In addition to helping you better land the career of your dreams, developing unexpected skills that set you apart can also positively impact your experience once you become employed. It’s not only important to stand out to land the job but to continue making a good impression afterward. You are more likely to grow professionally and succeed if you prove to your employer that you are a valuable asset to the company. 

Below are some of the unexpected skills that can improve your employability and help you experience success in the professional world — no matter what career path you choose.   

Become a Good Leader and Mentor

Even if you aren’t applying for a management position, it’s always a good idea to have some leadership skills. Being a good leader and even having the capability to mentor and manage others shows employers that you are engaging, helpful, and good at building and navigating relationships. So even if you aren’t looking to step into a leadership role yet, this will show that you will be a quality mentee and have the potential to inspire others and be a leader within the company to help it grow. 

Personal Investment

Certain personal details and problems should be left at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be yourself at work and show that you have a genuine, personal interest in the company. Employers are more likely to hire those who care about their job and the company culture because it means they will likely push for improvements and have aspirations that can help the company grow and succeed. If you have no personal investment, then it shows that you likely don’t care what happens at work and see it as just another job to pay the bills, which is not very inspiring. 

Public Speaking

Good communication skills are one thing, but being a good public speaker is another. All potential applicants should practice public speaking and presentation skills to prove they will be able to communicate and work well with others. The rationale here is that, while you do want to ace the interview, you may also be asked to give a presentation or talk to your coworkers in the future, and should show those skills off as well.

professional development

Opportunist

Being able to make the best out of any situation is another great skill to have. Not every job will be ideal, and even if it is your dream job, there will still come times when things get a little rough. As such, it’s essential to have a positive attitude and show that you are willing to turn a bad situation into an opportunity to learn and grow. Sometimes, the worst situations can lead to a career breakthrough if you go into it with an open and positive mind. Showing that you have this ability is highly appealing to potential employers who are seeking to grow their company with strong, forward-thinking teams. 

Self-Governing and Organized

Workplace environments are rapidly changing to adopt more flexible and remote work situations. It is very possible that many of the jobs you seek in the future will have fully remote, telecommute, or hybrid work options. As such, it’s important to show that you have the ability to govern yourself and stay organized with little supervision. 

Working from home can be a great opportunity, but it can also be overwhelming if you don’t know how to manage yourself and stay focused. Furthermore, if your home office isn’t a good environment, it can affect your mental health. So it’s a good idea to create a healthy home office environment and exhibit good self-governance and organizational skills to prove to potential employers that you can work from home without any problems. 

Devil’s Advocate

People pleasers are not inherently bad, but being too much of a “yes man” or “yes woman” can be off putting. Today, employers want people who aren’t afraid to challenge ideas and push the envelope to explore new possibilities. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be argumentative, but still, having the ability to challenge ideas professionally with just the right amount of pushback is a good skill to have. Employees who are willing to play the devil’s advocate from time to time are essential because they have the spirit and the out-of-the-box thinking that can help propel the company forward. 

Time Management and Planning

Whether you are working in-office or remote, it’s important to show potential employers that you know how to successfully manage your time. This includes being able to create a productive routine for yourself as well as being able to fit in the unexpected when things get thrown your way last minute. This is an incredibly useful skill to have both at the office and during business trips. Employers want to know that you are someone who will make the most of your time and not end up wasting it, which can cost them money in the long run. 

Tech, Software, & App Savvy 

No matter the industry or specific role you are applying for, it’s always a good idea to be adept with technology and have a basic understanding of a variety of tools, software, and applications. As technology advances, companies will continually seek applicants that are tech-savvy, even if their direct position does not require them to work with tech or certain software and applications. The full line of Adobe software, for example, is commonly used by a variety of companies, so it’s a good idea to have basic skills with these tools. There are plenty of photoshop guides available that can help you learn to do just about anything, like removing or adding objects, designing text, color adjustments, and more. This shows your employer that you are tech-savvy and have the potential to be useful in a variety of ways, which is always a good skill to have.   

Final Thoughts

The idea behind building a set of unexpected skills, such as those listed above, is that you want to show potential employers your growth potential. Personal growth and professional growth both go hand in hand and are essential to succeeding in life. So when applying for a new job, you want to not only show the usual basic skills that are often required but how you are different and can stand out as well to help the company succeed and grow. 

This guest post was authored by Ainsley Lawrence

Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about how business and professionalism intersect with the personal, social, and technological needs of today. She is frequently lost in a good book.



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