Six Skills Everyone Needs to Succeed at Work

Apr 10, 2013 | 7:16 pm
Work Skills
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Work shouldn’t just be a means to an end or a way to pay off bills. Your work takes up a considerable amount of hours in your day. That means that doing something you are proud of and enjoy can help provide you with a more fulfilling and happier life. One way to help increase your level of satisfaction with your work life is to take stock of your basic work skills. Below are six skill areas that everyone needs to succeed at work. Are there areas in your own life that could use some improvement?

Basic Reading

You can’t get very far in life without being able to read well. Reading doesn’t mean being able to know what a word is or being able to pronounce it. Reading is being able to comprehend and use the words you are reading. Basically, if you can’t explain the meaning of a word using your own words, you don’t know it and therefore you diminish your chances of comprehending the meaning of any sentence that contains that word.

Spending time reading a variety of materials will help you increase your comprehension and understanding. This is an essential work skill, as you will need to be able to read emails, forms, brochures and much more to do most basic work.

Basic Writing

In our world of technology and social media, basic writing skills are needed more and more. That means understanding things like basic subject-verb agreement, understanding what makes a complete sentence and being able to use at least a basic high school vocabulary to communicate your ideas.

Your writing skills reflect not only your personal level of education, but also the reputation of the company you are working for. To help increase this skill, make sure you’re taking time out to improve your writing skills.

Communication Skills

Communication is the foundation for workplace success. Misunderstandings are often just the result of communication gone awry. Having a solid understanding and knowledge of the basics of communication can help you get far in life – even without other skills.

Good communicators can get their point across easily, help other people understand each other and practice active listening to make sure they are really understanding what people are saying to them.

Situational Awareness

This is an often-overlooked area of personal development. However, being aware enough to understand what’s going on around you can help make your work life easier and more enjoyable. For instance, if a customer comes up to you and is clearly in a bad mood, you wouldn’t want to talk to them in an extremely cheerful manner. This would just upset them further. Someone with good situational awareness would immediately realize this person was upset and change their tone to try and help the person in a manner that will hopefully leave them feeling better.


Computers are part of just about every job nowadays. Having a good understanding of the basic technology needed for your job will make you an invaluable asset to your company. Don’t stop with just learning the bare minimum about how to use the technology, either. Make sure you take the time to really learn everything about the software your company uses.

Also, with mobile technology growing rapidly, understanding how to make the best use of smartphones and tablets will enable you to enjoy even more success at work.

Planning/Organizational Skills

At the end of the day, the person who is able to get their work done in a timely and efficient manner is the employee who holds the most value. Knowing how to prioritize and organize your workload so you can get more done is key ingredient to enjoying success at work.

Can you identify tasks that you could develop a system to finish quicker? Do you know what things are more important than others? Do you do what you say you are going to do? You should be asking yourself these basic questions on a daily basis.