimidating to some people. Smile a bit, it may help some. If you cannot maintain eye contact (like for example, you are driving), indicate you are listening via your posture. The attentive listener would commonly lean slightly forward or sideways while sitting. Other signs of listening includes slight tilt of their head or resting their head on one hand.

To conclude, one can say it does not need much for one to learn new skills in order to land that new job. All it takes is for you to be a bit more mindful towards the people around you.

If there are any digital marketing skills, writing skills, or communication skills you wish to improve, do check out iPrima Media for more information. iPrima Media launches iSociety in order to provide digital marketing services.

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