For most people, being the absolute best at any one discipline is a challenging task. We simply can’t or don’t have the time to spend 10,000 - 20,000 hours of study and practice to totally master a skill. Here’s the good news! This is by no means necessary to become a valuable employee or have a successful professional career.
Many skills acquired in your life and previous work complement the skills needed to start or grow a career in technology. This means that whatever you bring to the table, whether it be experience from a previous job, a training course, or simply what you may have learned in “life’s classroom,” you can use this to take the next step in your career.
Scott Adams captures it best “The idea of a talent stack is that you can combine ordinary skills until you have enough of the right kind to be extraordinary. You don’t have to be the best in the world at any one thing. All you need to succeed is to be good at a number of skills that fit well together.”
A study by LinkedIn and Capgemini found that of the 1,200 hiring professionals surveyed, 59% said their organization lacks employees who possess soft digital skills, and that the skill gap between soft and technical skills is widening. This shows that every skill you add to your personal stack increases your value to potential employers.
For individuals who already have basic skills in the workforce or some college education, you are in a great position to take training and apply it toward improving your career options! Even if you do not have any previous formal training, there are still opportunities to grow a new career with a modest investment of time and resources. Keep reading to learn what it takes to stack your way to an incredible tech career!
What Skills Do I Have That Stack Well With Technology?
Productivity allows you to make better use of your time, prioritize tasks, reduce stress, and accomplish goals in a timely fashion. Being productive is something all employers want from their team members. Why? Because productive people bring the following skills to an organization.
- Prioritization: You are able to effectively classify tasks so you can feel more accomplished in your day and mindfully manage incoming requests.
- Focus: You don’t multitask and are able to see tasks through to completion in a timely fashion.
- Organization: You are able to maintain a system to organize information, tasks, and ideas so that you are not sacrificing productivity in finding the resources you need.
Communication is critical to organizations at all levels and within every industry. Written communication is the most common form of communication required in the workplace. Your ability to present your thoughts to other team members will make it easier to do your job. When you can write clearly and concisely you will have little problem having others understand your ideas.
Persuasion is probably the most misunderstood trait in modern business culture. We commonly think of persuasive people as being pushy or phony. The reality is that being good at persuasion helps a team get all of the ideas out in the open. When you are persuasive you become a valuable member of the team by explaining a clear and logical reason why others should favor a certain action. These are the skills that make you good at persuasion.
- Information gathering: Persuasion is about accurately and effectively presenting ideas. You will be able to help the team when you are the one who is not afraid to look up concepts or ideas that are unfamiliar to you.
- Listening: You will better persuade your thoughts when you are good at listening to the thoughts and ideas of others. When others feel you have heard them, they will be more likely to hear you.
- Overcome objections: It is very common for ideas to be met with concerns and objections. By listening and presenting clear reasoning, you will be better able to get the team to see things from your perspective and better trust your solution.
- Empathy: Ultimately the team is trying to solve a problem. The more you are able to put yourself in the shoes of other team members and your supervisors, the better you can work as a group. When you understand where they want to go, they will better understand that you are working to solve the group’s problem or resolve a pain point.
A basic understanding of people, how we’re wired and what motivates our actions, will help you work on a team and grow in an organization. It seems obvious but the strength of a team is its people. The better you understand the people around you, the better you will understand why team members behave, react, and respond in a variety of situations.
How can I take advantage of my current skill stack?
Technology skills are a great addition to your skillset without requiring a huge time or financial commitment. There are many available courses, like those offered by NuPaths, that require only a few months of time and are very affordable. Best of all, this investment in yourself will yield a high return when it comes to changing or advancing your career.
Keep in mind that to be successful in tech you don’t need to be the best security expert, the greatest marketer, or know everything about network administration. In fact, you probably already have some great skills that will make you valuable in a technology role. Now it’s time to hone in on those skills by backing them with some additional training. The best place to get started is to have an initial conversation with a NuPaths Student Success Coordinator who will help you see what skills you already have that will stack with technology skills to increase your value and opportunities in the workforce. Click here to schedule a call today!
“A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.” – Scott Adams