I’ve been enjoying my “new” job for almost two years now. It’s amazing how fast time goes when you are enjoying what you do. While I am quite busy in my new job, I do enjoy it – a lot; and I wouldn’t have been able to get this job if it were not for my ambition to learn new skills.
Getting a job can be quite difficult these days. My organization is currently hiring a new person and in the matter of one week, we’ve received over 50 applicants for this new position. To say that the job market is competitive would be an understatement. Learning new skills is there not only important to help you stand out, but essential.
But, it’s one thing to say, “Go learn a new skill,” and it’s something completely different to say that almost anyone can do it – yet, that’s the truth. If you are looking to get a new job, here are three marketable skills that are easy to learn.
If there is one thing that I have learned, it’s that basic graphic design is a valuable skill to have. In my organization, we use the Adobe creative suite to edit images as well as to create and design professional flyers; while it may not sound like a lot, it is a regular part of our everyday activities. Almost all of our fundraising events have numerous promotional materials and we are now getting more sophisticated in our social media content. Long story short, graphic design is popular these days and if an organization has to choose between someone who knows how to make edits and someone who does not, who do you think they will choose?
The best part? It doesn’t take a huge commitment to learn some of the basics of graphic design. Get your hands on some cheap or free software, and start playing around with it a couple hours a week. Before you know it, you’ll get the hang of it. You could even be the in-house graphic designer at your small company, like I used to be (before we hired someone else).
Some people shy away from numbers. I’m not sure if it’s due to some childhood trauma from their math teacher or something else, but let me be clear: numbers and financial information does not have to intimidate you. If numbers are foreign to you, let me reassure you that anyone can have a basic understanding of finances, budgets, and so on. It doesn’t have to require getting a finance degree either. It may be as simple as checking out a book or two from the local library on how to budget, or perhaps even reading more on this blog.
Not only will a basic understanding of finances improve your odds of getting hired, but it will also pave the way to promotions. Think about it – what are all managers/directors in charge of or have input on that others do not? THE BUDGET. I know from personal experience that one factor that goes into consideration when promoting from within is who is more equipped to take on the additional responsibilities.
This one may sound a little broad, but it is absolutely the truth. One of my coworkers often equates my ability to speak “tech” with my youth and while there may be some correlation to that, there’s absolutely no causation. Age does not determine one’s ability to understand technology – it’s just a matter or time and energy.
If you commit yourself to understanding how and why things work the way that they do, you will go a long ways. I started this website not knowing the first thing about running a website. Now, I not only manage my company’s website, but am the lead person on a couple of software development conversations. Start asking the questions that no one else answers and use the internet to your advantage and before you know it, you may find yourself in charge of technology for a small company. The more software and platforms that you are familiar with, the more likely you are to secure a job, in my opinion. (of course there’s a balance between diversity of programs and proficiency of individual programs, but you get the point).
If you want to make yourself more marketable, whether it be for a promotion or a new job, find new skills to add to your arsenal. Success won’t come knocking on your door, you have to go looking for it. While these are just three common skills that can help you along the way, there are many others that do not require an advanced degree.