How To Kick-Start Your Skills-Development Endeavor

Skills-Development Initiative: 7 Skills To Have
Summary: We are involved with so many to-do lists that we can begin to feel overwhelmed. The problem is we want to have all the solutions at the same time. That’s why we are not getting any problem solved. We need to prioritize the skills we should focus on first.

7 Skills You Need To Start Your Skills-Development Initiative

During the last couple of weeks, I have gotten queries from many professionals about an issue that has imprisoned them. They do not understand how to outclass the inertia to deal with that matter. Interestingly, I have been asked by many students about the same issue during the last couple of years. This frequent questioning enchanted me to write about the matter. That is, how do I start my skills-development initiative?

1. Growth Mindset

The first skill you should adopt is holding a growth mindset. To me, this is the backbone of achieving success. The idea was introduced by Stanford University Professor Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. "Fixed mindset" people believe that their rudimentary potentials, intelligence, talents, and abilities are just fixed traits. On the contrary, "growth mindset" people believe talents and skills are not in a fixed amount; we can develop them over time through experience, mentorship, and so on. The question is: How can we develop a growth mindset? You can understand the idea more clearly from here. For your understanding, I have added more distinctions from different sources. Here is a worthwhile course from LinkedIn Learning about cultivating a growth mindset [1].

2. Emotional Intelligence

You should take care of emotional intelligence (EQ). It is so crucial that research indicates it accounts for 58% of performance in all types of jobs. The idea is brought by Daniel Goleman. To be successful, you must learn to maximize your emotional quotient (EQ) skills. You may get a brief idea from this article. Or for the systematic development of your EQ, you can check out the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0. There are several online courses about EQ. Developing your Emotional Intelligence and Leading with Emotional Intelligence are two masterpieces from Gemma Leigh Roberts and Britt Andreatta.

3. Communication Skills

You should focus on communication skills. It won’t get solved overnight. For that, we should take care of this skill, along with other skills-development initiatives. There are lots of guidelines for solving this problem. One modest suggestion is you need to read a lot (omnivorous reader) and listen a lot. You should read fiction, non-fiction, articles, magazine, etc. One suggestion I must mention here, you should select the see-first option of the renowned knowledge sharing site on your social media. It would help you to keep yourself updated on your interested sectors. For listening, you may listen to webinars, podcasts, and lectures from different sources. You should listen to TED Talks regularly.

4. Leadership Skills

You should take care of leadership skills. Sometimes I get questions from students about where they can practice their leadership skills since they are not engaging with any job or organization. My suggestion is leadership practice can be applied anywhere. You can practice your leadership skills with your family, your friend circle, or during every interaction that you have with a human being. There are several sources where you can learn about leadership. One of my favorite books is Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. His TED Talk "Why good leaders make you feel safe" is my all-time favorite. Also, check out these courses: Servant Leadership, Transformational Leadership, and Humble Leadership from LinkedIn Learning.

5. Digital Competency

This is the survival skill in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era. Being digitally competent means using digital technologies in a confident and safe way for various purposes, such as working, getting a job, learning, shopping online, obtaining health information, and entertainment, etc. The idea was brought by the European Union through the DigComp framework [2]. Most of us do not know about our digital competency level. We can measure our competence through the outline. There are five elements of Digcomp: information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety, and problem-solving. Now our duty is to determine the competency level of a user: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. The best way to start becoming "digitally competent" is by completing the professional certificate course on Google IT Support Professional Certificate. You may sample a ton of courses from different MOOCs [3].

6. Data Skills

After having firm confidence in digital competency, then you should spend your time building your data skills. Data is the fuel of the twenty-first century. Whatever industry you belong to, having data skills will bring new opportunities. Start developing your skills by enrolling in IBM's Cognitive Class. To develop your Data Science skills, you may complete gradually descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. I also suggest that everyone takes the free course The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing offered by Google Digital Garage.

7. Business Skills

It was once thought that IT was only for CSE graduates, data was only for statisticians, and business skills were only for business students. Now we have discovered that we need to develop multidisciplinary skills. The best way to keep yourself updated about business skills is by reading Harvard Business Review. LinkedIn Learning offers many courses on functional skills and edX, Coursera, and Udemy offer degrees and certificate courses.

Do not stay indifferent, start learning today. Skills are the new currency. Unless you understand that, you will be obsolete. Whether you are a student, a job seeker, an employee, or an employer, systematical, multidisciplinary skills development is mandatory for everyone. I hope this guide will help you in your skills-development endeavor.


[1] Cultivating a Growth Mindset

[2] The Digital Competence Framework 2.0

[3] Unleash Your True Potential through MOOCs