10 Skills That Are Super Useful to Know (Regardless of What You Do)

November 3, 2017

These are useful work skills to know, regardless of what your job is.

Have you ever been around one of those people who just knows how to do everything? Like your car is making a weird noise, and they know what’s wrong? Or, your door squeaks, and they know how to fix it? Or you are in a tough situation, and they are the first person you call because you know they’ll know what to do?

I don’t know about you, but I love those people.

Well, this list is the work version of that. Regardless of what you do, there are a few skills that come up in virtually every job. If you take the time to learn these skills, you’ll quickly become the most indispensable person in the office – something that’s very good for your career.

What are those skills? Here are 10, that are helpful no matter what you do:

1. Photoshop

This seems to come up in almost every job. People want to alter a photo or resize an image or put together a graphic, and have no idea how to do it. That means relying on someone else or hiring someone else to do something you could easily learn yourself.

Do you need to be a Photoshop expert? Probably not. But knowing the basics really comes in handy.

Recommended course: Photoshop CC 2018 Essential Training: The Basics

2. Microsoft Excel

With virtually every job today being data-driven, Microsoft Excel has become a software many of us use daily. And yet, most of us use only its most minimal functions, never unleashing the full power of the tool.

Spending some time learning what Excel can really do can make you far more productive.

Recommended course: Master Excel

3. Project Management

Project management is one of those skills everyone thinks they have innately – but they don’t. And projects fail because of it.

Learning the basics of project management – how to keep everyone on the same page, the best way to hold people accountable, etc. – goes a long way to making you more effective.   

Recommended course: Project Management Foundations

4. Presenting

Presenting seems like a soft skill. But it’s anything but – there’s a science to presenting. By following certain rules, you’ll consistently give good presentations.

Recommended course: Public Speaking Foundations

5. PowerPoint

This goes hand-in-hand with the last point. Most presentations are on PowerPoint and most jobs require you to present, ergo it’s an incredibly useful skill to learn how to best use PowerPoint.

Recommended course: PowerPoint 2016 Essential Training

6.  How to code

This sounds like a niche skill. It isn’t.

Barack Obama, Marco Rubio, Chris Bosh, Sheryl Sandberg and more are all on the record saying everyone should learn how to code. But I’ll leave it to the smartest man in the known world, Stephen Hawking, to have the final word on the topic.

“Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn,” Hawking said.

Recommended course: Programming Foundations: Fundamentals

7. Digital marketing

Like coding, this sounds like a skill that applies to some functions more than others. But think about it: basic online marketing means knowing how to build a website, optimize social media, SEO and how to create content that inspires your target market to act. Almost assuredly, you will face at least one of those challenges in the near future, if not all four.

Recommended course: Online Marketing Foundations

8. Writing

Email is the most common form of business communication. And there’s likely a part of your job that requires you to write reports or draw up contracts or engage in some version of long-form writing.

If you can’t write effectively, all of those areas will suffer. It’ll also take you much longer to write each one, which will make you less productive. Conversely, spending some time to learn how to write clearly will make you a far more valuable member of any team.

Recommended course: Business Writing Principles

9. Networking

A lot of people don’t like networking. But a lot of people don’t like exercising, either – that doesn’t mean it isn’t good for you.

Bottom line, being a good networker is good for your career and will lead to more opportunities and stronger relationships. You don’t need to be the life of the party, but knowing how to handle a two-hour professional event goes a long way.

Recommended course: Professional Networking

10.  Sales

Last but far from least. Sales is a universal skill that all professionals should learn.

At the very least, you need to learn how to sell yourself. But there will likely be a time in your career you’ll need to learn how to sell a product or service. Knowing the basics of selling – which means not being sleazy, but helpful – will help tremendously during these times.

Recommended course: Sales Foundations