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The Four Skills Employees Need in 2013

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A recent article in The Wall Street Journal reports that there are four skills employees will need in order to get recognized and promoted in 2013: communications, personal branding, flexibility and increased productivity.


The article notes that clear communication is vital to employee success in 2013. As more and more communication occurs digitally, many employees are forgetting how to communicate in person or deliver an effective presentation. People forget to proofread and flub basics like spelling and grammar.

Personal Branding

Point here: Check your digital footprint, especially if you’re out looking to change jobs. More and more employers are checking social networks before hiring. Make sure you’re responsible in your communication on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn—careless communications reflects poorly on your personal brand (and potentially on your current employer).


Learning is more important than ever. As responsibilities rapidly change, the job you were hired to do is seldom the job you actually end up doing. In 2013, employers will be looking for people who learn quickly and demonstrate an ability to adapt, think outside the box and thrive in situations that require them to learn new skills.

Greater Productivity

According to a recent survey by CEB in Arlington, Va., employers are looking for a 20 percent improvement in employee performance in 2013. Everybody in the company is expected to look for ways to streamline operations as well as produce at a higher level.

What skills do you think federal employees need most in the coming year?

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

Image via Shebeko/

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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