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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Career - Key Skills to Learn for Success in the Next Millennium

Your attitude always determines your altitude in life.

To climb in your career you must be clear about your personal goals, learn how to add value, and develop skills you can take anywhere. As more people enter the information age, change is happening at an ever-increasing pace. As knowledge workers begin to predominate, new skills sets will become important. You must hone your skills in these areas:


  1. Develop your ability to have insight that goes beyond facts and figures. Numbers rule and logic may tell you one thing, but your observations, questions, and perception may reveal new opportunities. Step back and look at the big picture. Try to ignore the details.


  1. Learn to understand issues from the viewpoint of those around you. Begin to "feel" issues from the perspective of people who are from a different cultural, religious, or gender background from you. And make allowances for those differences.


  1. Develop an understanding about where you and those who work with you could and should be a few years ahead. Think about it What differentiated Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi from us mere mortals? They had vision. Equally important, they were able to communicate their vision to those around them in a compelling manner and excite and mobilize people. Having a vision is of limited value unless we share it and excite other people.


  1. Have an open mind when change must be made. More important, anticipate the future. Preparing for the future and making adjustments in our attitudes and procedures will ensure that change is constant, not periodic and traumatic.


  1. Get things done. Find the easy way. Don't get analysis paralysis. Sure, you often need information before making a decision, but doing things and modifying and learning as you go along can often pay much higher dividends. There is another benefit - people will realize that making a mistake is not bad, it's an opportunity to learn and improve. Doing nothing will cause disillusionment and could become part of the culture.


  1. Step away from the daily grind to see your organization in the context of the economy, its industry, its direction, its leadership, and its competitors.


  1. Learn to work collaboratively. Partner with people from other work areas. Share the rewards and recognition. Develop partnerships with people outside your organization, especially those who can add value to your endeavours.


  1. Take every opportunity to learn new skills and get new ideas. Courses, inside and outside the organization, are only a small part of accumulating knowledge. Reading books, attending conferences, subscribing to trade magazines, and learning from your mistakes will help too.

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