In addition to job-specific skills you can bring to your position, offering your employer additional experience and abilities outside of your department will make you a more attractive employee and a potential candidate for a management opening. You don’t need another degree to add valuable skills to your background that can help you climb the ladder.
If you can write well, you open significant doors no matter what profession you’re in. Even if you’re not a great writer, the ability to communicate verbally, send effective emails and listen well can make you more valuable to employers. Effective communication includes receiving messages correctly and a willingness to ask questions to make sure you get it right, both of which reduce the chances you’ll make errors. If you can improve your writing skills, you can help your boss or company create effective reports, proposals, customer service letters, brochures, website pages and newsletters.
The sooner you complete your work, the sooner others can begin theirs, making you a more valuable partner and helping everyone reduce missed deadlines or late delivery of materials. Time management requires more than just writing a to-do list or putting things on a calendar. It takes a coordinated effort of knowing your responsibilities and deadlines, managing relationships with others to get what you need on time and creating a "Plan B" to avoid being unable to deliver what you promise.
Social Media Expertise
More and more companies are using social media to market their products and services. If you work at a small business, your marketing manager might not be up to date on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, blogging software and Google Plus, especially if she’s older. Learning how to use social media tools can open new doors for responsibility and visibility within your company. You can build these skills in your spare time at home. In addition to learning the programs and websites, be prepared to explain how your company can use them and why they're valuable.
Create a personal development plan that helps you learn and improve skills you can offer your employers. Attend night classes in journalism or English composition to improve your writing skills. Look for lunch-and-learns or weekend seminars or workshops you can take. Browse the self-help section of your local bookstore or online bookseller. Learn how to use free blogging software and create your own, even if it’s a personal blog you write under a pen name while you learn this skill. Many professional associations offer conferences, workshops and seminars, as well as opportunities to serve on committees, where you can learn valuable skills.
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images