12 business skills that Every Graduate/MBA must have

There are basic rules for business success that haven’t gone away with the digital age — in fact, they have only become more important. The skills listed below could have appeared in any career book of the 1930s, 1980s, or even 1990s — and continue to withstand the test of time:

1.Build basic functional knowledge: Possessing basic functional knowledge in the field is the starting point for any job and career. Keep updating and refreshing your knowledge through reading & peer learning. Participate in all kinds of group activities like group case studies, simulations, industry interaction programs and inter- college level academic and extra-curricular competitions.

Technical/subject knowledge of Sales & Marketing, Finance & Accounts, HR, Information Technology etc along with good inter personal skills are the key qualities companies look for in a potential candidate. Focus on improving these skills right from the commencement of the course or any new job is essential.

2.Language proficiency, Communication & Presentation skills: Communication skills, undoubtedly, play a real important and crucial role in professional life in corporate India. For a fresh MBA graduate, it becomes all the more important from the campus recruitment viewpoint. If you are an MBA student, focus on polishing your communication skills in English and also learn a second language.

It’s not a bad idea to join a finishing school to develop your personality, body language, inter-personal and social interaction skills. The ability to construct an argument and make your case forcefully and clearly to your boss, client or coworkers will move your ideas to fruition. Computer systems can provide all the information you need, but machines don’t know how to package it up to get decision-makers excited about lending their support to a project or idea. Public speaking and presentation skills i.e your ability to communicate your ideas to audiences will raise your profile to new levels. Web-based conferencing services make it easy, but face-to-face encounters will make lasting impressions.

3.Basic IT Skills: Proficiency in IT skills such as Micro-Soft Excel, Power-point, Word etc with working knowledge of latest IT technology/business application such as ERP etc add to your professional skills and make you more efficient on the job. Therefore focus on developing these skills at beginning of your career is essential.

4.Time management and organization: The ability to stay organized, prioritize tasks & effective management of time will go a long way to moving you and your team forward. An application may accomplish a task within a millisecond, but it doesn’t know its context or how it fits into the scheme of things. Just as important, to be able to make a decision and act on an opportunity now — without getting wrapped up by paralysis by analysis — will deliver results.

5.Goal setting. No business operation will get anywhere without a vision/goal of the end result. It is this vision/goal that focuses and solidifies all activities any team is undertaking. Goal helps you to stay focus and provides direction for actions.

6.Relationship building. Nothing helps lay the groundwork for advancement more than cultivating and maintaining good relationships with people around you who matters to you concerning your job, career and business. Social media and email may help make it easier to keep in touch, but the key is to keep those contacts going.

7.Desire to learn. Nothing beats the value of education, whether it’s formal college degrees or completion of any training program in your profession. Even seeking out coworkers on the job for opinions and experiences means the growth & building of knowledge..

8.Positive Attitude with Flexibility and adaptability: The power of positive and can do attitude will help you get a firm footing in your job in the corporate world. Rigidity never worked in the 1930s or 1990s, and it certainly won’t work now. Be open to new ideas, environment, and responsibilities. Technology & environment will constantly be changing, hence professionals need to change as well.

9.Quantitative, Analytical and Strategic Thinking Skills. I’ve combined these three — skills that many MBA programs might list separately — because they are the basic “tools” that MBA grads are supposed to have regardless of the industry or sector pursued. These skills are the basic building blocks of understanding, managing and leading business. They also include data-collection, fact-checking and synthesis skills. “MBA students should move from merely acquiring these skills toward applying these skills with vision and leadership.” “MBA students should not just know something, but strive to become something extraordinary.”

10.Innovation and Creativity. Innovation and creativity are key to business success whether it’s to maintain that competitive corporate edge or finding solutions that develop, improve and expand an organization’s operations without harming our planet. “MBA students need to learn to think outside the box and seek inspiration from unexpected and non-traditional sources,”. “Innovation and creativity can help us solve problems in energy use, food, water, transportation, health care and more, but it will require special leadership skills.”

11.People Skills and Working in a Team: People skills/soft skills such as interpersonal skills, listening skills, empathy towards others, ability to work in a team etc are incredibly valuable no matter what your job entails. Your employer would like to know how effectively you can work in a team and able to manage a group of people. Developing team skills & leadership skills is important and critical in career development.

12. Handling Complex situation & Problem solving: If you want to attain a leadership role in a your career, the skill of handling complex situation and ability solve problems arising out of your job is very much essential, besides having all those skills illustrated above.

Finally to acquire & have the above mentioned skills & qualities, one must have passion and determination to develop them. Motivation has to come from within; the drive to excellence is entirely an internal affair. Remember the effort you put in to rise in your job is directly proportional to your aim being higher to succeed.

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