10 Essential Skills to Make Your Career Soar
In the coming years, the demand for people who can work well with others and organize projects will skyrocket as organizations and the economy become more project-dependent. Develop these 10 key project management skills, highlight them on your resume, and reap the benefits of long-term career security.
1. Be a people personIn a recent survey by St. Louis Community College, 60 per cent of employers said that job applicants lacked communication and interpersonal relationship skills – an increase of 10 percentage points in only 2 years. What are people skills? It comes down to how you interact with others – showing empathy when called for, establishing a tone of co-operation (and not confrontation) and listening (not just hearing). While technical skills are needed, the so-called soft skills are needed just as much, if not more so, to ensure workplace harmony and productivity.
2. Be a strong writerI still get applications filled with typos and bad grammar. Employers tend to toss these aside, even if the applicant is a genius. Despite the popularity of texting, where the word “your” is often spelled “ur” to save time – good writing is still essential for business communication, demonstrating a high degree of professionalism and credibility.
3. Become a technology evaluatorYou don’t need to be an advanced programmer, but you do need to be familiar with user interfaces and decide which technology is best suited for the needs of your team. It’s not rocket science. Spend the time to learn how various programs and hardware function and which are the most user friendly. Organizations cannot afford to waste time and money on inappropriate technology.
4. Be a quality assurance fanaticOur fast-paced work environment is leading to many costly mistakes, damaging company-wide reputations. The project manager who can guarantee quality and accuracy is highly valued. Pay attention to detail. Have high standards. Develop checklists.
5. Know how to engage partners and create buy-inDwindling resources means more and more organizations, including government, are engaged in projects that require other partners – not just for financial reasons, but to acquire expertise. Become a partnership-builder. The best way to do that is to emphasize benefits, not only to your organization, but for each stakeholder and potential participant. The effective project manager is good at showing others how their input will be to their advantage, not just yours.
6. Know how to filter informationInformation overload is killing productivity as employees move through mounds of irrelevant information. Project managers who can direct people to the right “packages” of content and steer teams into the right key word searches will be invaluable.
7. Be a great reporterDevelop the habit of updating your superiors on activities and results, achieved by yourself and your team. This helps to instill trust and confidence on the part of upper management, knowing things are progressing.
8. Become a good financial stewardYou don’t need to be an accountant or financial genius, but you do need to create and manage budgets. Most people have zero interest in this. But all organizations run on budgets. Learn about financial forecasting, expense tracking and balance sheets. If you understand numbers, you may be able to demand a bigger number for yourself (on your paycheck).
9. Operate with a heightened sense of urgencyWe need to understand that time is money. That is especially true today in a climate of extreme competition. The project manager who is an expert at time management will forever be in demand. While you never want to rush or skip vital steps, you also do not want to needlessly delay project milestones. As Larry the Cable Guy says: “Get ‘er done.” If something can be done today, then do it today.
10. Welcome problemsWhat is heard in coffee shops the world over? Mainly complaints and gossip. Become the person who sees issues, problems and challenges as good things. Welcome them. They are opportunities for you to showcase your persistence and ideas. Problem solving is not so much a skill as it is an attitude. Adopt this viewpoint and you’ll be sought after.
These are the skills and traits every organization needs, now more than ever, as every penny is being counted and every minute is being watched.Deliver on them and you’ll never be out of work.Cory Galbraith is CEO of Galbraith Communications and a 30-year veteran of business ownership.
Originally Posted on Linked In By: Cory Galbraith