Life Skills for Career Success (And How To Improve Them)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated May 18, 2022 | Published December 12, 2019
Updated May 18, 2022
Published December 12, 2019
Related: Top Resume Skills
Learn more about what hard skills and soft skills to put on a resume so it stands out from the others.
Mastering essential life skills can help you face common challenges that come up at work and may even position you for advancement. While there are specific life skills that employers look for in candidates, many life skills aren’t taught in school. Life skills take practice, development and an understanding that there is always room for improvement. In this article, we discuss what life skills are and how you can develop the many life skills you need in the workplace.
What are life skills?
Life skills are the skills you need to manage the activities and challenges of everyday life effectively. Mastery and development of these skills can improve all areas of your life, from your career to relationships. They allow you to handle almost everything better, from processing your emotions more effectively to interacting with others. Necessary life skills can vary according to a person’s age or even their culture.
What are the basic life skills you need in the workplace?
There are several life skills you will need both in and out of the workplace, including:
Ability to accept constructive criticism
Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills
The ability to communicate effectively is critical in all areas of life. You need to be able to communicate not only verbally but also through writing and even body language. Communication skills can include:
Our greatest lessons are usually learned through our failures, which is why learning to cope with failure and developing resiliency are essential for success. You must learn to see failure as part of the learning process. If you are trying new things and taking risks, failure is inevitable at some point. But failure can be a great thing when we use it to learn and grow.
Read more: Resilience Skills: Definition and Examples
Decision-making is a life skill that is essential both in and out of the workplace. Employers want candidates who know how to analyze situations, weigh different options and make the best possible decisions based on the information they have. A level of confidence is required to make firm decisions and avoid second-guessing yourself. Decision-making skills can include creative thinking, focus, prioritization and time management.
To advance in your career, you must be able to cooperate with others and work as part of a team. Improving cooperation skills may require you to strengthen your conflict management skills, communication and leadership skills, empathy and/or teamwork.
Ability to accept constructive criticism
Feedback and constructive criticism from supervisors and coworkers are a crucial part of learning and improving job performance. For that reason, you must be able to thoughtfully receive feedback and apply it to your work or behaviors. To accept feedback, you must be self-aware, have a desire to learn and grow and be humble. You must also maintain your professionalism.
Time management skills are essential for staying self-disciplined and meeting goals and deadlines. This skill also helps you balance work and personal goals so that you have more time for friends, family and outside interests. How you manage your time is crucial to your happiness in all areas of your life.
**Read more: Time-management Skills: Definition and Examples
Knowing how to use basic technology is an essential skill. You should be comfortable using the equipment and software that’s standard in your office. . Improving technology skills—including social media and online research tools—will only make you a stronger employee.
How can you improve life skills?
Here are a few ways you can improve your life skills and boost your workplace performance and relationships:
Develop your interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills, or people skills, include communication skills, how we function as part of a team, and our negotiating skills. When you communicate with others, practice active listening and then rephrase what the person has told you before responding with your thoughts. This will ensure the message is being correctly communicated and assure the person you were focused entirely on them the entire time, a sign of respect that your coworker will appreciate. Active listening can improve many interpersonal skills and boost your performance as a team player.
Pay attention to the body language of others for clues about how you’re being perceived. Ask for feedback on your work performance to identify areas where you can improve. Become more self-aware and never stop looking for ways to develop your performance at work.
Great leaders—and great employees—never stop learning. Learning prepares you for new challenges, keeps your mind sharp and allows you to continually improve your skills. When you surround yourself with talented people who work hard and want to grow, you’ll learn from them and be inspired to reach your full potential.
Hire a coach
If there are specific skills you want to master, consider hiring a coach. The dedicated, focused attention you will spend to improve your skill level can have a significant impact, both personally and professionally. Your dedication to improvement can be an important signal to your employer that you are devoted to being the best you can be.
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