4 Basic Skills You Need To Learn To Get Ahead


What do you really need to know in order to succeed? Some say it’s programming. Others say, sales and marketing. Still others say you don’t really need to know anything from the outset– just jump at the opportunities, and learn as you go along.

Whether you’re a doctor, a lawyer, a businessman (or woman, of course), employee or entrepreneur, there are several things you would do well to learn in order to get ahead.

Here are four of them:

Time Management

The most important asset you’re going to need to leverage in order to get ahead isn’t your money or your talent. It’s your time and energy. It’s why they say time is money. Good time management skills have many benefits including better quality work, better decision-making, and of course, higher productivity plus reduced stress levels.

We all get the same 24 hours a day– what you do with it can make the difference between getting by and getting ahead. Especially in this age of rushing and overwhelm, we are faced with a lot of urgent tasks in our day to day, so it’s easy to get caught behind on things we need to get done.

Managing your time and your energy takes a little bit of learning– and the faster you get it mastered, the sooner you can get ahead. And don’t forget, time management involves taking time out to breathe, for yourself and your family.

Connecting With People

You’ve probably heard the words “No man is an island” as early as first grade. What you need to know is how that connects to getting ahead. Much has been said about networking, developing relationships and learning to communicate. Doing it properly, however, is something you need to keep working on.
Whether it’s looking for a job or getting a job you already have, other people are key to getting ahead. From mentors and superiors to peers and subordinates, you will need to develop real, genuine, and helpful relationships in order to get from where you are to where you want to go. They can help you up when you’re down, give you a push when you need it, and all around make the journey to success fun for you.

Even your competition can help you get better at what you do, so start now. How to start? Clue: ask not what others can do for you but ask what you can do for others.

Basic Math

Seriously, you’re never going to get ahead without knowing how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. And not just with a calculator. An ability to “do the math” will help you when it comes to negotiating salaries, pricing your work, and figuring out how much you want to pay for something you think you need.

And we’re not just talking about things you can add up on a calculator. Being able to do the math in your head will enable you to make the right decisions when it comes to setting priorities, figuring out goals, making plans and getting into specifics of accomplishing those goals.

Continuous Learning

Perhaps the most important thing you need to learn in order to get ahead is that you will need to keep on learning. Whether it’s new technologies, new attitudes, there’s a world out there of untapped information and knowledge to discover, many of which could be a key to opening another door to you!

So keep an open mind and never make the mistake of thinking you now everything.

Those are only four subjects in a long list of things to learn to get ahead. There’s more out there, but it’s a good start!


What else do you think people need to learn to get ahead? Share them with us in the comments below!

Judith Albano

I've been in advertising for 25 years, (60 if you count the overtime), writing for banks, pharmaceuticals, utilities, insurance and real estate companies, consumer brands, advocacy groups and whatnot. I've also written radio dramas and a film back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

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