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Soft skills are just as important as technical skills, not to mention that they carry weight across all industries.
If you are serious about pursuing a six-figure career working from home, you need to be equipped with an arsenal of vital soft skills that can help you survive the competition and stress that you are sure to come across.
As Emőke Starr, Head of HR at Prezi, says, “We look for candidates with a solid foundation of soft skills and trust so that the rest can be built upon it.”
When we say agility, we don’t just mean the ability to get things done quickly. We’re actually referring to the agile method, which is a development method that focuses on accountability, collaboration and teamwork between self-organizing teams of workers.
This method was first developed for software developers who needed to develop high-quality software as rapidly as possible, without losing touch of the customer’s needs.
Unlike non-agile projects that often take years to complete, the agile method uses “sprints” or iterations which are short periods of time (from 2 weeks to 2 months) wherein the team builds and finishes a set of predetermined targets. An agile project can have one or more sprints, and the final product is delivered and released during the final iteration.
Familiarity with the agile method is useful especially if you want to pursue a career in software development, given its popularity in this industry.
The ability to admit your mistakes and asking for help is an important skill that you need to develop if you want to boost your career to the top. Not only will it endear you to your colleagues, supervisors, and staff but will also help you become a more efficient worker.
For example, humility during the planning stage allows you to easily solicit suggestions and comments from relevant personnel.
Asking the simple question “Who else has tried to do this? What can I learn from them?” can help remove barriers to communication between staff, and gives a sense of ownership and responsibility to everyone who gave suggestions. Being humble also shows your willingness and capacity to learn and adapt to the rapidly-changing needs of your work environment.
Time is money, the saying goes, and lots of it gets lost in disorganization and disruption. Professionals often deal with a constant barrage of technology, people, and tasks that can contribute to that disorganization.
Many people find that they flit from one task to another, with no substantial results other than fatigue and burnout. As such, businesses often look for an employee with a proven track record of being able to manage time effectively, not just for himself but also for the benefit of the team who will be working with him.
If you are looking to advance your career to greater heights, we suggest undergoing training or workshops that can help you organize yourself and your workspace for peak efficiency. To do this, you need to know how to set smart goals, identify priorities and develop achievable plans, learn how to delegate tasks properly, and control factors that can derail your workplace productivity.
Being a pro in time management can also bring you one step closer to your goal of earning six figures, since you have more time and opportunity to pursue freelance work that can add to your income and experience.
These days, a lot of people earn a decent income (or side income) simply by seeking opportunities that match their interests/skill sets from:
Sharing Economy Platforms:
Signing up to these places is definitely a great idea, especially if you are capable of managing your time well enough to deliver your tasks on time.
Attention to detail
In today’s fast-paced world where people’s attention spans get shorter by the minute, the ability to focus and pay attention to detail has become a prized skill in many corporate environments.
As Eco Branding CEO Jake Rozmaryn laments, “We see a lot of careless typing and formatting errors in millennial applicant writing and work samples, cover letters, resumes, etc.” As it is, being detail-oriented allows professionals to work better, be more efficient, and minimize the possibility of errors.
This trait is important in all industries but is particularly valuable if you plan to pursue a supervisory or senior-level career in financial services, IT, engineering, architecture, or medicine and healthcare.
If you want to develop your own ability to concentrate and pay attention, you may need to practice and undergo training that build your time management, observation, analytical thinking, organization, and active listening skills.
In his book Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management, Jonathan Bernstein offers a very concise definition of crisis management as “the art of avoiding trouble when you can, and reacting appropriately when you can’t.” Organizationally speaking, we can say that crisis management is all about preventing loss when possible and minimizing loss when it’s not.
Because emergencies and crises are a fact of life for many businesses, it’s imperative for a professional to learn how to manage a crisis properly. Apart from planning for natural disasters, you’ll also need to plan for other situations and events (i.e lawsuits, loss of investors or clients, negative press, etc.) that might put the business in peril. The ability to stay calm and clear-headed during these times is a precious skill that will serve you well if you want to succeed and eventually move up to a leadership position. If you want to develop this skill, you need to learn stress management, decision-making and effective communication.
Creative thinking and innovation
To put it simply, creativity is the generation of ideas in an attempt to solve a problem or produce something new. On the other hand, innovation refers to the implementation of the ideas generated from the creative process. Innovation transforms a creative idea into something concrete.
In today’s knowledge-based economy, employees and independent agents from all industries are expected to be able to provide fresh, unique, and practical ideas as quickly as possible. This is why folks who want to advance their careers need to develop their creative and innovative thinking skills.
While some people seem to be simply bursting with creativity, others find it a struggle to think outside the box. If you fall into the latter category, it is important to understand that boosting your creative and innovative abilities takes a lot of practice.
Recognizing and honing your own creative potential is a process, which often begins with identifying your best creative environment and working from there. For example, some people need peace and quiet in order to produce creative output, while others thrive on noise and bustle to get their creative juices flowing.
Whatever method you prefer, keep in mind that creative thinking and innovation go together like bread and butter—without one, you cannot effectively harness the other. Having the know-how to unlock these two skills can open new doors to lucrative opportunities in your career and work life.
Conflict resolution and negotiation
Success comes from understanding how we behave, as well as how we can influence others. If difficult interactions are necessary, and we approach those conversations with a plan, we will find that we have less difficult people to deal with.
More often than not, we will also have more meaningful and significant conversations. If you want to supercharge your career, you need to learn how to turn difficult situations into opportunities for growth—in short, you’ll need to develop your conflict resolution and negotiation skills.
Now we all know that conflict is a normal part of personal and professional relationships. It’s not possible for everyone to agree about everything all the time, and to do so can squash creativity and innovation.
What is important, then, is to learn how to manage disagreements so that they do not harm relationships. By learning skills to manage conflict, you can approach disagreements with confidence that keeps your personal and professional relationships strong.
One way to manage conflict is by becoming a strong negotiator. Negotiation is a process centered on a discussion that is intended to produce an agreement.
In current business practices, negotiation often leads to compromises, where both sides make concessions to get as close as they can to the best possible solution that is acceptable to both sides. Folks who wish to become excellent negotiators need to improve your communication and relationship-building skills.
When it all comes down to it, nothing beats good old hard work and persistence. If you really want to start earning big bucks whether as a free agent or as an employee, you must be willing to work harder than ever before, and to continue doing so despite potential problems or setbacks that you might encounter in the future.
In this case, the old adage holds true— winners never quit, quitters never win.
Now that you’ve identified the key skills that you need in order to start earning a six-figure income while working remotely, it’s time to find out specific ways on how to acquire and develop them. This can include taking advantage of free or paid online or face-to-face courses, volunteering in organizations to gain hands-on experience, or finding your own mentor who can help you on your way to the top.
One tried-and-tested way to develop your skills and gain the necessary experience is by working as a freelance professional. There are a lot of online job marketplaces and community-based platforms that offer ample opportunity for interested individuals.
Having relevant experience as a freelance agent makes your CV more impressive, allows you to hone existing skills, opens up a wider network in your chosen industry, and helps you make a decent amount of money—all of which will contribute to your ultimate goal of earning a six-figure income.
What about you? Can you think of other skills that are indispensable for the modern-day professional? Do you have your own list of tips and tricks on how to make and maintain a six-figure income? Share your thoughts in the comments; we’d love to know what you think.
Jason Acidre is the co-founder and publisher of Grit PH & Livable PH. He’s been a digital marketing consultant for several highly-valued startups and enterprise tech brands in the US, UK and Australia since 2010. Now a full-time family man, and part-time entrepreneur. Follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre