Motivation logo

A truly sustainable and competitive career is driven by "workplace fuel", which consists of 3 areas

How can I improve my future competitiveness?

By Dylan M ParkinPublished 2 years ago 8 min read

A truly sustainable and competitive career is driven by 'workplace fuel', which consists of 3 areas.

1. transferable skills.

2. meaningful experiences.

3. lasting relationships.

As a career counselor, I often see a phenomenon that

People underestimate the length of the career journey and run out of fuel halfway through.

Many people focus on the superficial aspects of a career: the title, the promotion, the office environment, the salary.

These are considered important career milestones, but they are not the end.

I would ask you to remember that a truly successful and sustainable career is driven by 'workplace fuel'.

A smart career strategy is to build up workplace fuel and keep it up to date throughout your career, while spending it wisely.

There are 3 types of workplace fuels that exist in a career and are important to achieve long-term success

● Transferable skills.

● Meaningful experiences.

● Lasting relationships.

Fuel #1: Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are the basic competencies you acquire and possess during your career.

They are not only the technical knowledge and industry jargon that help you do the job at hand, but they are the competencies and foundations you can rely on when you switch from job to job, company to company, or even industry to industry.

The transferable skills that allow you to pull ahead of others include the following.

Problem-solving skills.

In a way, any job in the world exists to solve a problem.

Are you able to analyze a problem and develop a solution?

When you're faced with a challenge and a blank sheet of paper, do you have a solid solution or two that will solve the problem?

Early in my career, I had the privilege of working at P&G. They provided me with a solid foundation in the basic methods and principles of problem solving, which has benefited me throughout my working life. I learned other things from my training at Ogilvy and from my experience working with clients.

One of the approaches I use in my business, whether I'm talking to a CEO or a new hire, is to start with the question, "How does the customer shop for this product or service?

I've also heard people who will ask the question, "How does Google or Apple respond to this?" A trained scientist or accountant may also have their preferred approach.

In interviews, I always throw at least one open-ended question at the candidate that has almost no answer. I'm not so much concerned about whether they get it right as I am more interested in how they cut through the question.

The good thing is that there are quite a few theoretical frameworks and strategies that can help you improve your problem-solving skills.

You should consciously add some different approaches to your toolbox, and be brave enough to combine several different approaches to create a unique recipe that works for you.

What's your approach? Where would you learn a better, more robust approach to problem solving?

Persuasive communication skills.

No matter what industry you end up in, persuasion is a key skill that will be used for a lifetime.

Inventors and creative workers need it to sell their ideas, doctors need it to get others to trust their diagnosis, business people need it to sell their products and services, community volunteers and social activists need it to gain supporters for their missions, and musicians and painters need it to get work and recruit fans.

Whether you are communicating with clients, colleagues, friends or strangers, being able to present your ideas in a clear, concise manner is an essential skill.

Some people find persuasion to be a superficial or inferior trick.

Try to change your mind.

There is no set style of persuasion, ranging from a tough, overtly aggressive step-by-step approach to a calm, credible, and well-coached approach.

Susan Cain explains the potential of introverts in her book, The Competitiveness of Introverted Personalities. Whether you are naturally extroverted or introverted, you can find your own style, but only if you learn how to persuade others.

From my personal experience, those who are unable to convince others of their ideas are frustrated and devalued in their careers.

In today's work environment, persuasive communication needs to be expressed through many different channels.

Are you good at expressing yourself in writing?

Can you convince someone by clearly stating a concise written argument with a few strong arguments?

When you try to convince someone via email, how many times do you get a response like "Got it, thanks"?

Do your emails often start an email war?

Can you convince people face-to-face?

Can you speak in front of a group of people and get them to act?

Right now, one of the best channels of persuasion in the world is online video. Can you attract more than 1,000 views with a two-minute video on a topic you love?

You should practice over the next 6 months by choosing a topic, shooting a low-cost video, posting it online, and seeing how it turns out.

Then, keep tweaking and experimenting in all areas. There's no better way to hone your storytelling skills than to be watched, liked and shared by a real audience.

One thing you'll find when testing your storytelling skills: simplicity wins.

Many people, especially when they first enter the workforce, think that industry jargon, highfalutin rhetoric and acronyms make them look smarter.

In fact, the opposite is true: industry jargon and highfalutin rhetoric don't win audiences, they lose them.

You should use words and images that people understand and that hit their pain points.

Sometimes, if I have a complex problem to solve, I'll do an exercise called "writing a letter to my mom.

I would actually draft a letter to my mom explaining the problem at hand and the action I wanted to take. Since my mom hadn't been involved in my industry, this exercise would force me to use simple and clear language so that the key points would be presented with particular clarity. The next time you have a tough challenge, try "writing to your mom" too.

Persuasion doesn't just come from being expressed out loud. While this may work for a while, it's not a long-term solution.

Part of persuasiveness comes from the compelling facts that give people real reason to believe you. But in a world where information is everywhere there are too many choices and half-truths and too few reliable sources of information.

When working with young professionals in my company, I always encourage them to footnote and source every key point. It's an old method that still works today.

When you talk about how you find ways to find reliable sources of information and document them, it sends a signal to the audience that you are well prepared and that your ideas have credibility.

A point that is often overlooked in communication that is not directly related to the speaker himself is one of the best skills to learn - the ability to be aware of communication barriers and adjust your approach accordingly. During a conversation, several different issues may arise.

● Conversations occur when two people use different statements to describe the same thing. Have you ever been in a conversation where, just as you finish, someone says the exact same point again in different words? That's dialogue.

● Conflict arises when two people use the same phrase, but refer to different things. This happens all the time when talking about abstract concepts like "efficiency" or "quality". Even the concept of 'punctuality' has different meanings in different cultural contexts. Middle Easterners and Germans have a completely different understanding of punctuality in attending meetings.

● Communication breakdowns occur when there is no basis for communication between the two parties. This is when it means that the two colleagues are completely unable to communicate.

You can be a very persuasive and well-traveled public speaker, but if you are unable to analyze the situation and adjust your strategy quickly, you may run into some trouble.

Ability to get things done.

The ability to perform and complete tasks, while no more basic, is of tremendous value for a long career.

While everyone has some ability to execute, only those who can produce consistently despite the odds can really stand out.

Can you guarantee that you will never be a tiger and a snake?

Have you learned how to defy the distractions and obstacles in front of you and cut through the thorns to achieve the ultimate goal?

Do your colleagues deliver increasingly difficult projects to you, or to someone else?

If you can complete a task once, it can only be considered a hero once. But if you can consistently complete the task, this is a powerful and lifelong career skills.

You can look for people in your own company who can keep completing tasks, and they are your best teachers. Perform, learn, and so on.

"Talent Gravity".

There is a saying that the companies with the best people usually succeed. I agree with this statement.

There is another truth that corresponds to this: Individual leaders who have the ability to attract and mobilize cutting-edge talent usually succeed.

Recruiting great talent to your side allows you to do your job better and expand your influence. This ability is one of the factors that separates the good from the top.

"Talent Attraction not only enables people to excel in their individual businesses, but it also nurtures and develops the next generation of star talent and attracts fresh blood into the organization.

Cultivating Talent Gravity starts with the right mindset - the realization that no one needs to work for you, they have to want to work for you.

I call this the eBay factor.


About the Creator

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.