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4 Skills to Help You Get Ahead in 2021

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The business world has changed drastically over the last 12 months, transforming the types of skills necessary for success in today’s market. To set yourself apart during your next job search, you need to have a renewed focus on skill development and work on building the expertise that will help you stay current and secure the right opportunities, whether you are a contractor or a permanent employee.  

As you get ready to take the next step in your career, brush up on these key skills that will help you get ahead in 2021. 

1. Cultural Awareness 

Most of us understand the importance of appreciating other people’s differences in our everyday life as well as the work environment. Being culturally aware helps you better understand and interact with peers in the industry, become a better team player, manage conflict and foster innovation. Here are some fun ways to incorporate this into your routine. 

Ideas for building cultural awareness:  

  1. Learn a new language. Languages are a link to the soul of a culture. One can’t learn a new language without learning more about the people who speak it, from where they live to what they consider polite and respectful. Plus, it can help you connect with those who speak the language, building better professional relationships. 

  2. Celebrate different cultural holidays. What holidays do your peers celebrate, and what do they mean? This can be a fun way to learn about a new culture because it can often be done in tandem with other things that are enjoyable – eating, drinking, dancing, going to public events and so on. 

2. Digital Marketing 

This is a key skill for anyone, particularly those working in a small business or startup. Thanks to recent challenges in the world of work, we know we can’t rely as much on in-person meetings, big public events and the like to get our reputation out there. Word of mouth can take us so far, but it always pays to have an extra kick – especially in regions with fierce competition, like Auckland. 

Digital marketing is a way to spread awareness of your services using the digital platforms that your customers are already using. It can help you: 

  • Get found on Google search 

  • Put your brand name and services in front of potential customers 

  • Promote positive reviews 

  • Build a group of loyal customers who keep coming back for more 

Additionally, digital marketing can not only benefit businesses – it’s also extremely useful for marketing yourself too! By using digital techniques to promote your personal brand and get your name out in your industry (such as via LinkedIn or your personal website), you can promote yourself as a professional and potentially open the doors to new opportunities.  

How to learn digital marketing: 

  1. Find a course. There are lots of courses available around the country, and not all of them are big university degrees. For example, NZ Marketing Association hosts a range of workshops, in-house training sessions and online courses to help you grow your digital marketing skills. 

  2. Go online. A formal course isn’t the only way to learn about digital marketing – the internet is full of informative videos, articles and podcasts you can use to learn new strategies, gain inspiration and hone your expertise. Hubspot, for instance, offers a wealth of digital marketing resources to help you understand the ins and outs of digital marketing. 

3. Bookkeeping 

Contractors need to know basic bookkeeping skills. The benefits of good bookkeeping are numerous, but in short, they can help you keep track of what people owe you, what you owe other people, what expenses you can claim at the end of the financial year, and make paying your taxes a lot easier. This makes it an invaluable skill for any contractor to possess. 

Even if you already have an accountant, knowing how to keep good books can help you track your finances throughout the year, without having to wait for your accountant to review your income. 

Advice for learning bookkeeping: 

  1. Find a course. Much like digital marketing, there are plenty of bookkeeping for beginners courses out there – many of which (for example, with The Career Academy) can be done online at your own pace. 

  2. Invest in software. Programs such as MYOB and Xero can streamline your bookkeeping tasks, making it easier to manage your finances and meet your tax responsibilities.  

4. Change Management 

Change management has been a key buzzword for a while, but 2020 – and the changeable year that it was – has really brought it to the forefront. Humans are often resistant to change, but a good Change Manager knows how to sell change, train people in it and help transition to the new normal in a smooth, empathetic process – thereby reducing resistance. As a result, it’s a great skill to have if you’re a leader or want to be promoted to such a role in future. 

Learning change management may help improve your soft skills in a number of other key areas too, such as adaptability, communication and leadership. 

Tips for building change management skills: 

  1. Join a professional body. Local networks and groups such as the Change Management Institute give you a chance to connect with like-minded peers, keep up with emerging trends in the industry and attend speaker events, seminars and workshops designed to build your change capability. 

  2. Study emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence (EI) is a bit like the other side of the coin to IQ. Where IQ is often determined by academic ability, EI is about your ability to understand, empathise and communicate with other people. Having a strong EI is key to being an effective leader and Change Manager. 

Looking for a New Role? 

If you are developing new skills in an effort to secure a new opportunity, it pays to have a specialist on your side – and that’s where we come in. 

At Beyond Recruitment, our experienced consultants know their industries inside and out and are here to support you through every step of the journey to finding your perfect fit. Feel free to browse the openings we currently have available on our website or get in touch to speak with one of our recruitment specialists today. 

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