10 Skills Every Professional Needs to Master In 2020

10 Skills Every Professional Needs to Master In 2020

2020 is around the corner, another opportunity for you to reinvent yourself.

The importance of investing in yourself – building valuable skills and improving your strengths cannot be over emphasised.

By now, as a professional or business owner, you should have an idea or made a plan of what you hope to accomplish by 2019 including growth targets, products to launch, new markets to participate in and relationships to build.

It’s all fine and good to have these milestones in your plans but it is also very important to build your soft skills.

As the African economy grows, the business and corporate market is becoming increasingly competitive.

You will need skills besides your know how to set you apart from everyone else.

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10 Skills Every Professional Needs to Master in 2020

It’s time to choose courses, buy books, get a mentor and start opening your mind, because here are the top 15 skills entrepreneurs will need to master by 2019.


Careers and businesses fail when they are not communicated properly.

Many experts and psychologist even believe that communication is the most important skill anyone should learn.

When your communication lacks purpose, clarity and impact, you will lose who ever you are talking to.

Effective communication in the workplace is imperative in a leadership role. An age-old aphorism goes, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Good communication is what separates a poor leader from an exceptional one. Having effective communication skills is the key to good leadership.

Here are 14 proven ways to improve your communication skills.

2. Personal Branding

Building a strong personal brand online and offline is a must for this digital age.

You never know who’s watching and where the next opportunity will come from.

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Making sure everyone around you knows what you are about and what you stand for is very important. You wouldn’t want to enter the market without a strong personal brand, and you definitely can’t afford to have a negative online reputation.

3. Strategy Formulation

With countless distractions, you need to learn to plan for your business and career survival. From daily checklists to keep you focused on the tasks you need to achieve to long term strategic plans, you need you always have an action plan to get you to your next goal.

4. Financial Management

“Financial stability comes from fiscal discipline.” – Ola Brown, 2018

Knowing how to manage and grow your finances is key to success both in your business and in your personal life. Lack of the ability to manage finances exposes you to the risk of becoming unsustainable, which often leads to bankruptcy, regret and going back to a full-time job.

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Develop discipline and prudence, especially when it comes to purchases for personal and business purposes. Learn both technical and practical techniques that’ll help you increase your income and re-invest in the right strategies to keep your business pushing forward into the future.

5. Sales

After all is said and done, the one skill that keeps the lights on in your business is sales. A company that can’t sell its products or services is quickly going out of business.

Regardless of your craft – even artists, software developers, writers – or career path, you need selling skills to get by in this economy.

If you need funding, you have to sell your idea to investors.

If you want to be a successful painter, you must compel people to buy the aesthetics of your craft.

If you’re a job applicant, you simply have to sell yourself.

6. Relationship Building

Social currency is the standard by which your value is assessed, you need people to make progress.

From offering up referrals, to giving endorsements, recommendations, inspiration and moral support, your network of people is your most valuable resource—your network is your net worth.

So, make friends and build mutually beneficial relationships that will give you the potential for big new opportunities in the future.

7. Stress Management

Nothing worth pursuing in life is easy. So, expect episodes of disappointment, struggles and stress. The key to staying afloat and winning your game is to manage stress and re-channel it towards a positive outcome. Whether you do that by being more organized, changing your mindset, or through prayer and meditation, stress management will keep both your business and your health in excellent condition.

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8. Hiring and Talent Sourcing

Because you can’t do it alone, you’ll eventually need people to help you achieve your goals. For that, you’ll need the ability to identify the right new hires. Not just anyone should make the cut and you shouldn’t settle for less than what your business needs. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a new hire that drains your energy and budget without generating enough value in return. Be selective, smart and methodical when searching for talent to bring into your business.

9. Failure Management

Failure can be devastating.

Major failures can obliterate your motivation and affect your mentality for weeks, months or even years. Just like marriages and Hollywood careers, businesses fail all the time.

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The secret to success as an entrepreneur is to get back on your feet again, pick up the pieces and apply what you’ve painfully learned so that you’ll get different results the next time.

10. Sharing and Collaboration

Competition is out, collaboration is in.

In the 2018 Coworking Conference, Iyin of FlutterWave said; “the best companies in the world re people who individually could have built $100 million companies, but dropped their egos and came together to build billion dollar companies.”

The willingness, commitment, and skill to both regularly and effectively share your work will get you closer to achieving your goals.

It’s no accident that information sharing, crowdfunding and open source are key terms describing pillars of the new economy.

AndroidWikipedia and Kickstarter are just a few examples of how sharing and collaboration have created industry-changing products and services.

As an entrepreneur, sharing your goals, progress and challenges on different channels can lead to surprising solutions, strong relationships and groundbreaking business.

Every new year, we look back on our accomplishments and plot a new course with the goal of exceeding the previous year’s performance.

There are many ways to plan for future business success, but investing in yourself by building new skills or improving existing ones, remains one of the smartest decisions you can make as an entrepreneur.

Which skill do you think will dominate your industry in 2019?

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