Three skills you can learn right now to increase your earning potential
I’ve heard it said that “I’m learning to code” is the new “I’m writing a novel.” Everyone claims to be doing it, and probably even starts, but very few actually follow through to the end. I started learning to build websites in CSS last year, but then got a full-time job, and with a part-time job and kid, just never found the time to finish the online tutorial. So, yeah, I’ve been “learning to code” for over a year.
But I really should manage to follow through. Coding is one of three easy-to-learn skills that can dramatically increase your earning potential and value on the job market.
These skills are highly valued and everyone is capable of learning them – though some might have an easier time with one or the other. All we need is time.
Here they are:
Coding: According to one report, “Graduates from coding bootcamps typically enjoy a 44% increase in their salaries (from $52K to $75K) in their first job after the programs. That’s according to a study of 432 graduates from 48 programming schools, conducted by Course Report.”
Developers and programmers are always in high demand, but coding isn’t just for those who want to become developers and build apps and websites. Almost every job requires the use of computers and, as pointed out in a Wall Street Journal article, the ability to code makes one more self sufficient and means that employers don’t have to call in IT professionals every time you encounter a snag.
A popular place to learn online is Code Academy. Just sign up and away you go.
Writing: Writing ability is one of the 10 most in-demand skills that we at Workopolis have found employers searching for in resumes. And employers consistently list bad grammar and typos as among the top reasons resumes get tossed in the trash. So, the ability to write well increases your chance of getting the job in the first place.
Also, according to Grammarly, better writers are also more successful and make significantly more money than those who make more mistakes. For one report, Grammarly analyzed the LinkedIn profiles of native English speaking professionals, and compared their language skills with their career trajectories over a ten year period. They found that the worse your grammar, the less upward your trajectory.
In another report, Grammarly found that people who make fewer writing errors stand to potentially make more money across industries. In the engineering and manufacturing sectors, for example, people who made the least errors in their writing stood to make more than twice as much as those who made the most errors.
Aside from resume and cover letter writing, the ability is useful for communications, emails, reports, presentations, business plans, proposals, among other things.
If your writing could use some improvement, it’s worth making the effort. Sign up at a local college or learn online, where many schools offer free resources. Here’s a list of 10 Universities with free online writing courses.
Public speaking: In 2009, Warren Buffett said, when addressing students at Columbia Business School, that he would pay a hundred-thousand dollars for 10% of the future earnings of any student in the room. He then added that he would increase that offer by 50% if the student possessed “communication skills,” singling out “public speaking” as one of those skills.
He said, “If you improve your value 50 percent by having better communication skills, it’s another 500-thousand dollars in terms of capital value.”
Public speaking isn’t just for public speakers. You’d be hard pressed to find a successful individual who has risen through the corporate ranks without public speaking skills. This sort of communication is valuable for sales, teaching, presentations, interviews, media appearances, speaking at conferences, rallying the troops.
Successful people know how to work a room. So should you.
One way to learn to be more comfortable in front of an audience is to join the local chapter of Toastmasters. They’re everywhere.
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