Taking courses to learn key new skills can drive your professional growth and make you an asset to any business.
Upskilling. It’s a word that inevitably crops up about in conversations about career development. You’ve probably seen a flurry of LinkedIn posts about why it’s so important. In fact, it’s used so frequently in the world of recruitment that it has almost become a cliché.
The thing about clichés, however, is that they usually carry an element of truth. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is already upon us, and the skills of the future are increasingly geared towards demonstrating versatility and flexibility in the digital space. That’s why adopting a growth mindset and a willingness to strengthen your skills will help ensure you become a valuable asset to your organisation.
Upskilling yourself and constantly being in learning mode will give you the best possible chance to head into tomorrow’s world on your own terms. Having an industry-recognised qualification is useful in any line of work. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either.
We’ve picked out 10 business and leadership skills that you can get from the comfort of your laptop -- quite literally for the price of a takeaway. Learning how to enrich your career certainly sounds more appetising than a dodgy chicken tikka masala.
If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business, it’s a good idea to start by really nailing the basics. Branding, finance and setting goals are key skills that any entrepreneur should have in their locker, as are recognising the importance of a business plan, researching your business market and identifying a target audience.
Understanding cash flow, tax, legal issues, insurance, accounts and bookkeeping will also prepare you for all eventualities. This will help you learn how to budget and keep track of invoices and payments.
Finally, you’ll need to get to grips with the latest best practices in marketing and social media. You’ll learn how to market your business on a tight budget, increase brand visibility and improve lead generation.
If you employ people or lead a team, it’s important to be able to apply leadership skills on a daily basis. You need to be able to motivate your staff to the best out of them and ensure a high level of productivity. If they do not have faith in the person at the helm, they’ll feel like they’re on a sinking ship.
This key skill is a subset of leadership, but a vitally important one at that. Failure to properly delegate due to a reluctance of ceding control to others is a common flaw among those in managerial positions.
You can’t do it all yourself, so being able to call on your team at any given moment will help optimise workflows and keep stress levels to a minimum. Knowing who you can effectively delegate to will also give you more leeway to prioritise tasks that generate genuine revenue.
Being a good communicator and negotiator is one of the most sought-after skills in the world of business. Without being able to establish rapport and foster a sense of connection between yourself and colleagues or clients, you simply won’t be able to get your career off the ground.
You only get one chance to make a positive first impression, so knowing the psychological aspects to effective negotiation can help you close a deal on your terms. You’ll learn important communication tools such as using high-impact body language, overcoming personal insecurities, dealing with negative individuals in a constructive manner, and how to amplify your message across multiple channels.
If you want to succeed as a key account manager, taking a course may just be worth your while. You’ll learn the basics of account management, methods to help you prioritise your work, how to plan a strategy for your accounts, how to research your customers and their needs, as well as how to recognise and deal with threats.
Time management is a fundamental skill: not just at work, but in life in general. Once you learn the basics of how to manage your time and prioritise key tasks, you’ll be able to apply those skills in any situation. With a course in time and priority management, you’ll learn how to plan and schedule your time in the workplace.
Looking after your customers is absolutely fundamental to any B2C business. The relationship you have with your customers and the reputation you garner among them is the difference between sinking and swimming in a crowded business landscape. Knowing how to properly interact with customers and provide them with high-quality care and service is simply a must for any enterprise.
It’s all well and good being on good terms with your customer, but you also need to be able to sell your product. By taking up a sales diploma, you’ll understand the psychology of selling, identify the most useful skills sales and learn how to apply them to the benefit of your organisation. Importantly, you’ll also gain an insight into the future of sales and how to stay ahead of the curve.
Since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, being serious about data protection is an absolute must for every business. Most companies store personal or sensitive data about their employees or customers, so ensuring compliance with the GDPR should be a priority for all members of staff.
With training, you’ll be able to develop a robust data protection policy that meets your organisation’s needs, as well as gain a better understanding of the conditions that are attached to the gathering, processing and maintenance of data. You’ll acquire valuable insights into how to properly share data without violating the GDPR and be properly equipped to deal with an information request.
Stay tuned to the Tate blog for more tips on how to stay ahead of the pack in the world of work.