While learning any skill can be useful, some skills are more valuable than others. When it comes to deciding which skill to learn, you should focus on skills that are transferrable.
Negotiating is one of the most important skills you can learn, and a skill you can apply in every aspect of your life. Whether you want to grow your business, make more money, or have more control over your life, learning to negotiate effectively can help you get there.
Developing your negotiation skills can also help you develop empathy, listening, and sales skills.
The best way to start negotiating is to start small. While reading books can help you, you don’t want to get stuck in “learning mode.” Instead, embrace the “learn as you go” mode. You could literally practice negotiating anywhere, from your local flea market to a street vendor, where negotiating is more acceptable.
2. Public Speaking
Public speaking is one of the most important skills you can learn to advance your career.
Being able to communicate effectively can positively impact nearly everything you do in your life, from your career, relationships, business — the list goes on. Not everyone is born a great communicator, and it’s a skill that can be learned and developed by anyone who’s committed.Join a local Toastmasters organization in your city and you can start to practice your speaking skills and receive constructive and immediate feedback from a supportive community.
3. Personal Finance
This one is quite underestimated by most people, especially recent college graduates. No, it’s not a sexy topic to learn, but none of the dreams and goals you have will come true if you don’t master this skill.
Being able to manage your own finances is the first step to achieving freedom. Instead of ignoring the issue, we have to confront our fears or ignorance and take control of our budget.
This is one topic where being educated is a great place to start. You can read books on personal finance, check out personal finance bloggers, and even go see your personal accountant.
If you want more success, then you must surround yourself with people that have achieved what you want to achieve. This could be a mentor, coach, or advisor that can guide you to where you want to go and even see blind spots that you may miss.
In order to become a better networker, especially with high-profiled individuals, then you need to learn how to bring value first. The rule of thumb is the bigger the person you’re targeting, the more value you need to deliver upfront before asking for anything.
The best way to learn how to network is to watch how other successful people network. In order to do this, you need to attend industry conferences, networking events, and get in front of these people in-person.
5. A New Language
As the world becomes more globalized, we’re quickly entering a multilingual era. Twenty years ago, you could get away with knowing just one language. But today, with businesses going global, traveling becoming more affordable, and countries becoming more multicultural, it’s not enough to know just English.
Learning a new language can help improve your career, grow your business (especially if you’re targeting non-English speakers), and even build your confidence. If you’ve lived your entire life speaking only one language, then learning a popular language like French, Mandarin, or Spanish can open you up to a world of over 500 million or even a billion people.
You can take advantage of websites like Rype, which is built for busy professionals, offering unlimited one-on-one Spanish lessons online, anytime of the day, any day of the week. Or, if you want to dip your feet into the pool, start off with free mobile apps like Duolingo to get started.