Skills and Competencies Needed to Succeed at Work

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Businesswoman Celebrating Success

The job market is more competitive than ever. This is perhaps due to the lack of jobs that are available at the moment, particularly in the upper echelons of the career ladder. As a result, if you want to keep a job then you are going to have to ensure that you do a few things right and have the right skills for success.

On this page I want to take a little look at some of the skills and competencies that are needed if you wish to succeed at work. Remember,  the workplace is generally a very masculine environment . If you are a woman then you need to know how to keep up with the masculinity if you wish to succeed. I know it sounds wrong, but it is true. Thankfully, ideals are starting to change. Women under thirty seem to have a higher wage than men. Let’s jump straight in, shall we?

Know your worth. Firstly, if you are a woman, then you need to realize that men are getting paid more in most industries. The percentage difference is not that much. However, it really does start to add up over the course of a career. Now, this is not due to sexism at all. It is due to the fact that more men than women haggle on their starting salary. It seems as though it is almost expected by managers. You should try it. You never know; you may end up succeeding! You may even get a couple of extra perks for your trouble. If you don’t succeed, well, at least it shows that you are someone who tries and who is prepared to make things happen.

You should not be pushy! If you are asking for something from your manager then you need to have a dominant voice. You need to be strong in terms of the way you speak. This may be a little bit difficult to get right at the start, but practice makes perfect. Many women (and studies have shown this) tend to be much pushier with their demands, which reduces their chance of success. When you make a demand, try to put it in the context of the job. Try to justify why what you are doing is helping the company and why this should lead to a raise for you. It helps, trust me!

Do not try to keep up with the guys! Seriously, this could be your downfall. New research has shown that the best leaders out there are the ones which have feminine traits. People need a leader like this. They need somebody who can connect with them on an emotional level and who can understand them. Women do this far better than men ever will. It really comes as no surprise that women are quite a dominant force in the work environment at the moment!

Learn to hide your weaknesses. You have enough strengths that you do not need to show these off at all. Focus on your strengths and people will not care about how weak you are in other regards.

Be hungry! Shawn Achor–American educator, author, and CEO of Good Think Inc., once said: “If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.” Let this be our daily adage. Let’s not settle for what we know now. Let’s be hungry for more and grab every opportunity to learn.

Where do you start? Read! I love reading books, for me it’s the best and readily available opportunity to learn about everything! Here are just some of my favorites on achieving success and improving skills and competencies:

the happiness advantageThe Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work By Shawn Achor


before happiness by shawn anchorBefore Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change By Shawn Achor


Skills for Success by Stella CottrellSkills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook (Palgrave Study Skills) By Stella Cottrell

About the author / 

Juvy Bandiwan

Juvy is a dedicated woman when it comes to her family and her career. As a single mother she has her fair share of juggling family, work and life. Juvy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She has worked in accounting for several companies. As the Career & Finance Editor, she writes from her direct experience. Her column is informative yet easy to read because Juvy writes like she is talking to you directly as a friend.

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