It takes skills to make a job into a career.

Interpersonal communication in a business setting, conflict negotiation, dependability/reliability, networking, time management, stress management, perseverance, and excellent job performance, positive attitude, and self-management.

Business Communication

Written and oral business communication must be short and to the point. It needs to state the bottom line upfront in the letter or the talk. Most managers are busty and occupied in their minds so to get and keep their attention, you need to state the reason for the communication in a way that excites them and attracts them to what it is you are communicating.

Negotiation

Negotiation for time off, a pay raise, or a promotion is something that can only be done with leveraging. You are leveraging with your credibility that is built by your excellent job performance that has demonstrated your value to the company. Remember too, that your absence makes a difference so offer to swap time for being off work. EX: Instead of working 9 am to 12 noon, those same 3 hours are worked at other times, but those 3 hours are worked and not completely missing from your contribution to the company.

Dependability/Reliability

Imagine your job position as being a part of a human pyramid and your job position is on the bottom part of this pyramid. What do you suppose happens to the pyramid if you suddenly decide to leave the pyramid? It collapses and members of the pyramid on the top part could get hurt as they fall. Being absent from work is the same thing as being the one that causes the collapse of the human pyramid.

These are the soft skills that you need to be successful in your job and make it into your career.

Time Management

Chunking blocks of times for certain tasks is what many successful employees do. If you are in leadership, these blocks of time are inbetween meeting times. If you are not in a leadership role, these blocks of time are centered around specific job tasks that must be done in the fulfillment of your job role. In order for this skill to operate as it should, you need to write down or type out a daily calendar with specific tasks to be accomplished within a specific block of time, and stick to it. This way you are productive and less stressed.

Stress Management

There are always good work days and bad workdays in most people’s thinking……but what if there was just “workdays?” Thinking in terms of every day not being “good” or “bad” is one way that reduces work stress. Keeping track of what needs to be done in fulfillment of your job role and doing it in blocks of time is another way to reduce work stress. Then, of course, there is the massage, movie watching, video game playing, golfing, fishing… :)

Perseverance

Not giving up — being persistent to make it through, or make it work (whatever “it” is) lends to the job getting done no matter what barriers might stand in the way. EX: The fax machine breaks in the middle of faxing documents, and you find a workaround such as scanning the document and emailing it to the destination it is meant to go. In this case, there was no show stopper, only a challenge met with a workaround.

[Excellent] Work Performance

Want leverage to get time off, a pay raise, or a promotion? Show your value and your worth. This is accomplished very effectively with a consistent, persistent, and constant demonstration of excellent job performance. What this looks like is that each time you work and perform a job task, you do it with 150% effort and it shows. This does not mean you don’t make errors. This means you make a few errors and you learn from them. Doing this on a regular basis makes you extremely valuable to your employer and gives you leverage. Be sure to use and not abuse this leverage or it could backfire.

Positive Attitude

There is less effort to smile than to frown, and most people appreciate being around others who are positive and upbeat. Be that person and you will not only have a lot of positive co-workers and your popularity will grow amid your colleagues, but your employer will also see you in a positive way and that could lead to raise in pay, promotions, paid company trips, first rite of refusal for job opportunities that may lead to perks and benefits not possible with your present job position.

Self-management

Being self-disciplined is easier said than done for most people. However, the benefits of being self-disciplined far outweigh the costs associated with this discipline. EX: You want to play a computer game instead of writing a report. Your self-discipline says, write the report and then play the game. You follow this discipline, write the report and the boss is thrilled that this report is written well and was submitted on time. Now you have demonstrated excellent job performance and have greater value to the company and leverage for your benefit.