No matter how hard or frequently you apply yourself to your work, it’s always true that working smarter, not to the bone, should be your first priority. This approach allows you to avoid being harmed by bad momentum, and it helps you constantly improve. There are many amazing transferable skills that we usually use to promote ourselves whenever switching careers. For instance, a part-time film director might use their experience planning and leading teams as a means in which to get a corporate job. We all know how this works.

But what about the skills that are not just transferable, but also those that bleed into every single professional avenue you might follow? For instance, the strength of a good handshake and good eye contact is known to be a great means to break the social ice, and to come across as a trustworthy, reliable individual.

Can other skills be trained in this way? What are they, and what life decisions should we make in order to maximise our personal value? It’s those questions we hope to answer in the following guidance:

Timekeeping

When you’re making use of great timekeeping, the effects will be invisible. You’ll simply be able to attend to your tasks, manage your priorities well, and thus feel less stressed out by even a busy day. Bad timekeeping, however, makes its presence felt in almost everything you try to accomplish. Not only does it prevent you from organizing your tasks as well as you might like, but stress levels will increase, only emphasized by how this will annoy your colleagues and superiors.

But timekeeping is not a mythic art that only the smartest and most glorious amongst us will ever know. It can be a great function of many other tasks you commit to in life. For instance, deciding to study an online degree with Bradley University could help you begin to understand the best principles of timekeeping, which could be seen as an amazing ancillary benefit to the qualification you are earning.

When you make timekeeping a priority, it will not only help in your professional life, but also your personal experience. Just like discipline, something that seems restrictive at first ironically opens you up to greater freedom, because you’ll be using your energies in the right direction. So, go for that new challenge! You never know what it may teach you.

Public Speaking

Public speaking can seem like quite the specific skill to try and improve in, especially if your job doesn’t require it as of now. But the truth is that if you get confident in public speaking, all forms of interpersonal communication will become easier for you. For instance, if you manage to address large crowds through services such as Toastmaster, you will find that speaking to those several levels above you in a hierarchical structure no longer seems that intimidating. Additionally, presenting yourself well in a variety of communicative fields, thinking well on the spot, and staying affable even when addressing more than one person will feel like child’s play.

It’s a hard skill to master, because most intelligence people are inherently aware of how they come across and can also be reckless self-critics in that regard. This only seems to be exaggerated when in front of a crowd. But when you can put all of that aside and start to focus on the actual content of your approach, you’ll notice that the fear dissipates. From there, you will have a vital skill which is sought after by many employers and professional partners.

Messaging & Brand Awareness

It’s important that you know how to communicate yourself, and to treat your professional self like a brand. Each of us are our own brand and self-contained professional entity. Even in direct employment, this is so. We need to continually treat ourselves like an appreciating asset, something that will improve and grow with time and thus is worthy of investing in. This is, quite basically, the perception you offer when interviewing for a role in any company or hierarchical structure. You want the other person to know you are worth investing in.

This goes tenfold for those who work on a freelance basis. After all, here you do not have the corporate employment lending you respectability and gravitas, instead you need to establish that yourself and prove your worth. This means, to the degree you can, considering yourself as a whole package is important. Do you dress well, closer to the ‘smarter’ end of ‘smart casual’ compared to others in the office? Do you write emails with brevity and manners? How dependable are you to fulfill your promises?

Japanese Samurai lived and died by their commitment to their honour. Don’t worry, you needn’t think of how you are perceived on a battlefield anytime soon, but keeping your integrity and professional reputation as well-preserved can be a fantastic idea. And yes, this is a skill you can develop well should you be so inclined.

Promotion

Learning to promote yourself is also a great skill to learn, perhaps so much so that it should need its own separate category of advice. After all, for most people who have a modicum of modesty, selling yourself can be hard to achieve. But it is imperative. After all, we can never convince others that we are worth investing in or trusting if we do not believe that ourselves. How can we inspire confidence if we lack it? 

Yet of course, there’s a fine line between positivity and arrogance. For this reason, it’s important to take stock of your abilities, stay reasonable, and promote within that field. If you can do this, you can stand out from the endless copywritten marketing speak that can leave your professional offering feeling rather artificial.

No matter what you try in life, from enlisting in the military to selling a car, to promoting your business, to posting a YouTube video, you have to promote yourself and understand how to back that up with substance. If you can achieve this, the practice will continually serve you well.

Thoroughness

Being thorough is also an amazing skill to develop. Of course, there’s a huge gulf between this and being a perfectionist. The former allows you to inspect and double-check your work well, and seek clarification on certain unknowns, or helps you reflect on your approach. The latter can often mean micromanaging to an extreme extent, never being satisfied, and always avoiding the ‘less is more’ principle essential to some fields.

If you can stay thorough, however, you will find that you rarely have to make amends after submitting a project with errors. It will also allow you to see which of your professional connections are reliable and also committing to that same principle, which in turn helps you understand who is worthwhile to work with. 

Discipline

Just like timekeeping, disciplining yourself will help you more than it hinders. This can seem like a harsh skill to learn, especially if your entrepreneurial efforts were geared to get you away from the restrictive atmosphere of normal employment. But sometimes you do need to give yourself a strong boot to get going, and then you’ll find that discipline is always a friend that helps you structure a pathway to your goals.

If you can learn that now, the less brutally you will need to learn that later. As far as this is considered, you will be sure to better yourself in the best possible way.

With this advice, we hope you can establish the professional skills that will always serve you, in the best possible context.