Want to improve your career prospects? Here’s what to do to climb that career ladder fast.

There are a plethora of career tips online that are more or less the same. Most of them discuss honing one’s analytical and problem-solving skills, being a good team player and improving one’s interpersonal skills, amongst other obvious tips. Instead of cliched advice, we’ve prepared actual skill sets that anyone can pick up to start advancing their careers faster.

Speed reading
One of the most important things people should do to improve their careers is to continue to learn. Knowledge is power, and there is no better way to gain knowledge than reading a lot of books and online sources. Reading biographies is also a phenomenal way of learning “directly” from the experiences of some of the most successful people in the world. If you read even 1 book a week, you would have gained a tremendous amount of new information that could help you make better decisions after a year.

Even better, what if you could easily read several books a week? Good speed readers can sometimes read hundreds of pages in a matter of an hour or two, while still comprehending all of the content’s core concepts and nuances. The best part of it is that speed reading is a trainable skill. By allowing you to read and process written information much faster, speed reading can help you become both smarter and more efficient with everything you do.

Presentation and public speaking
In a sense, every job requires some level of sales. Even if you are not selling a product to a potential customer, you still have to sell your ideas to your managers, colleagues or even employees. Regardless of how good your idea might be, it won’t matter unless you convince others to believe in your idea as well. If you present your idea in an organized and interesting manner, however, most people would be more likely to listen to you.

A good presentation skill is almost universally valuable to any job. It’s not every day that your good work to receive proper (or even outsized) amount of recognition without any effort on your end to “PR” your success. Although it may not be fair, it’s definitely true that people who present themselves well are generally perceived to be smarter, more capable and dependable. There many resources and classes that can help you improve your presentation skills. Once you do, you will be better equipped to let your true worth become more visible to others.

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Career progression is not linear
When you are thinking about your career development, it’s important to first recognise that most people will not experience a linear career progression. Instead, your career can often take unexpected turns and lead you to jobs that you’ve never even expected. Because of this, it’s all the more important to acquire these skills that will be relevant and valuable no matter what you end up doing. More than likely, these two skill sets will add more value to your life the earlier you master them. While more specific and concrete skills like programming could also be valuable, good speed reading and presentation skills don’t run the risk of becoming obsolete or irrelevant.

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By Duckju Kang for ValuePenguin.com