For years we’ve heard that computer skills are an invaluable asset to any CV. It’s fair to say that it’s probably one of the most asked questions in interviews too, after all computers impact all areas of our lives to some extent. Even if a job doesn’t directly involve computers, any company values these skills because they’re aware of how useful they can be. Small businesses without specialized IT departments are usually especially glad to have employees who can use computers.
However, knowing how to use computers are not only a valuable skill in building a career – they have even more value than that. The simple fact is that computer skills are also invaluable for anyone wanting to work for themselves. The number of self employed computer programmers, IT technicians or network support engineers has never been higher. Whether they’re working directly with businesses or through service contract companies, literally millions of people now can class themselves as self employed simply due to their computer skills. The Internet has enabled millions of people in all sorts of areas to utilize their computer skills to develop new businesses or careers.
It goes further than this though, you don’t even need to work in the technology area directly to leverage your computer skills. Many people in all sorts of areas are using the web to boost their ‘real world’ businesses. In a little village near where I live, a mobile green grocer has developed a brand new web site, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. All of these he uses very effectively to promote his business and his latest offers to customers around the area. He has even launched a milk delivery service directly on the response he received from a couple of adverts on Facebook. Thought that the days of milk delivery where gone ? Well think again as the response was huge largely fuelled by the lower environmental impact of receiving milk in reusable glass bottles!
The new opportunities are everywhere and you often only need a modicum of technology skills to get started. When I was on holiday I met someone who’s retired and set up a business selling solutions to access UK TV stations. He was set up to retire, discovered he couldn’t watch Coronation Street on ITV player and Match of the Day when in Lanzarote, then proceeded to market the solution he discovered – it’s here if you want to see. He’s doing very well and can still enjoy his soaps online.
The fact is that perhaps more and anything learning about computers can open new doors and create opportunities. It’s like learning a new language suddenly options open up that perhaps weren’t there before. As a supplement to your existing skills set or specialization, there’s very little that can compare. For those with entrepreneurial aspirations having the skills to leverage the internet and social media can be the difference between success and failure.
Digital skills can easily be obtained, most schools and colleges offer a variety of technology courses. Of course you can even learn them online now, with many offering online equivalents of their normal courses too. You can bypass blocks by using high speed VPNs – try here, if available which can also be used to access content in different countries anonymously.
Of all the skills you need to develop in your business career, few if any will be as important as your creative abilities in bringing new ideas to the table. Business is all about growth and expansion and to do that, a constant flow of creative ideas needs to be sought and the person that can do that will be sure to excel in their line of work. The problem is that it’s one of many skills that doesn’t fit into a traditional education. Too some extent it’s a skill which comes with experience, however there’s no doubt that some people are much better in this area than others.
These sort of soft, creative skills are valuable to any organisation but are traditionally more valued in some than others. The internet and technology is changing all this though and businesses which don’t embrace change and development are unlikely to survive in the long run, But how can a person develop an ability in themselves that is not taught in schools or generally perceived to even be a skill at all?
The way to so this is not really so different from the development of any other skill whether it be physical or mental in nature. For example, if you need to be a better athlete and compete for the top achievements, you need to train hard and regularly and push your body to its limits.
Similarly, if you want to achieve a tough intellectual goal or aim for a high educational qualification, you have to learn all you need to know and then study hard so all the information is crammed into your memory for you to recall at will. You can’t get this by sitting around watching TV, real learning comes from proper studies.
Well, you can go about nurturing your creative talents in a similar way by practicing coming up with new ideas and repeating that procedure regularly and often, which is a broad subject covered amply at axcp.org. What you are essentially doing is re-wiring your brain to use its creative faculties, which are things we all possess but few use to their fullest capabilities.
If you find at first you are simply stumped to come up with even one simple idea, the trick is not to give up at the first hurdle, but keep trying until you succeed. As long as you go at the task with the sure belief that you can manifest ideas, they will come while you remain calm and don’t let yourself get stressed over it. Nowadays there’s always a way to find inspiration and ideas for virtually any concept – it’s called the internet. Indeed many marketing firms use the web in creative ways to find new concepts and ideas. One of them involves scraping data and ideas by using proxies to hide their real location and browse from the perspective of someone located in another country.
The ability to relax and remain calm is a secondary trait that will stand you in good stead when you are trying to come up with ideas and insights that can overcome problems. When you are stressed and uptight, the creative part of your mind gets locked out and the flow of imagination dwindles to nothing. But as soon as you relax, that flow is restarted and you might just surprise yourself at what you can come up with.
The most creative employees are a company’s greatest asset as it is their insights and good ideas that can lift the company to new heights in whatever area of business it happens to occupy. Being one of those people can being greater rewards that you might imagine.