If you're lucky enough to be a specialist in your field, you're ahead of the curve. Whether you're a marketer, accountant, writer, artist or engineer, you're more competitive with a refined skill-base. Beyond knowing the language and general trends of your trade, you need to be able to produce something of high value and economic necessity. Give yourself a competitive advantage by augmenting your talents with a new skill.(For more, check out 6 Free Ways To Learn New Job Skills.)
TUTORIAL: Financial Careers
When you give yourself a strong foundation, you'll be able to approach problems from innovative angles. More importantly, you'll position yourself to adapt to shifting market conditions. Here are six skills that will complement any creative, technical or analytical talent:
Mobile App Creation
This innovative and growing field is an area where comparatively few people specialize, and it is a niche that can support a variety of skillsets. At face value, the strongest demand seems to exist for programmers and developers; however, in actuality, product design incorporates a range of talents. To succeed, a stellar mobile app needs expertise from writers, marketers and people who are visually inclined. No matter your niche, you can find a complementary specialty in this field.
The Internet industry is one field where creative talents are in high demand. If you're an artist or writer, you may notice that there is plenty of opportunity to find work that is high in demand. If you develop a range of technical skills, you'll be able to see the bigger picture. If you're a graphic designer, blogger or writer, you'd benefit from learning a programming language for the web.
No matter your area of expertise, the ability to blog is valuable. For instance, you could contribute to an influential blog in your industry – quite possibly for compensation. You can also maintain your own blog to attract prospective clients and employers. Beyond functioning as a networking tool, blogging can help you reflect upon and organize your insights.
With the growth in online shopping, social media, advertising and mobile development, the Internet is creating new windows of opportunity to analyze data. No matter your job function and industry – whether you are an artist, writer, healthcare professional or something else entirely, a solid understanding of data will give you a competitive edge in your role. You don't need to be a data expert, but strive to have an understanding beyond basic percentages to evaluate nuances and presentation strategies.
The value of programming stems beyond the fields of software development and engineering. By learning a programming language, you will become a more efficient marketer or financial analyst. While you don't need to learn these techniques to perform your job function, you'll only serve to gain a competitive advantage by diversifying your skillset. At the very least, you'll develop a core understanding of the communication skills that you need to collaborate cross-functionally, outside of your department or main area of expertise. No matter how you apply your coding skills, you'll be in a position to perform tasks more efficiently.
Today's most successful organizations thrive on the combined expertise of many types of people. Whether or not you realize it, strong networks make you exponentially more valuable. If you need help or if you need to find someone to help you accomplish a goal, you can always rely on your network to help you find the answer. As you grow in your career, your network will give you the competitive edge that you need when job-hunting for a high-paying position.
The Bottom Line
If none of these options appeal to you, look at market trends to see where needs exist and skills are highest in demand. Then, work on building that skill. With practice, you'll become proficient enough to increase your market worth in any job function. After all, when you perform more efficiently, you increase your ROI.