Is career success incredibly important to you? Do you want to learn what skills are necessary to have the most success in your chosen field?
Well, let me tell you. The MOST important skill for career success is COMMUNICATION.
It is true!
Career coaches believe that career success begins with communication skills, the ability to write and speak in a way that is clear, concise, easily understood and honest.
How will great communication skills allow you to achieve the success you desire?
#1 – Finding a job will be easier.
The first step in achieving career success is finding a job! And having excellent communication skills makes finding a job much easier.
Networking is a big part of looking for a job and if you are the kind of person who can put themselves out there, who can talk to people, listen, share and connect then you will be the kind of person someone would want to hire and the kind of person someone would recommend for a job.
Your resume is a very important piece of the job application process and without an exceptional, well written, well thought out resume you will not come across on paper as a superior candidate. Even someone with a shortage of skill sets can use words to enhance their job experience description, making a potential employer more likely to grant them an interview.
And then there is the interview – the most important part of the job search experience. Once you get in the door this is your chance to shine, to show them who you are. And unless you can look them in the eye, express yourself well, be interesting and funny and smart, then you may as well not even bother.
The ability to connect with people, both in writing and in spoken word, is an essential part of the getting the job you want.
#2 – Your co-workers will trust you.
Once you have that job, it’s essential that you not rest on your laurels. Your work is important but what is a key part of career success is your relationship with your co-workers.
Think about that person who comes into work, goes right to their desk without speaking to anyone, who is disruptive in meetings and crabby about their work? Is that the kind of person who inspires confidence in others? Is that the kind of person you would want to have on your team?
So, make a huge effort to be personable in your office space. Be kind to your co-workers, listen to what they have to say, take interest in their families and ask them questions about their ideas.
Treat your co-workers the way you would want to be treated and earn their trust and respect. It will get you far.
#3 – Your great ideas will get out there.
Ok, let’s say that you have a great idea. A revolutionary idea that could change the way that your company works. One that, if implemented correctly, could mean that your career would skyrocket.
Imagine if this great idea is stuck in your head, waiting to be expressed, but that you just can’t get it down on paper. You try to write a proposal to your boss and you can’t articulate it clearly and he refuses to consider it. Or you approach a co-worker for their support and the way you phrase things confuses them and they refuse to help.
If you have excellent verbal and written skills you will have a great tool in hand to forward your ideas and achieve great career success.
#4 – You will advocate for yourself.
So. let’s say that you have been working your butt off. Your co-workers love and trust you and your ideas are changing the corporate culture. You know that you deserve a raise. But you don’t know how to ask for one.
Or perhaps let’s say you are struggling with a co-worker and you want your manager to help you work through it because you know that if the matter can be resolved it would be better for everybody. But you have no idea how to talk to you manager in such a way that will let her see that you want to make things better.
People who have excellent communication skills know how to speak up for themselves. They know how to resolve conflict, how to let others know what they are worth and how to make sure that they get the recognition that they deserve.
Every well-spoken woman who I know who has walked into her boss’ office with a well thought out rationale for why they deserve a raise has gotten one. Because she asked for it!
#5 – You will zoom up the corporate ladder.
People who have excellent communication skills have a huge advantage over people who do not.
In my first management position the time came for us to write our direct reports’ yearly reviews. We all labored over them for hours, knowing that our boss would review them before passing them up to HR.
I was nervous because this was my first time round but I needn’t have been. My boss told me that my written skills were incredibly impressive and that, really, he needed to me to change very little. That what I had written was good enough to be sent up to HR as is. And then he asked me if I would work with another manager to help them phrase things more clearly.
By the end of that season, when my boss moved upward, I followed, into his old job. It was, in large part, due to the fact that I could express myself clearly, both in written and spoken word, and everyone noticed.
Finding success in our chosen career is the goal.
For me, every day I have to use my verbal skills to speak with my clients and my written words to follow up with inspirational emails and to write blogs that people will want to read and learn from.
I know many coaches who struggle with both of these things and I know that I am successful, in large part, to having those strengths.
So, if you aren’t sure about your communication skills, find someone who can help you develop them. A life coach is a great place to start. You could also enroll in writing courses at the local community college. Or take part in Toastmasters to learn about public speaking.
Reaching for the stars in your career is admirable. Make sure that you have the tools that you need to get you there and get you there fast.
You can do it!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.