PROPEL: Reaching Success Through Skills Building


Ellen Ades

Career coaches discuss a long list of attributes to strive for when advising clients. Talent is something that can always be developed. Integrity, discipline, and resilience are not discussed often enough, but they are qualities that can certainly impact a person’s trajectory towards a successful career. Clients and coaches always focus on current skills. One strategic question that directly impacts continued success might be, “What skills can be learned next?”

What actually delivers opportunity?

What puts a person in a place of choice?

What moves you towards better earnings and overall success?

The answer, my friends, is SKILLS.

Just as you have legs that move you to a local destination, and a car moves you on longer distance journeys, skills are the vehicle that moves you onward and upward throughout your career. Just as eating creates energy for your body, and putting gasoline or electricity in your car fuels it so it can go, you must continually acquire skills to keep moving forward professionally. Skills fuel your career.

Soft and Hard Skills

There are both hard and soft skills. Some skills that were once important are no longer useful and new ones are continually emerging and demand acquisition because they have become essential to growth in the workplace.

Soft skills are often overlooked, but they are paramount in getting ahead at work. Being able to recognize and manage your own emotions, and your relationships with others is key. Getting along well with others is not only essential for employees; if you run your own business, having people skills allows you to evoke better results from your employees.

The most basic of these soft skills we have learned naturally as a part of growing up. We learned by communicating face-to-face with parents. Then we learned in the sand box, then in school, and then in the larger world. Today, because so much human interaction is done via technology, and so much focus has been lost to staring at a screen, younger adults do not have the requisite experience with face-to-face communication. They must put effort into honing those “people reading” skills, and many do.

You might not know when opportunity will knock, but you can position yourself to take advantage of an opportunity when it does show up.

Communication Skills

Communication skills both oral and written must be constantly upgraded. You can learn in school or on your own.

Listening skills are barely taught but are so valuable. You would be surprised how much insight one can gain just by observing. Reading well-written books may not only improve your vocabulary but can improve how you phrase a sentence as well.

Effective speaking can bring about better results on interviews and will help in getting the results you are looking for on the job. Toastmasters International is a non-profit devoted to improving speaking skills. They have groups everywhere. Those considering an upgrade in verbal communication might consider looking into Toastmasters. Find a group that fits your style and be prepared to learn and enjoy at the same time.

Anything is possible if you have a growth mindset and can commit to being a life-long learner.

Our brains have a wonderful capacity for passive learning. We can pick up skills painlessly through association. We are affected by our surroundings so we can improve by exposing ourselves to excellent influences. Take advantage.


One cannot speak about skills without mentioning technology. Do not underestimate the continual unfolding opportunities in technology, and not just in e-commerce. A World Economic Forum report stated that by 2025 time spent on tasks by machines and humans will be equal, but that 97 million jobs will be created globally. To remain relevant in an automated world, employees will need learn the skills needed to suit the new technological landscape.

There are some serious skills-building initiatives in the technology sector being promoted by Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Some are cost free to participants, but you have to be seriously committed. Others have a modest cost.

Google has partnered with Coursera, the online learning platform, to offer Google Career Certificates through self-paced courses in data analytics, project management, UX Design, and IT Support. The program charges a modest $40.00 per month and is self-paced, so depending on your personal timeline it can be a low-cost skills builder that offers a great return on your investment.

I believe that you must strive to thrive.

Get ready to bloom by adding new fuel to your career journey. Information about these programs mentioned above is easily accessible. Look online, read about these programs, and of course, contact PROPEL for guidance and support.


If you are interested in a career, please reach out to PROPEL and we can help you fulfill your professional goals. Call PROPEL at 646-494-0822 or Email:

Please follow PROPEL on Instagram@propelnetwork.