January 19, 2022

The most important career skill – Organization

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”
– Anonymous

Have you ever wondered what skill or type of a skill would be the most beneficial in terms of being efficient on the job or being overall successful in any career? If you could choose one skill, sort of like in a game, a cheat if you will, what would you choose to help you progress? Just to make things clear, we’re not discussing hard skills here because those aren’t nearly enough to excel, something which I covered many times before, the general idea is the ideal soft skill which encompasses or trumps everything else. Would you choose critical thinking? Or maybe communication skills? How about leadership skills or problem-solving? There are many to choose from and each one is unique and quite helpful in its own right. However, in my humble opinion, one skill stands above all others; a skill which is unique and essential to any job position, sector or industry – and that is organization. Organizational skills are a foundation to any goal or success, not just career-wise, but in life itself. Imagine a scenario in which an employee has the majority of essential skills at a high level but lacks in organizational skills. How is a good work ethic or conflict resolution relevant if your workload can’t be handled by such and such a date? Why does your negotiation skill matter if you can’t organize your time or prioritize tasks? You can be the best people manager in the world but if you don’t know how to delegate tasks and organize a workload between your subordinates, no one will acknowledge the aforementioned without key results.


How organizational skills connect everything else

A goal or a due date in a job or life event requires a series of key steps in order to produce results which will in turn get to that goal. In order to do that, one must be able to organize the key steps in a required manner and most importantly, time. Time is of a key importance here, much like in business as well (time, cost, quality – the holy trinity of almost any business). Let me clarify why time is so important. Imagine an employee without too much experience in a certain job position, lacking the majority of soft skills save one, organization. They get a workload with a due date of two months. They’re missing a required manner of execution because of lacking experience but because of their top-notch organizational skills, they will incorporate extra activity into their timeframe next to the necessary workload (mind you, this requires a certain profile characteristic of leadership and risk taking but for the sake of the article, let’s assume they have it, it can’t be ideal). With that, they proactively invest extra time to better themselves as well for the sake of completing a task at hand – all without requiring extra time. So what organizational skill gives them here is learning and development by their own admission which in turn gives them new skills, which in turn gives them experience. Organizational skills make you think a couple of steps ahead and drive you to think of activities and skills which you don’t have at the moment to acquire them, all for the sake of completing a task or a goal – at the price of the same timeframe.


Organizational skills drive your vision and proactivity

How? Not to sound too complicated, but organization drives you to visualize your goal and action to achieve that goal. In essence, it makes you think ahead which in turn makes you proactive and one/more steps ahead. Very handy in a chaotic working environment in which tasks are delegated with a near ad hoc expected result. Being able to perceive a task as sort of an action map to get to the point of its completion is amazing, if you ask me. It’s almost certain that, if an employee has a very high organizational skill, will produce a positive outcome of a given task.


The most important skill for managers

If you need a single proof someone is worthy of a manager title, look no further, organization is the way. This obviously doesn’t exclude the rest of the soft skills but this is surely the top of it all. A manager has to be able to visualise and proactively look for solutions to any given tasks at hand. Without good organization skills, they would be lost or at the very least the business/task would suffer. Next to a task at hand, if a manager is disorganized and their subordinates find it out, you lose teamwork and motivation which could turn that workplace into a one giant headache.


Takeaway

Organizational skill is an apex predator of skills. If you see a very high level of organizational skills in an employee, you might as well see proactivity, problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, work ethic, energy, communication skills, leadership skills, ambition, multitasking, self-awareness etc. Organizational skills make up of a dozen different soft skills which will almost guarantee a high performing employee. It’s so important to the point of them being key employees in any given organization. If recognized, treat them with care.