Several well-paying jobs require a post-secondary degree, which means you have to go through at least 4 years of formal education. Many assume that attending college would automatically ensure a rewarding and comfortable career. Higher education undoubtedly rewards you with disciplinary knowledge and provides a well-rounded academic experience. However, for many, college is not an option. That doesn’t mean, that the individuals who don’t seek higher education end up penniless. The key here is to acquire skills for a job and not run after a degree. And the good news is that it is possible to gain those high-income skills without having to pay through your nose for a university degree. In other words, there are high-income skills you can learn without a college education.
The article points out a few soft and hard high-income skills you can look into for a lucrative career in the future.
- Soft vs Hard Skills
- High-Income Soft Skills
- High-Income Hard Skills
- Summing Up and Related Readings
What are hard and soft skills?
Hard skills are those skills that can be defined clearly and measured for success. They are also specific to the particular role. On the other hand, soft skills are unspecified, difficult to pinpoint, and cannot be measured. However, these factors don’t undermine the importance of having soft skills. Both are considered as high-income skills, since you need a combination of both to land a high income job. The ideal path to follow would be inculcating both hard and soft skills in tandem.
Let us take a look at a few crucial soft skills needed today:
1. Time Management
It is all about how you manage your time and responsibilities. Through time management, you can effectively schedule your work into various activities throughout your day. This is a high-income skill that is hard to display through a resume, but is essential to have in order to keep your job.
Why is Time Management An Important High-Income Skill?
You need to be able to manage your time effectively so you can meet deadlines and fulfill your organizational, career, and personal goals. If you can’t manage your time, your work, as well as your personal life, will suffer.
How to gain Time Management skills?
Keep the following in mind to ace your time management game:
- List Down Your Priorities: Prioritize and schedule your tasks and projects. Create a list of what is most important and urgent and work on completing those first. Assign later deadlines for the trivial assignments, for when you have more time at hand.
- Is Multitasking the Key to Time Management? Think Again: While multitasking may seem like a good idea, it is more sensible to direct all your focus on an individual task to avoid errors due to lack of concentration.
- Maintain a regular system: You could try the Pomodoro or the time blocking method or devise a novel technique of your own. As long as there are no interruptions while you work, you can rest that you will be able to complete your tasks within the stipulated time.
- Give yourself a break: This is vital. You need to take breaks between tasks to avoid burnout. A short disconnection from work enables you to develop and look at your project through newer, fresher perspectives.
Additionally, an organized workspace, time tracking technology, and healthy work habits would help you go a long way in your time management journey.
Sometimes, it isn’t possible for a manager to take care of all the responsibilities. This is when she hands over a part of her work to her teammates or subordinates. When a supervisor allocates tasks to her subordinates, she is “delegating” responsibilities.
Delegation also takes place when a boss wants to assess the skills and responsibility-handling abilities of an employee. It can be a way to teach new roles and problem-solving methods to the individual selected.
Keep the below points in mind when you delegate your work:
- Make sure the employee understands the role and responsibility
- The person tasked with the project has to have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to complete it.
- Arrange for the software, tools, and other resources that the employee may need.
- Set down a deadline. Be sure to keep some room for modifications and changes if required.
- Your aim is to develop the competency levels of the individuals handling the task.
Learn more about delegating, a key high-income skill to learn how to delegate and not abdicate.
3. Coaching Skills
Coaching is a form of high-income skill wherein you enable your trainees to ask questions as well as think for themselves. A good manager uses coaching effectively to help her employees realize their professional as well as personal goals.
The following are some of the qualities of a good coach:
No motives: Real coaches do not have a hidden agenda. They focus wholly on their team and ensure high morale and all-around positivity.
Approachable: Coaches must be approachable, welcoming, and broadminded. They need to perform their duties with no judgment so that the team feels comfortable reaching out in need.
Responsible: A true coach takes responsibility for his own actions. In this way, they manage to build trust and loyalty. When the coach demonstrates accountability, the coachees learn to become responsible themselves.
Steadfast Belief: Believing in yourself as well as in your trainees is half the job done. This boosts the confidence of your employees and encourages them to give their best.
Successful coaching enables effective goal setting, scales up motivation levels, and drives performance. An important aspect of coaching is the performance review. This is a type of assessment where a manager evaluates the performance of her employees. Check out this course to learn how to conduct coaching-based performance reviews.
4. Developing Organizational Values
Every company must foster a culture that consists of a shared set of beliefs. These core values have to be aligned with the business objectives and strategies to reach those goals.
When you think of your organization’s values, it would help to go back to the start. Remember the purpose behind your business. What it stands for. Who does it serve? And why? It would help to peruse through the company’s mission statement.
Think about the following factors that pertain to your organizational values:
- Your offering: Does your product or service offering stand for quality or a promise?
- Product USP: Why would you want customers and potential buyers to choose you, every single time?
- The employees: Their attitudes, behaviour, and work ethics all play a role in developing company values.
- Company structure: Is your organization flat or highly structured? You can derive terms like accountability and leadership from here.
Here’s a detailed insight on discovering and implementing core values.
Keep in mind that your core values have to be known to all, both inside and outside the entity. Showcase them wherever possible, on your website and social media for instance, and constantly encourage your employees to embody these values.
5. Hiring the Right personnel
Your employees define the organization. Since the staff is the voice and face of the business entity, it is important that you select those who are likely to be your true brand ambassadors. Your employees should reflect the organizational values and stand by its principles. Here are some of the traits to look out for in your recruitment process:
Alignment With Company Goals: The employee’s own career goals should be in line with the organizational objectives.
Constant Hunger to Learn: The potential hiree should have an insatiable thirst to learn and gain new knowledge daily. Only then will she grow along with the company.
Responsible: A manager must be able to entrust his subordinates with tasks and responsibilities. Select someone confident enough to work autonomously and deliver results within the stipulated deadlines.
Passionate: The ideal employee should believe in the organization and what it stands for. She should be proud to associate with the company and work with zeal and be committed to the job.
Take the course on How to Hire ‘A’ players and learn the high-income skill of sourcing, screening, interviewing, and selecting potential star employees.
There are several other essential soft skills to pick up to get noticed by well-paying employers; Critical Thinking, Leadership, and Teamwork to name a few. However, we’ll leave these for another day. Let us move on to those must-have hard skills to grab that well-paying role.
Essential Hard skills to have for a high-income job
6. Graphic Designing
If you have an artistic streak, this is the ideal high-income skill opportunity for you. Graphics work is all about expressing oneself on a digital canvas. You can earn handsomely as a project-based freelancer or as a dedicated member of an in-house designing team. All you need is designing software, like the Adobe creative suite, a sketchpad, and a laptop.
Of course, you need to be adept at designing. Unleash your creative side with the help of various free and paid visual arts courses available online. You may either choose to work remotely or be associated with an organization as a full-time digital creator. The best part? You get to be your own boss! So, grab the opportunity to be at the helm of the creative digital surge and design your career trajectory into success.
7. Software Development
Software development is in high demand these days, especially in the tech industry. Additionally, it happens to be one of the highest-paying jobs globally. A software engineer typically creates apps for mobile phones or web applications. Although primarily technical, software development allows you to show your creative side as well.
8. Web Development and Design
The fact that you are able to read this article today is because a web developer created and designed this website. It involves creating web pages that can be viewed via the internet. Web development includes both front and back-end work. Another profession in high demand, website development is expected to grow exponentially in the future. You’ll need to know HTML, Java, SQL and Python among other coding languages.
As a website designer, you will be more involved in front-end work. This means you will have to communicate with the clients on their functional and aesthetic requirements. CSS is a must-know website designing language in case you want to seriously consider pursuing this path.
9. Content Writing
You cannot market a product or a service without elucidating its features and talking about the value it provides. This is where content writing comes in. Since a major amount of content is consumed online, content writing is very much in demand. There are several different niches you may opt to specialize in: Technical content writing, blogging, ad copy, and SEO content writing to name a few.
Content writers find tons of opportunities on freelancing platforms as well as with digital marketing agencies. If you have a natural flair for the language and love to write, content writing could be the path for you. For the high-income technical roles, however, you may have to research a bit and build expertise in those areas.
10. Search Engine Optimization
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of organically marketing your content in such a way that it ranks well and attracts traffic to your website. Search Engine Optimization is a tremendously lucrative career nowadays.
If you consider digital marketing as a whole, SEO analysts earn among the highest. The scope of gaining high-income skills in SEO is vast. There are two aspects to search engine optimization; technical and non-technical SEO. It is wise to learn both types and then specialize in the one you feel most comfortable in.
11. Social Media Marketing
Today’s society prefers to stay connected via social media. For most of us, social media apps like Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat, and Facebook are where we spend the most time. LinkedIn is the go-to platform for those who like to say connected professionally. Careers in social media marketing are booming. And social media happens to be a high-income skill too.
Here’s why you can choose social media marketing as a career option:
- Social media marketing is evergreen: Social media is a dynamic world and one just cannot keep up with the latest trends.
- Social Media is the way forward: For most brands that have amassed a significantly large virtual presence, social media is the only method to get their messages across. Our advice? Strike while the iron is hot.
- Freedom to explore: There are several aspects to social media marketing. Apart from spreading brand awareness and general information, there are other creative avenues like influencer marketing, community engagement, lead generation, and affiliate marketing strategies that you can explore.
Apart from these high-income skills, you can take up an internship of your choice, start your own venture, learn a valuable trade, or train as an apprentice. The choices are plentiful and at the end of the day, it is up to you to decide where you want your career path to take you.
Summary of High-income skills
It’s completely alright if you don’t have the opportunity or time to go through a full-fledged college degree course. You always have the option to take up paid courses, or formal lessons. Alternatively, approaching a mentor could work just as well. All you need is motivation, faith in your talents, and abilities to grasp new ideas. If you possess these qualities, then you have a bright future ahead of you. Keep working on your new skills, polish your resume and start applying today!
Professional Leadership Institute (PLI) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical education in human resources and leadership. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional PLI resources below will be useful: