The Most Important Life Skills And How They Help Your Career

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Mastering life skills and applying them in your job can help you handle challenges at work successfully. You can gain life skills through your education, work experience or interactions with others. Learning to identify which abilities you can use in your professional life can assist you in becoming more efficient at work and advancing your career. In this article, we discuss the most important life skills you can apply in your career, list some examples, share tips for improving them and explain how to highlight them in a job application.

What Are The Most Important Life Skills?

The most important life skills are the abilities that enable you to handle your duties, resolve issues, prosper at work and manage your professional connections well. Developing life skills requires a commitment to constantly learn and improve yourself. Most employers seek candidates who can overcome any obstacles they may face in their workplace. Possessing life skills helps with making decisions, communicating effectively, handling your concerns and managing your time efficiently. These skills are especially important for progressing to leadership roles.

Related: What Are Life Skills? Examples And How To Improve Them

Examples Of The Most Important Life Skills You Can Use In The Workplace

You may regularly use life skills in your personal life. Practising these skills can help you manage your daily responsibilities. Here is a list that of life skills that you can apply in your workplace:

Communication

Communication skills help you to exchange information, work cooperatively and form relationships with colleagues. They are important in almost every professional context. Being able to communicate across various channels is especially important with the advancement of digital technologies. Effective communication may require knowledge of phone and online etiquette and how to conduct yourself in face-to-face meetings. It encompasses active listening, public speaking, verbal, non-verbal and written communication. Hiring managers favour candidates who possess excellent communication skills.

Related: 13 Steps To Be Successful in Life: Tips And Advice

Teamwork

Teamwork is the ability to understand your role in a team and work effectively with your colleagues. Effective collaboration is important for increasing productivity. Positive relationships with your colleagues may enhance your performance, resulting in higher morale, job satisfaction and efficiency. Collaboration skills help to make the workplace more dynamic. They also increase your employability with organisations that require you to work closely with a team to achieve their objectives. Effective teamwork often improves the overall performance of the organisation.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking allows you to think rationally and without bias. It helps you to develop your understanding, ask the right questions and compare multiple options, improving your ability to resolve any problems you may encounter while completing your tasks. Critical thinking may involve brainstorming and presenting ideal short-term and long-term resolutions to clients, colleagues and managers. Forming creative solutions to overcome challenges benefits everyone in the workplace.

Related: Importance Of Soft Skills In The Workplace

Organisation

Organisation refers to more than just maintaining a clutter-free environment. Keeping physical and virtual objects in functional order is one of the most significant life skills you may practise in your workplace. Whether you use a planner to keep records of your daily work obligations or build a system for archiving pertinent emails, organisation is a habit that can benefit your professional life.

Organisation can help you reduce burdens, finish projects on schedule and complete your everyday routine without difficulty. As a result, it is one of the most significant abilities a potential employer looks for in a candidate. You can develop your organisational abilities with discipline, focus and determination.

Related: What Are Examples Of Professionalism Skills?

Time management

Focusing on your tasks and prioritising projects requires exceptional time management skills. Managing deadlines, scheduling important meetings and appointments and performing everyday duties requires attention and the ability to work within a timeframe. Using a planner or an agenda for your projects might help you handle your responsibilities easily.

Technological skills

Many jobs require digital literacy and proficiency in technology. Employers might require you to use computer applications like spreadsheets or word processors, build networks and data storage systems or share and retrieve data. Since most workplaces use modern technology, expertise in common devices like computers, printers and smartphones can make your work easier. It is also beneficial to possess a working knowledge of common software products in your field. For example, if you want to work as a business analyst, knowledge of data mining tools might be important.

Related: Key Employability Skills To Be Successful In The Workplace

Leadership

Employers often regard leadership as an important employability skill. It is the drive to take proactive measures and adjust to changing situations. Leaders often influence their colleagues. Accepting ownership, making decisions and implementing policies can establish your leadership potential. Finding or creating opportunities at work and identifying customers' requirements without assistance can display your initiative. Leadership skills can help you to understand the organisation's targets and develop appropriate strategic measures to realise them.

Adaptability

Adaptability is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances in your surroundings. At work, being flexible enables you to react quickly and easily to new concepts, assignments, standards, developments, tactics and procedures. When managing projects, formulating strategies or working towards goals, it is important to be adaptable. Being adaptable also demonstrates a willingness to attempt new approaches and gain new skills.

How To Improve Your Life Skills

Here are three tips to help you improve important life skills:

1. Keep learning to grow your abilities

A willingness to learn is necessary to expand and improve your life abilities. It enables you to easily handle challenges, solve problems and develop your competencies. You can learn new skills by reading books, taking online classes and having conversations with your peers and colleagues. Educating yourself helps you to grow both personally and professionally.

2. Build your self-awareness

Improving your self-awareness might assist you in correcting any weaknesses and succeeding at work. Understanding your strengths and limitations aids in your personal development. To improve your self-awareness, request an honest evaluation of your performance, accept and act on constructive criticism and identify areas that require improvement. Continually search for ways to advance your skill set to improve your performance and productivity at work.

3. Find helpful resources and set goals

You can acquire techniques for strengthening the transferable skills you wish to focus on from a variety of sources, including books, seminars and online courses. While some have costs, many are free, and you can access them at any time. You might want to try using a few different resources to discover which approach best suits your learning style. Set precise, quantifiable learning goals by scrutinising your work assessments or seeking helpful advice from reliable people like your mentors, trusted friends and teammates.

How Life Skills Benefit You In The Workplace

Here are a few ways that practising life skills may help your career:

  • Maintaining a positive attitude: You can recover from setbacks and view them as opportunities to learn by practising life skills. This helps you to stay positive, handle demanding tasks and persevere at work.

  • Building convictions and staying accountable: Practising skills like leadership can empower you to take responsibility for your decisions. It promotes new perspectives, improves your confidence and assists you in showing conviction for your actions.

  • Improving flexibility: Life skills allow you to endure and overcome adversity, making you more flexible. They help you adjust to changes at work and respond accordingly.

How To Highlight Your Most Important Life Skills

The following are two ways you might highlight your life skills during the hiring process:

In your resume and cover letter

Read the job listing carefully to see if the key skills match yours. You can use the keywords as descriptors in your resume to demonstrate these abilities. In the work history section, briefly discuss any life skills you used in your previous roles. You can also list them in the skills section. Mentioning a few key skills in your cover letter can help a recruiter determine your suitability as a candidate. Make sure the abilities you mention apply to the job you are applying for and relate to the company's objectives and values.

In your interview

Sharing relevant anecdotes from your professional experience is the easiest way of demonstrating your essential skills to an interviewer. Consider using the STAR technique when providing examples. This entails describing the scenario, outlining the task, explaining the actions you performed and describing the results they produced.

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