Reading. Writing. Persuasion. Arithmetic. Computer Programming.
- Reading: This is incredibly important for acquiring new knowledge. Now you can learn a lot without reading, from places like podcasts, YouTube videos, and documentaries. However, the ability to comprehend the things you read quickly and completely is a valuable skill in business. Because much of the communication today has moved away from face-to-face and towards asynchronous text-based chat, reading comprehension is important.
- Writing: Being able to clearly and succinctly translate something from your head to words is essential. To communicate with others on Slack or in emails, you need to be an effective writer. In school I think people are sort of corralled into thinking that writing is a creative endeavor (and it certainly can be), but writing is actually very formulaic and structured. Also, people are often tricked into thinking that to write something, they need to use different language than if they were speaking that same thing. Don’t do this. Use the exact same words as when you speak, and your writing will be more relatable and easier to understand.
- Persuasion: This ties back to writing — but you need to be able to present your case for why you think the way you do. You need to be able to share your justification for the conclusions that you’ve come to. Persuasion can also be thought about as marketing. You’re either marketing yourself or you’re marketing your thoughts. If you’re able to show the value of your thinking and the conclusions you draw from the information you have — you will be rewarded for that skill.
- Arithmetic: Basic math skills are necessary so that you can understand numbers. If your goal is to become rich, basic arithmetic can go a long way. For example, if you’re trying to make an investment decision, you need to be able to understand the potential upside and the risk that you’re taking. At some point, managing money becomes simply managing percentages and trying to find something that improves your return from 5% to 7%. If you can create some models and projections to understand the results of your efforts right now, you will be better equipped to make financial decisions. In everyday life, having math skills just means that you can understand information that involves numbers.
- Computer Programming: If everyone is using computers constantly, having the ability to manipulate the output of these devices gives you a ton of leverage. The ability to automate time consuming tasks that a computer could do in a matter of seconds means that you can focus on more difficult questions and problems. Computer programming doesn’t even have to be coding ability, but as long as you have some technical skill that makes you valuable in today’s internet based economy will put you ahead of a large percentage of the population. There a plenty of no-code solutions available that allow you to make websites, edit videos, or build apps to reach more people. All of these just let you to share your writing, persuade more people and ultimately have more leverage.