These 3 Career Skills Will Make You Invaluable to Your Employer

You have gained a wrecking ball of skills over your career. You have a Swiss army knife of knowledge, and your employer is expecting you to bring all that intel, and more, to your role. The nature of the market today shows that the employers are in the position of power, with many qualified or even overqualified candidates gunning for the same job.

Not only do you need the skills required for your own job, but you also need cross-functional, in-demand skills that all employees should have in 2016. A deep, broad knowledge of competencies will help your overall job performance or job search. Here’s what most companies are looking for:

1. Business development. Strategy, sales and relationship-building skills are the most important elements of business development. These skills apply to all employees, not just those in sales roles. There’s an old acronym WIIFM, which stands for “what’s in it for me.” It’s based on the idea that people need to know how they’ll benefit before they are ready to support a new plan or idea. Sales skills are so predominant in today’s workplace. Everyone needs to sell an idea to a manager or team at some point.

2. Big data. Do you know how to compile, analyze and apply pieces of data into meaningful summaries or strategies? Pulling together data and drawing conclusions, also referred to as data analytics, is a responsibility found across departments. It doesn’t matter if you are in the accounting, human resources or marketing department. You are going to have to learn how to interpret the meaning behind all that data.

3. Not-so-soft skills. Companies seek candidates who can demonstrate success collaborating, decision-making and mentoring. Successful collaboration means more than getting the project done. People have to enjoy working with you. Decision-making skills have to do with how you evaluate choices. Instincts alone are not enough to constitute valid decisions. Have you used a methodology or system to walk through a complex decision? Mentoring requires self-awareness, openness to feedback and learning new things. It also requires initiative, and someone who mentors may be perceived as a natural leader.

Staying on top of trends and knowing what skills and technology other companies use will help you stay in demand, so brush up, and keep learning!

This post was adapted from a similar post on