10 Professional Skills and Why You Need Them

Organisation and Time Management

This is essential. On a daily basis, businesses face unexpected obstacles and a host of other issues so if you’re already ahead of the game and prepared, these inconveniences become minor rather than major. Managing time and prioritising work is a skill that has to be learnt whilst you are in that particular job. Having a work diary or a regularly updated calendar can make all the difference though. It is hard to keep track of everything going on around you, so it is worth investing a little time in organising as much as you can so that things look clearer.

Decision Making and People Management

If you happen to be in a role where you need to oversee others or a project then you need to be able to make decisions and have an answer to every query. This will restore faith in your ability and reassure your team who count on you knowing what needs to be done. Our game Unlock: Project Management can help develop these skills and has been a success in both educational institutions and has recently been something 23 countries around the world want to trial to improve the skills of locals! It is one of our best-selling serious games and has enabled many people to feel more prepared about it all.

Awareness of business conduct

First impressions are everything and no one wants to make a client feel awkward or worse, leave them thinking you have no idea what you’re talking about. Depending on your role and the industry you work in, dressing smartly and having a tidy appearance is a good start. Knowing what to say and (often more importantly) what not to say will be invaluable if you hold or attend meetings with clients. If you’re dealing with international clients it is worth understanding their business conduct and getting to grips with what works and what is a big ‘no’.

Creativity and Innovative  

The UK is in desperate need of innovation (read more) and companies are keen to employ people who have something additional, often called the ‘wow factor’. You need to be able to think outside the box and come up with original ideas or methods as to how things can be done! Totem Learning are all about innovation and our consultancy service is there to challenge clients and ourselves. We want to push ideas to the next level and that’s something all businesses should consider if they want to compete in a global market.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

As well as the ability to think outside the box, it is also essential for you to be analytical and think carefully about each idea or method. Problem solvers are key to an organisation as sooner or later, a problem most certainly will be encountered so to have someone on the team who is ready to tackle anything and find a way to make sense of something is vital. Our games can develop some of these soft skills, allowing you to gain insight into the kinds of scenarios where these issues may arise.


This is a tough skill to master as, depending on who you’re negotiating with, it can take a lot of patience and a lot of time. It’s worth seeing how it’s done by watching other people with more experience tackle it. Watching videos on body language, tone of voice, what to say and so on can be a good way to help give you some guidance although it won’t be the answer to everything as each negotiation is different and should be handled carefully.

Emotional Intelligence

One of the key things to understand about serious environments such as the working environment is that you are still dealing with people at the end of the day. Not everyone will have a good day or be ready to handle news, remaining calm in this setting and knowing how to approach people is important. Being aware of a mood change and knowing how to offer advice at the right time can really help support others.

Industry expertise

The best thing that can help reassure your colleagues is your expertise and knowledge of the industry you work in. You will be able to understand and make decisions far quicker and far more accurately if you have a grasp on the industry, market, global competition and future scope.

Ability to work under pressure and motivate

A lot of the time, the working environment can be stressful if there is an ongoing project or something pressing. Being able to juggle a few things links back to time management but it also means you have to juggle it with a calm and clear mindset. You have to be able to motivate yourself as well as potentially others so that the job is done before the deadline. Having a positive attitude and a strong work ethic certainly helps with this one.


No one appreciates a ‘cocky’ or arrogant attitude but when discussing an idea or providing knowledge on a matter, you should appear confident in the delivery. This will mean people are less likely to doubt your abilities and it will mean you don’t come across as someone who will back down from an idea you believe strongly in.

If you have even a few of these skills, you are on your way to hopefully a successful career. You will come across as someone approachable, confident, intelligent and serious at the right times. Skills like this can be developed through E-Learning courses, but if you are looking to find a way to develop them in a way that is far more engaging and has proven to generate a ROI for organisations then click here.