Skills Needed for Success

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on May 21, 2012 in , , | 1 Comment

Listed below are basic skills and transferable skills required for most jobs.

Most college grads will have the basics, and a few of the transferable skills, if they’ve sought out opportunities. See how many of the basic skills you possess–hopefully you have all of them! But if you don’t, now is the time to acquire what you lack to make yourself marketable in your job search. The transferables are what you’ll take from one job to the next and are often associated with higher pay and responsibility.

The Basics

Honesty-this might sound strange to some, but being an employee that can be trusted ranked at the top of the list for many employers. If you have a tendency to lie about even the most trivial things, time to consider how that will adversely affect your career. Recently, we saw in the news, a large company fired a high profile individual for lying on his resume about his education. And speaking of education…

Academics-basic skills related to education are mandatory. How are your writing, reading and verbal skills–can you communicate effectively at a college level? Do you feel you’ve learned a great deal about your major, enough to function in a career?

Work Ethic-possessing good time management skills, being conscientious, punctual, and hardworking, all fall under this category. An employer wants an employee that comes to them with a good work ethic, they don’t want to have to train someone.

Teamwork-working well with coworkers is expected. Personality clashes in the workplace aren’t tolerated. Gossiping, making assumptions, or treating a coworker poorly shows a lack of teamwork. Getting along well with your supervisor is also expected…

Supervision-this goes beyond a pleasant working relationship–this is about understanding who is in charge. The ability to take your supervisors direction is very important. Follow their instructions, completing tasks, and meeting their deadlines all falls into being able to accept supervision well.


Self-Starter-this term has been used in job ads and interviews for many years–with good reason. These people motivate themselves to set workplace goals. They need no help from a supervisor or coworkers to do so.

Problem Solver-again, this is another term that has been used often. Employers want employees who have the ability to handle what comes their way. Problem solving employees are valuable and creative individuals.

People Management-most managers have several employees under them. In order to effectively manage a group of diverse individuals, a manager must know how people tick. They should have skills to build teamwork, confidence, and an overall good workplace environment for their staff.

Project Management-organizational skills are necessary for project management to be successful. Careful planning, time management skills, making sure deadlines will be met–all fall into this category. Instructing others, whether in a department meeting or one-on-one, the manager establishes what needs to be done and by whom.

Advanced Communication-this is beyond basic written and verbal skills. An advanced communicator uses high level skills in all communication by using necessary industry jargon, statistics and facts while maintaining protocol. Being able to communicate well with clients, managers, staff, or board members takes a diplomatic individual.

Negotiating-being able to negotiate anything–a salary in an interview, or a multimillion dollar project–takes talent. Being a successful negotiator benefits the business…and your income.

Final Thoughts

Over time, seek out opportunities to build your transferable skills. These serve you well over the course of your career, opening doors to higher positions and pay.

Aren’t sure about how to build your skills? Discuss this with a mentor in your field of interest. They can often give you tips on how to go about obtaining or honing the skills necessary to be a success.



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