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Essential Skills Every Young Professional Should Develop


by Lewis Robinson

Portrait of young business professionals

Not everyone becomes a business professional overnight. It takes years of hard work. This often includes a college degree followed by years of working up the corporate ladder. However, not everyone has what it takes to be a professional. You need specific qualities to succeed in a professional business environment.

However, if you don’t know what those qualities are, you may spend years treading water without successfully pursuing the career you want. With that in mind, it’s good to be aware of some of the essential skills you must develop to be a professional.

Below are some of those skills you need to have to find long term business success:

How to Socialize.

Not everything regarding business is about crunching numbers or typing away on an office computer. You need to be able to socialize well if you really want to advance in the corporate world. Most of the biggest business deals are not made in an office. They’re made in places like restaurants, bars and the golf course.

If you want to achieve a higher level of success, you must be personable and able to start lively conversations with total strangers. You must come off as likable and be able to form good report with all kinds of people. This is not a career field for introverts.

How to Deal with Criticism.

A lot of people these days, especially young people, don’t exactly deal with criticism well. If that’s the case for you, it’s doubtful you will ever find professional success unless you change your attitude. You should not resent criticism received in a business environment, especially from those with more experience than you.

As a newcomer, you will make mistakes. Don’t resent the criticism. Don’t ignore it either. The business world requires people to improve and to be able think on their feet. If you can’t adapt when you do something wrong, it’s doubtful you’ll ever be given more responsibility than you already have.

How to Effectively Communicate.

At the core of a successful business professional is usually the ability to communicate extremely well. Just think, for example, how well Steve Jobs was able to communicate to the public when showcasing new Apple products like the iPhone. As sales training specialists will tell you, if you can’t communicate well, you won’t make the sale.

You need to be able to communicate well in all kinds of settings. You need to be able to communicate well to different audiences. This includes to your coworkers when working on a project. It includes to customers when you provide service. It includes to the boardroom when you give a presentation. It may even include a speech to a large audience.

You need to be able to communicate effectively through speech, writing, slide shows, product demonstrations and more. It’s what is required for a successful professional. What may surprise you is that 93 percent of employers think good communication skills are more important than an employee’s college major.

How to Collaborate.

Although we like to think of business professionals as individuals, those individuals achieve success by being part of a larger team. Being successful in the business world doesn’t mean only being able to socialize and communicate well. It also means being able to collaborate effectively as part of a team.

If you are working in an important company, chances are you will be assigned to different teams that work together to drive a project to completion. This teamwork must be done in person as well as through other forms of collaboration such as teleconferencing, email, instant message and more. You may also use collaboration software. Whatever the case, being a professional means being a team player. A survey revealed that 75 percent of employers rate teamwork as very important.

How to Lead.

Lastly, if you really want to move up with your professional career, you need to be a leader. Being a leader in a professional environment takes all of the above skills as well as bravery and competence. If you are shown to have strong leadership skills, you will eventually ascend higher in the organization. As statistics suggest, leadership development is lacking in one third of companies. It’s a sought after commodity.

Being a professional, even a young professional, requires being able to showcase traits that the organization will find valuable. If not, you may be better off in a different career field all together. Business can be a tough world. It’s not something for people that don’t want to work or can’t get along well with others.