Raise Yourself Higher: Build Skills That Matter!
Written by Stephanie
October 27, 2022
The American businesswoman and activist Angelica Ross once said: “Having a skill makes you undeniable.” Powerful words indeed. Now just imagine how undeniable you’ll be if you could hone multiple skills. Now you’re talking!
But what skills are you going to build for yourself? We know, choices like that can be scary. Fear not! We here at Yip would like to point out skills that matter and that can help shape your future, whether you’re a student or already in the workplace. Let’s proceed, shall we!
Raise Your Language Skills
We’ve already raised this one before in other articles of ours because it’s true: knowing languages is a terrific skill to have! Don’t take our word for it: according to the European Commission (EC), those who speak more than one language tend to earn better. Yip, speaking a second language can add between 11 and 35% to your salary!
The EC study did point out that what foreign language you speak and where you are based will influence how valuable your bilingualism is. So, for example, there are more Spanish speakers in France than Lithuania, so there may be more demand for your Spanish in France, but you’ll have less competition in Lithuania.
Speaking of Spanish, a visit to Yip’s courses page in early November 2022 showed that a ‘Spanish for Beginners’ course was already fully booked! There were also other language courses available on Yip, of course, including one in Dutch For Beginners and another in Finnish speaking. Languages are always popular!
Raise Your Writing Skills
Every skills-focused article goes on and on (and on!) about communication skills. There’s a reason: communication skills continue to be a highly valuable commodity and skill, whether in the workplace, at college or in your social life. The sheer complexity and diversity of what constitutes ‘communication skills’ can be seen in the graphic below:
All very well, but just how good are your writing skills? A far too often overlooked (and critical) communication tool is undoubtedly professional writing skills. You don’t need to be an aspiring writer in order to realize that your written skills can be hugely beneficial throughout your career path.
Just think about all the times you may need to write something professionally, including:
- Business emails
- Verbal presentations
- Visual presentations, e.g. PowerPoint
- Research and development (R&D) work
Remind yourself why having excellent (or at least above-average) writing skills in the workplace is so important. First, they make you look professional, even polished. Second, being able to write well allows you to communicate efficiently. Third, they give you credibility, something which is very important in any given profession.
Raise Your Fitness Levels
Okay, so why should you consider taking a course on Yip in ‘Chair Yoga for Office Workers’ or even one for ‘Party Dancing’? Well, besides making you more supple, fit or healthy (not to mention those dance moves!), being physically active is excellent for getting you ahead in your career or studies. Yip, you heard that right!
How so? Well, according to University College London (UCL), research has shown that physical exercise releases proteins in the brain that help improve your memory and increase your cognitive skills, or ability to learn new things. That’s because the hippocampus part of the brain really likes those proteins. So, that’s a definite yes for all the students out there!
With heightened cognitive function comes better concentration. And there are few things better in one’s career than being able to concentrate on your work, your immediate goals and your future. Research has shown that exercise is highly beneficial to many factors that are important in any person’s career. These include having a positive mindset, putting things in perspective and managing stress.
Raise Your Surfing Abilities
Let’s be clear: this is not about surfing waves in the ocean, but surfing the internet, okay! The better your ability to surf the internet intelligently, the better your chances of finding that great job or that terrific study program that you know will make the difference in your life.
When it comes to finding a job online, there are some great tips on how to search smartly, such as:
- Be selective and personalize your job search as much as possible;
- Focus on small, niche job sites specific to your skills;
- Make sure your resume/CV is optimised and available online;
- Agree to job alerts, including those often-precious email job subscriptions; and
- Reach out to recruiters and even human resources (HR) managers if you find the nerve – ‘cold calling’ really can work sometimes!
Another excellent and increasingly common way of letting companies and recruiters know you’re out there is to raise your social media profile. That can be via LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube or a host of other platforms. Always keep your social media presence professiona, of course.
Importantly, it pays to be savvy about search engine optimisation (SEO) with the content that you put out in your own name, as well as how you game SEO factors such as metadata in your favour. Smart SEO means people that matter to your career finding you more easily.
In closing, think of building your skills set as being akin to building a house. You need a solid foundation, of course, upon which you can then build the rest. The trick is to know what are your foundational skills and to then build on those.
Keep adding skills to your foundation, as one adds extra rooms and annexes to a house. Soon enough you should have quite an impressive ‘mansion’ of skills, filling you with optimism for the future and full of opportunities!