Five essential technical skills you need to master in everyday life

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The world has never been more technical, with more technology surrounding us than ever – especially after the growth of remote working over the last two years.

In turn, that means we all need to master more technical skills to succeed in the workplace. It’s not just about accelerating our careers, either, because if you’ve got technical skills then you’ll have a more successful life, too.

After all, just look at some of the technical skills that can prove helpful beyond the workplace: you’re more likely to find success if you’re familiar with popular computer software and social media tools, for instance, and you’d be surprised at the areas where you’ll benefit if you’ve got analysis and management skills from your workplace.

We’ve taken five essential technical skills that you’ll probably have picked up in your working life and explained how you’ll benefit from your mastery beyond the office. If you’d like to explore more recruitment content, head here for our verdict on the best US job sites.

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Vital office software

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a job these days that doesn’t require some level of proficiency with word processors, spreadsheet tools and email clients – and many people in the job market have been using them since school.

This is brilliant, because it means that most people already have some proficiency with these ever-present tools. Whether you need to write letters, use spreadsheets to manage your budgets or navigate a busy inbox, those skills will help for decades.

It’s not just about knowing your way around common apps, either. Loads of jobs use other popular software applications, from photo-editing and design tools to organization and communication utilities. They can be useful in your life outside work: you could edit family photos, organize a weekend away with friends or plan home improvements using the same apps.

A finger pressing a padlock icon

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Information security

It’s no wonder that businesses spend big money on protecting their data – companies have never held so much important information and data loss can have a huge financial impact.

Data loss can have a big personal impact, too, so having information security knowledge is a technical skill that can benefit your life rather than just your work.

Think about how much information about you and your family is held digitally: medical records, social security details, education information and data about your property is usually stored online or in the cloud.

If you’ve learned about two-factor authentication (2FA), password managers, and other core information security concepts at work, you can easily apply these skills to your day-to-day life. If you’ve gone further and learned even more, that’s great, because it means your data will be even more secure.

Ultimately, there have never been so many organizations who’d love to exploit that data for financial gain – even if it comes from individuals rather than businesses. If you’ve learned how to protect your information at work, this technical skill will pay dividends everywhere else too.

Project management

This is one technical skill that people may not think about beyond the office, but if you’ve managed projects at work then you’ll possess technical skills that can benefit your life in loads of other areas.

Just consider how much ability is required in the average work project: you need top-notch organization, knowledge about different kinds of software, scheduling proficiency and know-how when it comes to managing finances, tracking performance and assessing quality.

Those are all skills that can prove vital in everyday life. Whether you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, an extension to your home or even writing the novel you’ve been promising yourself, you can rely on project management skills for a whole range of activities outside of the workplace.

Magnifying Glass Data

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Data analysis

We’ve never had so much access to data. And while that’s great in many ways, it also means that you’ve got to have good analysis skills to make sense of what’s going on in the world. That’s the kind of technical skill that can develop on the job and then prove invaluable away from the office.

If you’ve done any data analysis then you’ll already know how you can discover competitive advantages by delving into numbers, but you’ll also know that it’s a complex and time-consuming task.

It’ll be easier and faster if you’ve got the right skills, though, and data analysis can pay dividends in your day-to-day life. If you know how to sift through data then you can find better insurance deals, a perfect new home or even the best car for you and your family. There’s lots to be said about the strength in numbers – and being able to analyze data will help in loads of different areas.

Social media and research skills

It’s important to know what you’re doing when you post on social media – it can help in loads of marketing and social media roles in the workplace, and it can also help to grow your brand and navigate the connected world outside of the office.

It’s not just about knowing the secret to going viral on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. If you’ve learned about social media at work you’ll likely have knowledge of content creation, blogging, CMS systems, search engine optimization (SEO) and analytics. Those are the kinds of skills that can help you build your own business or grow your hobby.

Those skills often go hand-in-hand with research skills. This is another area where a technical skill you’ve learned from work can help the rest of your life. If you know how to sift through the web’s wealth of information and separate fact from fiction effectively, then you’ll be able to figure out the truth in everyday life.

Whether you’re searching for a new home, finding out about new medication or investing your money in new industries, being able to conduct effective research is a crucial technical skill you can bring from the office to the wider world.

Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.