The business landscape of 2019 is changing with the turbulent times, and to succeed will require high emotional intelligence as well as mental acuity.
According to business strategists and high-powered employers, the most valuable skills an employee can have are a mix of in-demand "hard," or technical and knowledge-based, skills and "soft," or behavioral and attitudinal, strengths. Here are the top 10 skills to help you succeed in 2019:
It takes holistic thinking to be able to grasp a problem quickly and produces viable plan. But strong problem-solving skills also require a continual process of absorbing information and taking multiple factors into consideration.
2. Critical thinking
Delving into a problem beyond the surface is the extra step it takes to be the most productive. Furthermore, in the trial and error process that can occur when plans go wrong, looking at a problem from multiple angles becomes vital.
Be a unique contribution to your workplace. According to Marty Neumeier, "It is important to keep learning. Others cannot duplicate or reproduce your original work. If you want to be original, you have to become an inventor and build the foundation to the structure of your invention from scratch."
In a media-laden world of constant information, the ability to not only retain but transmit information is highly valued. Both written and oral communication build the connections that keep teams together and tasks goal-oriented.
Whether working with co-workers or clients, the ability to recognize and respect others' emotions and sensibilities and respond accordingly is an irreplaceable skill.
6. Time Management
This straightforward skill has clear advantages of keeping yourself and your team on-task and productive in the most efficient use of time.
The ability to be a team player is crucial in a workplace. Working well with others enhances productivity and morale, even during times of high stress.
Combining creativity and problem-solving skills with heightened awareness of the work space and its resources allows optimal productivity. Employers notice workers who are able to face a challenge head on and achieve their goals despite it .
When things inevitably deviate from scheduled plans, it's crucial to have the "cognitive flexibility" to be able to improvise. As Alvin Toffler said, "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."
10. Cultural Awareness
Similar to empathy, employers are recognizing now more than ever that in order to contribute meaningful work to the public employees must demonstrate cultural awareness. That means recognizing and appreciating diversity in terms of acknowledging the needs of disparate communities and being sensitive to ongoing issues within those groups.
In 2019, the most valuable skills an employee can have combine humanity with efficiency. Whether a company provides a product or a service, it's vital to understand how society can benefit from the fruits of its labor.
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When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.