Today skills are routinely mentioned in conjunction to occupation, jobs, career, success, and in general, to professional side of life.

But life is not only about 9 to 5 jobs and TV-binging weekends. Life is incredibly greater in its opportunities and challenges, and every particular situation requires its own solutions and tools.

These tools may be varied, but they all rest on a foundation of a few…. yes, skills. And these skills are universal in their application to practically any imaginable case, so to say.

7 Skills to Pull You Through Any Situation

Whether you plan to build a fulfilling career or want to be able to cope successfully with everyday life (which can be no less challenging that steering a corporation through a crisis), you just need to have these skills.

They are few, no 50+ lists of specific traits and rare hobbies attached, but they are essential for you to be confident on your path to goals.

Maybe you already have some of them, and others can be gained or developed along the way. Anyway, read on and find out how many of them you still need to attain (or nurture if you already have them).

1. Communication.

It is an umbrella term including spoken communication, written communication and general ability to structure one’s through and ideas for others to comprehend them easily.  

You may not master all kinds of communication, but be sure to master at least one of them – spoken or written communication, or the PowerPoint thing.

Always take care to structure your thoughts before writing the most casual email. Clarity and efficiency are real keys to success, whether on job or anywhere else.

2. Teamwork and networking.

Teamwork as an ability to listen, interact and fruitfully work with other people. To hear them and to cooperate with them is even better but the skill to do proper networking is priceless.

Networking is usually understood as building a set of useful contacts that sooner or later will contribute to your personal success.

But this kind of networking is also regularly painted black as direct and explicit exploitation of other people for personal benefit. Actually, it can be not that bad.

True networking is larger in its scope and more beneficial to everyone involved.

It is primarily about the ability to maintain contacts with a wide variety of people. Also, to bring together individuals whose cooperation can be of great value and can make great things happen, even if you personally will have little benefit from it.

Making a couple of calls and arranging an informal dinner or lunch where you connect these people to each other and suggest things they can accomplish together – an artist and a gallery owner, a fancy pastry maker and a cafe owner, and so on – is also networking at its best.

Even if you connect people who know other people who may benefit each other or your company in the future – it is still networking in the long run, and it really works.

You know these people, you know their abilities and plans, so you just make a single step of connecting them. And it profoundly changes many lives and helps ideas to become actions and accomplishments.

Chances are that when you will need something from them or just need something in general and will let them know about it – these people will go far to help you through their connections or will do a personal favor because this is just the kind of help they got from you earlier.

3. Problem solving.

What is Creative Problem Solving? definition stages steps and techniques

Problem-solving is about a having flexible mind and ability to think out of the box.

It is also about the ability to think logically. Or at least, without missing obvious links in a chain and not believing that it is because of a black cat that the important deal was not struck.

Everything has its causes and will have some consequences. So trace carefully steps that led to some problem and plan steps that will lead out of it, and consider the costs, by the way. That’s basically it.

4. Initiative.

Stepping forward with suggestions or criticism that aims at real improvement is fine, and it shows your value as a thinking and attentive employee. But often people are afraid to do it.

To facilitate this task, carefully arrange everything you want to suggest or change in writing, and then send it by email or present in speech.

Just be sure to do appropriate timing when there is no emergency or people you need to address are not overburdened or distressed. Then your ideas will be accepted with attention and possibly implemented.

5. Self-organizing and general organizing.

This is the doom of many people who just cannot put everything together for some event or job or even daily chores.

Forgetting, delaying, missing deadlines happen time after time. But life needs some organizing, whether at work or at home.

The key to good planning is not trying to fit too many things into too little time. It is a path to failure.

Instead, set priorities, write them down and discard mercilessly the rest.

Do one task at a time. If the ground is burning at work, then skip home cooking and visits of relatives for better times.

If there is some emergency at home, get yourself a lighter schedule or take days off.

With fewer tasks at hand organizing gets easier. People who can actually organize huge events alone flawlessly and be excellent parents or spouses at the same time exist on Instagram images only.

6. Technology skills.

This is the 21st century and technical literacy is a must. Basic computer skills, word processor, emails, web browsing, smartphone using have become normal parts of life, and today most people know how to do it.

Special tech skills, like video editing, graphic design, coding, using statistical software depend on your particular job. So you have either already mastered them, or choose the one you want to master and take a course or tutoring.

7. Lifelong learning.

Yes, you cannot stop learning after leaving college. You cannot stop learning after you get a job.

You need to be open to new ideas, new ways to do things, new tools to use and new ways to handle your life.

So whether you are deliberately open to changes or decide to upgrade your knowledge, it is still learning, so keep going. It means better prospects at work and more fun in life.

You may even find after some contemplation that you need to continue your education in a more formal setting. While this can seem overwhelming as a working adult, it is possible to further your education while still maintaining your life.

Online programs like VU Online are great for remote learners with full-time jobs. 

Now if we speak about the professional aspect of life, there is a sobering tip.

No matter how many skills you actually have, you need to persuade a potential employer to give you a chance to apply them. Thus, you need a good resume.

If you doubt that you can easily incorporate the skills you have into an impressive resume, then entrust one of reputable cv writing services with a task to edit your document and highlight the strongest sides of your professional self.

Then, you are guaranteed a chance to meet hiring people in person and impress them even more.

Skills that leaders in making should have

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It is often believed that skills for leaders are somehow different from skills required in every person. But let us consider who leaders actually are.

Leaders are people, first of all. They are people who can persuade others to follow their lead, to accept their vision and to work to achieve it.

You may be a leader in some situations, or you may take a lead from your colleague or family members in other settings.

So the majority of leadership skills will be those found in every one of us. But can we pinpoint the particular skills that let you (or others) lead?

Usually, 4 to 6 specific skills are attributed to true leaders. But basically, we can reduce them to 4, or even 2.

The list of 4 leadership skills will look like this:

  • Self-awareness;
  • Influencing others;
  • Communication;
  • Perpetual learning.  

But as we see, communication and lifelong learning skills are necessary for everybody in the modern ever-changing world, whether for professional purposes or for handling daily life issues.

So specific leadership skills are just 2:

  • Self-awareness;
  • Influencing others.

Self-awareness is knowing your strong and weak points, but knowing them for sure, not imagining or willing you had them.

So primarily you have to be honest with yourself and admit and accept your flaws and limitations – but also acknowledge your strong sides.

Getting this skill requires self-analysis and facing own imperfections. Once you know them, you can wisely apply the abilities you have and engage other people to supply skills that you do not have.

Influencing others is an art in itself, but it can be roughly described as making others see through your eyes, accept this viewpoint and align their actions with it.

Influencing people may seem a tough task, but try to break it down into smaller separate tasks.

Determine whom you need to influence, identify exact things you want them to do, and then choose the appropriate path of persuasion.

Most people already have basic universal skills, they just do not know about it. So review the skills you have, decide on those you need to improve or develop and just start doing it. The rest is a matter of practice.  

About The Author

Teresa Brashear grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from California State University. She is a mom, an HR manager at an IT company, and a successful writer at She loves to spend time working in the garden, learning French and Chinese, and playing volleyball.

Stock Photo from Bojan Milinkov @ Shutterstock