Essential Career Skills of the Modern Young Professional

There are a number of job skills that seems central to the success and sustainability of many jobs across the board for today’s young professional. These skills are not only essential elements to performing one’s current job well, but they may be useful in other jobs, when changing careers, or when taking on an extra project like a charity event. If you are not skilled in the following areas, we suggest you brush up as these traits are becoming as critical as knowing how to type.

Social Media:
Even in professions seemingly unaffected by social media, like finance or medicine, social media knowledge is a must for the modern day young professional, especially one striving to achieve a balanced 360-degree life. Even if your position within a company is not related to marketing, promotions or public relations, it is important to have the ability to navigate social media channels to keep in tune with what the public is saying about your brand or the industry in general. It may offer valuable insight that may not be discovered through internal measures. 

Sales is a great skill to have even if you don’t have an actual product or service to sell, per se. Good sales people are those who are good at talking about things; networking is increasingly essential to a young professional’s life. Even in jobs that don’t require you to be out networking your heart out in an exchange of mini sales pitches with fellow YPs, being a good sales person means you can properly articulate a restaurant recommendation or describe the initiative of the charity event you are associated with at a dinner party or meeting. People who are good with sales are good at identifying and communicating key messages and are generally “people people.”

Community Involvement:
Central to a Notable existence, and increasingly expected and required among employers, is community involvement. The more invested you are in a community, the more you and your company will get out of it. Not only will community involvement heighten your company or brand’s profile, but it strengthens potential business relationships that may prove beneficial either now or in the long term. 

Ability to work non-traditional work hours:
For today’s young professional, the concept of working 9-5 is increasingly obsolete. Besides the increased access and mobility offered by smartphones and laptops, many jobs of choice for young professionals are increasingly entrepreneurial in nature or involve smaller start up companies where employees may wear many hats. Instead of working within the confines of the eight-hour day, for countless young professionals from across the country the day isn’t over until everything gets done, even if that means eating take out at your office well into the evening or typing away on laptops in front of the TV on Sunday nights. This way of working is increasingly common and expected among employers.

Like sales, marketing is definitely a skill that is transferrable among a huge range of professions. Every business, no matter what, requires brand recognition and building. Even if you are a doctor, essential marketing-based research is important to identifying, connecting with, and reaching out to affected audiences. We know countless YPs who have left rigid, corporate jobs to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors with brilliant ideas, but zero knowledge as to how to make others care about them. With competition among jobseekers and brands emerging at an all-time high, ability to market is a key factor in standing out in an over-saturated and unforgiving economy.

Graphic design and web design:
Skills like design will increase your chances of being hired from the beginning, especially in a smaller company. Outsourcing is expensive and it is more efficient to have someone internally with this skill set. No matter the profession, all companies require a website, web maintenance and graphically designed materials for everything from company holiday cards to media kits. Just as programs in Microsoft Office have become expected skills among young professionals, soon programs in Adobe Creative Suite like Photoshop and Illustrator will be as well.