7 Excellent Personal & Professional Skills to Learn in 2024

  • Mark Edwards ·
  • April 4, 2024

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from and what you’re currently experienced in, learning new skills (both professional and personal) can feel deeply satisfying. It’s fun to become a novice in a new practice, be that gardening for personal pleasure, or learning public speaking for professional capabilities.

However, it’s also true that most people have limited time in the day. Sure, we know that Leonardo Da Vinci also had twenty-four hours in the day and thus we can do anything we put our minds to, but that fact doesn’t help when you have a family to take care of, a job to work, and the simple fact of being human from day to day as something that requires your attention.

So far, so good then. But a question remains – if I were to learn a skill in 2024, what should it be? Well, we can’t tell you one way or another. What we can do, which is much better, is suggest seven fantastic skills for you to consider learning this year. Who knows where such an approach might take you?

The Art Of Negotiation

Now, you don’t have to become a dealmaker or a super suave car salesman who errs on the side of untrustworthiness to learn how to negotiate. Really, negotiation is just about learning how to communicate, but in a professional context, it can work well. To begin with, you just have to focus on being unapologetic about your interests.

Then you focus on how to come to a compromise, but make sure not to give away your full intentions yet. Polite talk, affirmations, discussion, and then coming to the middle can be a great skill to learn. It might suit you when discussing a hard topic with your partner, or negotiating a better salary for a promotion you’re about to take. Public speaking courses can often be negotiation techniques, as can communication classes, and even practicing this in your daily life. Making a habit this year to advocate for your interests may help you a great deal as time goes on.

Public Speaking

Of course, had in hand with negotiating is that of public speaking. Now, the idea of standing in front of a room of people and giving a pitch, or worse, an auditorium and giving some kind of presentation sounds like one of the worst fates imaginable for some people. Honestly? We get it.

That being said, this doesn’t mean you can’t learn the skill, and it certainly doesn’t mean you won’t find it useful at some point. Public speaking sessions can also teach you negotiation at the same time, and both measures train the same muscles. It’s about learning how to be yourself, unapologetic, not being afraid to make small mistakes, and also simplifying your pitch so you can remember it well.

Public speaking might just work when giving a speech at a friend’s wedding, or funeral, or even hosting a team meeting. Get over this fear, and you can mostly get over anything.

A Creative Hobby

Learning the basics of a creative hobby is not only fulfilling, it can give you a sense of expression, especially if you don’t have an outlet for that in your life otherwise. That’s not to dismiss you or your schedule, most people are so busy they don’t really have the time to sit down and think about their thoughts, write them down, and come to conclusions. Especially if raising a family and working a job.

But taking a basic online drawing course for twenty minutes at the weekend? Writing in a journal? Even starting a small garden when you have time off or buying a paint set and having at it? Well, all of that can come if you can spare a little time, and you may be surprised just how much it enriches you. Even taking online guitar lessons with a couple of in-person sessions in your local area can make a big difference. Creativity can nurture our outlook on life, so if you have the time to, make sure to try it. You may be surprised how well you do.

First Aid & Healthcare

Some skills are so worthwhile to learn they somewhat override anything else. If you learn first aid or take American Heart Association CPR classes near me, you could potentially save someone’s life. That might be in a work context or out at a restaurant, it doesn’t matter.

Having the ability to attend to someone’s emergency needs right then and there can make a massive difference. It could also add a great skill to your resume, for example, hospitality managers or office management are often required to have a certain number of first-aid-qualified staff in that position. Even if you don’t plan this for professional development, calling on this skill when you need it and potentially saving someone justifies all the effort you go to.

Additional Licenses

Sometimes, qualifying in additional and parallel technical qualifications can help someone get the best out of their career path. For example, if you work in IT, you might opt for voluntary accreditations in cloud management or cybersecurity. Consider the skills development program at your job and see if you can enroll in any tangential skills or courses that you could take part in.

There won’t always be a plethora of options, but where opportunities exist, go for it. That might also include previously discussed possibilities like first aid training or public speaking, as these help businesses. It could also be a course that introduces you to a new software standard like a new fundamental update to a creative software suite. We can expect many more of these to be available as AI utilities become the norm, and workforces try to adapt to that newer standard.

Note Taking & Shorthand

The ability to take notes well, quickly, and with enough detail is not something we can just get good at without effort. Over your time as a professional, you’ve no doubt found a way to jot down and refer to notes, but it can be good to review your processes from time to time.

Learning shorthand can be a good way to start, as marking down considerations can help you converse with people in person while also making quick notes to refer to later and keeping everything in mind. It’s how court stenographers work, or close to it, as the details are important there but proceedings can’t stop simply because the “typist” needs it.

Sure, the stakes aren’t quite as high this time around, but learning to organize your notes or convert everything to cloud-based apps like Evernote, Obsidian or Notion can be a valuable use of your time, as referring to vital documentation can keep you on the right track when planning your life.

Stress Management

When you’re trying to achieve everything, sometimes life can be a little overwhelming. The news cycle, our daily responsibilities, money worries, there’s a lot out there to make us worried. This can build up over time if we don’t address it, and that can have real consequences.

So, if you’ve struggled with this in the past, making 2024 the year where you really focus on stress management can be key. From meditating every other day to learning breathing exercises to adding morning walks in the park as part of your schedule (even ten minutes with your dog can work wonders), reducing cortisol helps you feel more focused, more attentive, and more present in the best possible way.

With this advice, we hope you can learn a few new worthwhile life and professional skills, which often blend into one another anyway.

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