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When we go from a structured learning environment as college students to the workplace as young professionals, learning new skills isn’t as straightforward as it once was.
For some of us, there are likely specific hard skills we need for our jobs. For instance, knowing how to code in Java or use Illustrator, might be a requirement for your position. That said, there are creative skills that span industries from development to graphic design to teaching elementary school that are very valuable and often overlooked in favor of rigid requirements.
As a goal-oriented twenty-something, you know that learning should be a lifelong process. Seeking out the opportunity to learn and knowing the right classes to take is a challenge all its own. Skillshare, an online learning community, has more than 17,000 classes across a variety of topics, including business, photography, communication, creative projects, photography, and more. When you’re ready to take your career to the next level, you know where to learn how.
Here are 4 creative skills to learn when you’re ready to grow your career:
1. The power of storytelling.
Whether you are giving a presentation, going on a job interview, or pitching a client, the ability to tell a powerful story will be what lands you the win every time.
People connect with emotion. They connect to what they can relate to. When you know how to tell your story effectively, you will know how to connect with others in all types of situations.
This will be a crucial skill in job interviews and when writing cover letters. You’ll stand out because you will be able to directly relate your background and skills to the company you are applying at in a memorable way.
Storytelling will also be effective when you’re working on new teams, with new clients, or presenting information. As Simon Sinek says, you can’t manufacture passion. Learning how to discover what you are passionate about within a project is how you refine the story, and ultimately, the connection.
Recommended Class: Presentation Essentials: How to Share Ideas That Inspire Action by Simon Sinek
Recommended Class: Visual Storytelling: Creating More Persuasive Presentations by Susannah Shattuck
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2. Improve your memory.
You might not immediately think of having a good memory as a creative skill. Isn’t that something we’re just born with? As it turns out, the answer is no. There are plenty of memory tricks and methods we can use to expand our memory.
If you’ve ever watched Sherlock, you’ve probably heard him mention his “memory palace.” This memory technique is also known as the Method of Loci and is real memory strategy recommended by psychologists.
There are other ways to improve your memory, too. Take for example mnemonic devices. These are something we’re taught a lot in elementary school (PEMDAS or My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas — the pizza may or may not no longer be included).
Using these types of tricks at work can help you remember the names of your new colleagues, complicated processes, or even get you through a presentation. And in many cases, they take a bit of imagination to make them work.
Recommended Class: How To Boost Your Memory With The METHOD OF LOCI Technique by Joey and Khaleel Khan
Recommended Class: Everyday Mnemonic I: Useful Memory Devices for Day-to-Day Life by Andrew Bespalov
Recommended Class: The Art of Doodling: Exercises to Boost Memory and Creativity by Cathy Wu
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3. The elements of design.
In some of the jobs we’ll hold throughout our lives, we will have very little choice when it comes to the elements of design, a lot of the design work will already be done for us. However, design is around us all day every day. From the clothes we wear, to the buildings we walk through, to the cars we drive, and to the books we read — everything we see is by design.
As non-designers, how many of us know how it truly works? How does design affect our emotions? Does it inspire us or encourage us? How does it help up make choices? Knowing even the basics of design can come in handy throughout your career.
Learning how to establish a visual hierarchy, pair fonts, select colors, and understanding color theory can be applied to presentations, office documents, or events.
You never know what type of role you’re going to be asked to fill. If your team doesn’t have an in-house graphic designer, stepping up to the plate to design those posters for your team’s charity softball event or donation drive will make you look like a rock star. Especially if they are effective, professional, and visually appealing.
Recommended Class: The Fundamentals of Design: How to Think Like a Designer
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4. Manage your time with attention (and intention).
Busy work is the bane of every employee’s existence. Being busy just for the sake of being busy means we’re not getting anything of real value accomplished in our day to day.
Not many people are able to manage their day-to-day schedules effectively based on their unique to-do list, time, and energy.
As Mike Vardy says, tools can help but it’s the framework that makes it work. Essentially, you could have all of the tools in the world, but without a durable framework, you’re not going to be able to consistently complete your tasks.
Once you learn how to build and implement your framework, your co-workers — and your boss — will be amazed at how much truly valuable work you’re able to accomplish on a weekly basis.
Recommended Class: Productivity Habits That Stick: Using Time Theming by Mike Vardy
These are just four examples of creative skills that will set you out in front in any career path. The best part of these specific courses? You can take them any time in the next year with 40% off Skillshare’s annual membership! Which course is on the top of your list?