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6 Tips to Developing an In-Demand Skill Set

How economy-proof is your skill set? Companies are cutting salaries and jobs due to rising costs, but you still need a job to pay the bills. What you need to stay employed is an in-demand skill set.

Workers with in-demand skill sets are snapped up by another company if they are laid off, or they pivot with ease into a new industry. These are the perks of an in-demand skill set: these skills ensure a stable income. To stay in demand, you’ll want to continuously improve on this skill set which includes the following expertise.

Tip 1 Speaking Skills

The ability to capture an audience and establish credibility depends on your speaking skills. Clarity and confidence are important on the job for people to understand you and believe what you say. To develop your speaking skills, work on the following:

  1. Time and record yourself speaking about one topic for one to three minutes. Listen to the recording. Does your speech have a beginning, middle, and end? Do you speak smoothly, or fill your pauses with ums and uhs?

  2. Watch videos about public speaking and try to implement a tip into your speaking practice. For example, focus on the volume and pitch of your voice one day, and focus on your vocabulary use for an impromptu speech on another day.

  3. Create a list of job interview questions, write out your answers in point form, and then practice your answers until you’re confident you can ace your next job interview.

  4. Practice giving presentations at home to sound more confident when you present at work meetings.

Tip 2 Writing Skills

Writing skills are just as important as speaking skills. The difference is you have more time to think about what you want to say. As a result, there is more expectation that you’ll write with better grammar and organization. Spelling and punctuation mistakes suggest a lack of care and professionalism. To improve your writing skills, work on the following:

  1. Copy a piece of writing that is in the style that you want to learn. By copying it as practice, your brain learns that writing style.

  2. Practice writing each day, for a few minutes each day. Use editing apps to review and find suggestions for improving your writing.

  3. Make a list of your common offenders, such as misspelled words or bad grammar, and check that your writing doesn’t have these mistakes.

  4. Outline your ideas to organize your thoughts before writing your email or report.

  5. Make a habit of completing writing tasks ahead of schedule so you have enough time to take a break. Then return to your task and re-read your writing with fresh eyes. You will have a better chance of catching your own mistakes.

Tip 3 Tech Skills

Tech skills are vital to survival in the modern world of work. Fortunately, it’s easy to find videos on YouTube, LinkedIn, and other applications and platforms to teach you the skills you need. If your co-worker or company IT department hasn’t answered your tech question, you can educate yourself on whatever technology you use. To improve your tech skills, try the following:

  1. Download free versions of applications or software to learn how to use them if you’re looking for a job. After practicing how to use these applications, you can add them to your resume.

  2. Create a portfolio of work using these applications or software. For example, if you’re looking for a graphic design job, create a brochure using Canva. Add these projects to your resume.

  3. Challenge yourself to learn how to use technology on the job. Learn to host an online meeting for twenty participants. Learn how to present the statistics using Excel, even though you haven’t used Excel’s advanced functions before.

  4. Volunteer to take on a project to practice using a type of technology. For example, take the lead on moving company tasks to a management tool such as Click Up.

Tip 4 Leadership Skills

Career advancement is difficult without leadership skills. Empathy and understanding the people you work with, and being clear and organized about when you want something done are both in-demand skills. Here are ways to improve your leadership skills:

  1. Volunteer to take the lead for a project, even if it is a project for a team of one. Set your own project goals and deadlines. Set milestones for reporting updates to your supervisor and demonstrate that you can complete a project on time without supervision.

  2. Step up to lead a team for a project for which you already have a lot of experience. If you already have the skills for a similar project, you already have the confidence. Now your next goal is to prove you can help your team complete that project together.

  3. Take the initiative to anticipate what needs completion. Suggest ways to improve current policies.

Tip 5 Sales Skills

Sales skills are crucial. You want to sell an interviewer on hiring you. You want to sell your boss on giving you a raise. Sales involve much more than money exchanged for a product or service. Here are ways to improve your sales skills:

  1. Read books and watch videos about sales tips and techniques. Understand the psychology behind why some sales techniques are effective.

  2. Practice mock job interviews if you are looking for a job. Focus on how you speak, your tone of voice, and enunciation. Do you sound confident? Does your body language suggest confidence?

  3. Do your research. What does your audience want? If you want to ask for a raise, research what skills are valued in your industry. Look into your company’s goals for the coming year. Then show how your skills can help the company achieve its goals and why you deserve your value.

Tip 6 Language Skills

Language skills are highly valued, whether you’re monolingual or you’re a polyglot. Learning a language is a way to connect with and better understand other cultures. If you have a strong command of a language, you can be a professional writer, speaker, or translator. Here are ways to improve your language skills:

  1. Practice a language with a coworker during lunch. Learn new words and learn about a culture at the same time.

  2. Take classes or lessons online, with a class, or with a tutor, until you can work as a writer, editor, or translator.

  3. Practice as a volunteer translator or volunteer at work until you have more experience for critical situations, such as translating to a client at your company.

Key Takeaways

Many skills are transferable from one career or industry to another. In times of economic hardship, these skills will continue to find you steady work. Strong speaking, writing, leadership, and tech skills are always in high demand. Can you think of any other transferrable, high-demand skills? Comment below!

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