Developing new business skills is the key to remaining relevant in today's ever-changing professional landscape. Even if you're fully satisfied with your current position, you never know when it might be time to seek new opportunities. Fortunately, learning and practicing new skills is easy these days, even if you're doing it on your own. Here are some universally useful business skills that make you more valuable to your current or next employer.
It doesn't matter how solid your work is if you can't communicate it effectively. While public speaking is one of the most nerve-racking business skills, it's also one of the most important. Being able to deliver an engaging presentation makes you incredibly valuable. Many employees aren't willing to deal with the anxiety of public speaking, opening up opportunities for you. A good technique to get started is to film yourself speaking and then watch it. Pay attention to your cadence, body language and overall delivery, and refine them until you're confident.
Regardless of what your long-term professional goals may be, teamwork is always going to be valued by hiring managers. Even if you're an extremely productive, efficient independent worker, there are going to be times when you need to be a team player. Start by working on your listening skills. Unless you're the designated team leader, sometimes it's best to remain silent and let the person in charge take the lead. Learning to identify your co-worker's strengths and weaknesses also empowers you to work alongside them more effectively.
Even the best product or service falters without proper marketing. That doesn't mean you need to start working on a marketing campaign immediately, but having a general understanding of how marketing works is a valuable skill to have in your arsenal. Marketing is how your company proves its value to the customer. Even if your professional goals don't involve marketing, understanding how marketing works allows you to deliver a more catered, personal approach to your customers and clients -- both online and in person. It also helps you understand how to portray your company's products and services in a positive light. Sometimes, it's beneficial to learn new skills, even if you don't need them immediately. Become a well-rounded professional, and opportunities find you naturally.
It's easy to get comfortable at work. Developing new business skills keeps things interesting, makes you far more valuable to employers and helps open up new opportunities in the future. Your resume is an evolving entity that can always be improved, so keep pushing yourself to grow professionally. The long-term results are worth the effort.
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