Do you know the skills needed to be competitive at work? If you recall, I posted an article sometime in the past on 13 skills that will get you the job. If you have read it, that is great! if not, I encourage you to take out time and read it because you may need to refer to it for today’s post.

If you have read my brief bio, you would know that I studied law and even when I practiced for awhile I did not have to use excel or make calculations. When I decided to study human resources, the first thing I noticed was that I would have to take some accounting classes and I remember trembling at the fear of failure.

Eventually, I had to summon up courage and take those classes. It went well, I learned something new, of course with the help of my dear friend and a lot of practice. Today I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am a guru at accounting but I can at least say that I can do some accounting and get better if I had to do some at work and at least I know basic business principles. 

Should I go into my excel story too? Something similar happened and I had to learn that too because the truth remains that no employer wants someone that has nothing to offer. You just need to go with the trend of your industry. The world keeps evolving every day, you may need to learn some new things sooner than you think. You may get promoted and you just have to perform in your new position to avoid consequences. You just have to put your best foot forward at all times.

So why am I saying all of this? It’s because employers want the right skills and competencies for their organization. They want a proper balance. You as a worker/ employee should ensure that you are up to date at all times. Depending on your career sector or profession, there may be certain skills required, but some skills can still be transferable. To ensure success at your job, it will be good to also complement these skills with that which you already acquired.

A mixture of good hard and soft skills is what every employer seeks for because the business climate is in constant flux. By now I am sure that you have also read the post on knowledge, skills, and abilities: What you need to know to have a clearer perspective. There are a few competitive skills I feel should be added to the list.

Computer Software Programs

If you still don’t know how to use excel then you should do so soonest. It is so rare to see any job description that doesn’t have this as a requirement. So don’t just relax on your seat, learn this if you haven’t and become good at it so that you don’t lose your job to a better person. We should all strive to be the best at our jobs at all times. The internet is always available to give you free tutorials.

Asides from excel, depending on your industry, the type of software program may vary. For IT, I know that you may need to know how to use SQL. For human resources, it could be HRIS or ATS. Some other industries require the use of Microsoft Access. You know what you do, figure out how to use those software programs that pertain to your industry or latest improvements.

Wording texts in clear/ succinct manner

If you send out letters, emails, and so on then you want to make it easy to read. This goes along with good communication. Try to read the articles I mentioned earlier. As much as you need to speak fluently, you should also communicate well with text. Communication relates to individuals within and outside your company.

Ability to work within a team

With several generations of workers in today’s workplace, it is only important that you learn to work with diverse people in your company. I have explained how to improve your teamwork skills in the past and I encourage you to read that.


Cultural agility comes into play. Cultural agility is the mega-competency which enables professionals to perform successfully in cross-cultural situations. You need to learn to appreciate different cultures and acquire some bit of knowledge. This will help you work effectively in your organization. It is important for you to relate well to your colleagues at work. 

Of course, to successfully exhibit these skills, you need to have the willingness to learn. Most organizations require this from its employees.

Do you have additions to these skills? Don’t forget to read previous posts and add to the skills you should learn if you haven’t.

Remember that improving your skills will not only help in your professional development but your personal development as well. Subscribe to our blog to stay informed!

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