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.

Web Development
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.

Data Analysis
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.

Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    The Best Financial Modeling Courses for Investment Bankers

    Obtain information, both general and comparative, about the best available financial modeling courses for individuals pursuing a career in investment banking.
  2. Personal Finance

    10 Reasons It Is Time to Look for a New Job

    Learn 10 good reasons for switching jobs, such as major life changes, ethical concerns, job description creep and upwards mobility.
  3. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Business Analysts

    Identify some of the most common job interview questions asked of business analyst candidates, and learn the responses that will make you stand out.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    10 Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Have

    Discover 10 habits common to successful entrepreneurs that you can emulate in your journey toward achieving success in your own career and life.
  5. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Compliance Officers

    Prepare to ace your compliance officer interview. Learn how to answer some commonly asked interview questions and what you need to know to come out ahead.
  6. FA

    CIPM: The Key To A Niche Career In Finance

    CIPM designates usually work as investment performance analysts.
  7. Professionals

    8 Things Employers Aren’t Allowed To Ask You

    Frequently, an eager job seeker overlooks certain interview questions that are improper, but there are situations where these questions are illegal.
  8. Economics

    Management Strategies From A Top CEO

    Jack Welch is a legend in the business world: during the two decades he was CEO of General Electric, the company’s value rose by 4000%.
  9. Personal Finance

    How to Manage Corporate Change in the Modern Economy

    Change can make employees uncomfortable, but these keys can help ease the transition and increase morale.
  10. Credit & Loans

    College Loans: Private vs. Federal

    Not all student loans are the same. Know what you're getting into before signing on the dotted line.
  1. What’s the difference between the two federal student loan programs (FFEL and Direct)?

    The short answer is that one loan program still exists (Federal Direct Loans) and one was ended by the Health Care and Education ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Does a financial advisor need an MBA?

    Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Student loans, federal and private: what's the difference?

    The cost of a college education now rivals many home prices, making student loans a huge debt that many young people face ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can I use my IRA to pay for my college loans?

    If you are older than 59.5 and have been contributing to your IRA for more than five years, you may withdraw funds to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can I use my 401(k) to pay for my college loans?

    If you are over 59.5, or separate from your plan-sponsoring employer after age 55, you are free to use your 401(k) to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can an investment banker switch to a career in corporate finance?

    It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center