5 Tech Skills that You Need for Your Career

Take a moment to think about how different your job or industry was in the 1980s or 90s. You job may not have even existed then. In the past 3- years, things have changed very rapidly. In the early 90s, being able to use Microsoft Word and Excel meant that you had advanced computer skills. Now, people don’t even list those skills on their resume because they are too basic.

Handsome businessman daydreaming of his business future

Every single career field is changing – if it isn’t, it is going to become obsolete. You can expect your career to be affected so take a look around now at what technologies are creeping up on you.

I believe that these 5 key skills are what you need to succeed in the near future and not become outdated.

 

  1. Understand Data

You don’t have to be a data scientist, but every field benefits from big data and analytics so get familiar with the concept and how it works. Research what kinds of data your field is collecting as well as what is being used and applied. Learn enough to understand better and how to ask the right questions.

  1. Cyber Security

This can make or break a company. No matter what your position is within a company, being aware of cyber security protects you, your company and your customers. This includes everything from keeping track of your ID badge to follow IT’s recommendations when choosing a password, but it could also keep you from being a weak link in the security chain.

  1. Social Media

Every company has social media and more and more, they want employees on all levels to be brand ambassadors online. Even if you aren’t asked to, companies are not afraid to fire individuals who post embarrassing or illegal things to social media. Know what your company’s privacy policies are; the more you know, the more of an asset you are to the company.

  1. Understanddownload the Cloud

If you haven’t yet, you will soon enter the cloud. More and more often, businesses are storing their data as well as internal and external apps in the cloud. Learn about how cloud computing works and where your company data is stored to help keep it secure.

  1. Video Communications

Video conferencing is here to stay. Job interviews, webinars, training etc are all placed over video such as Skype more and more frequently. While in these high pressure situations, you don’t want to be the one who can’t get their microphone to work. Make sure that you know how to use your video communications program so that you feel comfortable using them when it really counts.

Network Like You Mean It

networking-can-be-fun

Business networking isn’t all winging and wining, business cards and elevator pitches. Most people don’t even like networking. I get it, after a long work day, the thought of having to make conversation with a room full of strangers seems like another big chore. However, the negative stigma to business networking has to stop because it is vital to the progression of your career.

Time after time, the most successful people that I meet are also the best networkers. They realize that business networking is a tool and they have found a way to make it work for them. Now, it is no longer a task for them and they can do it with ease. Just follow these three tips to get yourself started.

  1. It’s not formal anymore

First of all, there is no rule that says that you need to network over a glass of wine in a hotel ballroom and exchange business cards. Networking can happen whenever, wherever and however you want it to happen. It can take place at a birthday party, during a workout or volunteering with your family on the weekend. Pick your favorite activities and find groups that share those passions and join them. This will help make you feel more relaxed and naturally confident – you’ll find yourself making better, more positive impressions.

  1. Set measurable goals

I know what you’re thinking, what kind of goals? Here you go: At the beginning of each month, write down a number of events that you want to attend over the next 30 days. Feel free to vary them according to work and personal commitments. Next, select which industries or organization that you want to network. What do you hope to achieve? Meet new people, learn best practices, promote your business? Decide and keep a running log of your progress. You’ll be able to maximize your time and energy because you won’t feel the need to go to every event invitation that you receive.

  1. Maintain relationships

Remember that meeting someone once doesn’t mean anything. The relationship happens during the follow up. To help support this, keep a list of the people you meet with details such as their work, interests and anything else that will help you remember the connection. Make your first email to them memorable, something that will make them think or laugh. Review this list of people every three months and reach out to them again, share a resource or invite them to another networking event.

It is not about the number of people you know, but how well you know them and even more important, how well they know you. Don’t waste any opportunities, get going!

4 Steps to Lead Effectively

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

leader

The fact of life is that we all have to lead at some point. Some are pushed into authority position whether they like it or not, some are required to lead as their daily duties and some are looking to lead to promote ideals and guide others to values that they feel strongly about. There are so many ways that we need to be leaders and it doesn’t have to be scary, I’ll tell you how to lead a team without becoming the manager that everybody hates.

  1. Set an Example

Think about when someone asks you for directions. You can write step-by-step directions, draw a map, or even provide details such as landmarks. Or you could simply say, “Follow me.”

Value statements and culture decks are not effective, especially not the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ sentiment. These respect and integrity lines don’t mean anything if you turn around and curse a member of your team out.

The point is, show people what you believe in and they will naturally follow.

  1. Be Humble

Think about two scenarios. In the first, a boss makes a mistake and refuses to admit it, blaming someone else. In the second, a boss recognizes the mistake and admits it, learns from it, done. Which boss would you rather work for? Exactly, the second because owning up to mistakes inspires respect. No body is perfect so don’t be afraid to ask your team for help. This will humanize you to your team and create an environment that everybody feels that they can learn from each other.

  1. Praise Sincerely

Authenticity is key – DO NOT just go through motions to check people off of a list. Be specific when telling someone how and why you found their actions to be so beneficial. The overall goal is to instinctively recognize and appreciate efforts of others and to communicate that appreciation consistently. I believe that praise and recognition can be inspiring, so don’t skip this one.

  1. Learn to Listen

No one has ever learned anything while speaking. So, listen to your employees and stay in touch with the reality of your company. You will begin to become aware of new problems much quicker and understand how your people are dealing with them.

Remember, what is important to you is important to them. Your voice carries more weight because it is based on reality.

Being a ‘leader’ is just a title. We all lead, so focus on leading effectively by paying attention to these simple steps. I promise you that you will have results that you are proud of.