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Important Professional Skills to Develop Early

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An individual’s professional skills are extremely important in the business world. The way that someone cooperates with others, handles their workload, and acts around the office can determine their success or failure as an employee.
Listed below are the professional skills that can start being developed early to ensure future success in the workplace.

(1) Interest in Work
This professional skill refers to how enthusiastic the employee is about the occupation and how much pride they take in completing their work. This is important because an employer wants to see eager employees that are passionate about doing a good job and helping to improve the company as a whole. Happiness at work is the ultimate productivity booster.

(2) Initiative
This professional skill refers to seeing the employee as a self-starter. It is important for employers to see an employee who is motivated enough to complete assigned work and then ask for additional things to finish. Or, even better, for an employee to recognize what needs to be done around the office and complete the tasks without being asked. The greatest advantage to taking initiative in the workplace is to gain more skills and knowledge about the company and, in the process, become a more valuable employee.

(3) Planning and Organizing
This professional skill refers to how the employee plans and organizes their work to complete tasks in an efficient and timely manner. This skill is extremely important in the fast paced business world that involves multitasking to stay ahead.
Planning and organizing is the foundational skill for any management position. Therefore this skill is essential to progress in the company.

(4) Setting Goals
This professional skill refers to the goals set by the employee at the beginning of their work term and the progress made against those goals. An employer will expect an employee to refer back on their goals regularly to improve their skills and abilities.
Goals are important because most business models are built on goals to ensure progress is being made and objectives are being met. The S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting model is one of the most effective ways to set and achieve objectives. These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

(5) Ability to Learn
This professional skill refers to how much information, knowledge, skills, and abilities the employee can pick up while on the job. It is important for an employer to see progress in their employees and have them discover new possibilities.

(6) Quality of Work
This professional skill refers to the amount of errors made while on the job. An employer wants to see as few errors as possible, which means that the employee is being careful to complete their job exceptionally.

(7) Quantity of Work
This professional skill refers to the overall productivity of the employee. It is important for an employer to see an employee getting a lot done in the workplace. No employee wants to be a workaholic, however, enough work needs to be completed to be beneficial.

(8) Creativity
This professional skill refers to the employee’s ability to offer new ideas to benefit the company. Employers look for bright, imaginative minds that can keep their business ahead of the rest in a competitive environment.

(9) Reflection and Integration from Prior Learning
This professional skill refers to the employee’s ability to think deeply and reflect on past experience (in school or work) and then apply it to current workplace activity. An employee who can relate their previous knowledge to their present situation is a valuable asset for an employer and as they reflect critically on past experiences they will learn new things faster and assert more creativity into the business.

(10) Judgment
This professional skill refers to the employee’s ability to make a thorough analysis of the situation and then act accordingly. It is important for an employer to see their employees making sound, professional decisions in their actions.

(11) Problem Solving Skills
This professional skill refers to the employee’s ability to resolve dilemmas and issues. An employer will look for an employee who is highly adept and innovative when looking for possible solutions and compromises.

(12) Dependability
This professional skill refers to the reliability of the employee. It is import for employees to be responsible and loyal to the company as employers want employees they can count on.

(13) Interpersonal Behaviour
This professional skill refers to the employee’s ability to work in harmony with others. This includes including to group relationships and effectiveness and being an excellent team worker. Most businesses are built on teamwork and cooperation. An employer wants to see an employee who can work cooperatively with others to achieve company goals.

(14) Handling Conflict
This professional skill refers to the employee’s ability to effectively and consistently handle interpersonal conflict in most situations. Employers want employee’s who can resolve disagreements in compromise on their own or cooperatively with the other party’s involved.

(15) Response to Supervision
This professional skill refers to how maturely, positively, and promptly an employee can respond to their supervisor’s suggestions and feedback. It is important for an employee to be as optimistic and professional as possible while keeping an open mind about constructive criticism.

(16) Communication – Written
This professional skill refers to how clear, well organized, and concise an employee’s writing is in the workplace. Reports and other written documents are important because they might be referred to later on and therefore must be legible, helpful, and to the point.

(17) Communication – Oral
This professional skill refers to how clear, well organized, and understandable an employee’s verbal interaction is in the workplace. Verbal communication is important to ensure less confusion and more productivity in the company.

(18) Leadership Qualities
This professional skill refers to the employee’s ability to motivate and direct others. Employers are always interested in finding new, charismatic employees to advance into more influential positions in the company.

(19) Adaptation to Formal Organizations, Rules, and Policies
This professional skill refers to how adaptable the employee is to recognized company structures, regulations, and procedures. It is important that all employees can obey the rules to ensure the smooth running of the company.

Based on the University of Waterloo’s Student Performance Evaluation.

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