How to develop your skills for career success in the UK?

In today's job market, it's important to keep your professional skills sharp. Employers are finding it difficult to find people with the right qualifications, which means that if you have the necessary skills, you'll have a better chance of getting a job. However, keeping your skills up-to-date can be challenging.

When you have a full-time job and other personal responsibilities in life, you might be unsure about how you can find time to work towards your next career goal. Therefore, it's vital to find new ways to learn and improve your employability skills. This will help you stay informed about the latest trends in your industry and ensure you remain attractive to employers for future opportunities.

Given that public sector employment has increased to 5.87 million (as reported by the Office for National Statistics in June 2023), it's extremely important to make sure your CV stands out when applying for jobs, as there is a lot of competition.

In this blog, we will talk about the necessary skills for career success in the UK and much more. So, read till the end to get a comprehensive understanding of just what’s needed.


What is a skill set?

A skill set is the range of abilities, experiences and personal qualities that you have gained throughout your career. Everyone's skill set varies based on their interests, technical abilities, chosen career direction and natural talents. Enhancing and expanding your skills can boost your effectiveness at work and increase your chances for career growth. People usually categorise their skill set into two main types:

  1. Soft skills
  2. Hard skills

Understanding the differences between these categories and identifying areas for improvement can help build skills for career success.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills refer to interpersonal and social abilities. They are the non-technical skills that enhance communication and teamwork in a professional setting. Some people may possess them innately, but you can also develop these skills for career success in the UK through practice and training. These skills are transferable which will contribute to success in any job, regardless of the industry. Examples of soft skills include:

  • Creativity
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Time management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Problem-solving
  • Negotiation and persuasion
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability

Employers value soft skills greatly. Hence, taking the time to recognise your strengths and enhance these professional skills will make you a strong candidate for a wide variety of roles.

What are hard skills?


Hard skills are the quantifiable and trainable professional skills that employers demand for your job. They include the expertise and technical capabilities important for succeeding in your role. Usually, these employability skills are acquired through formal education and structured training programmes, allowing employers to verify and evaluate them. Examples of hard skills include:

  • Accounting
  • Graphic design
  • Computer programming
  • Event planning
  • UX design
  • Mathematics
  • Foreign language fluency
  • Data analysis

Throughout the hiring process, employers will assess candidates' hard skills and experience to find the most suitable match for a position. Therefore, you need to be able to verify and demonstrate any hard skills you have mentioned on your CV.

What are your key skills?

When looking for a job, highlighting the most powerful and applicable employability skills on your CV will show employers that you're an excellent fit for their organisation. However, recognising your own strengths might not always be easy. Take some time to reflect on your most developed professional skills for career success and the ones you take pleasure in, to build a strong job application.

Skills for career success across various sectors in the UK

It's important to have basic skills that work well in many different jobs. These skills not only make you better at your job but also help you adapt and stay resilient when things change. These skills will ensure you do well in all kinds of jobs and have a successful career in the long term.

  1. Problem-solving: Difficulties will appear in any job you undertake. It's important to develop the ability to assess problems, make well-considered decisions and effectively overcome challenges.
  1. Communication: Communication involves effective listening, writing and speaking. Employers value your capability to express your thoughts and concepts clearly and efficiently. Showcasing good listening skills demonstrates your ability to understand others' feelings, establish solid relationships and manage conflicts.
  1. Initiative: You can best show initiative by taking proactive steps to manage situations and seek solutions to enquiries without direction. Demonstrating these skills for a career indicates to employers that you are accomplished at taking personal responsibility and evolving as a leader.
  1. Leadership: Displaying leadership involves using interpersonal abilities to guide and foster the growth of others. Furthermore, employing empathetic skills enables you to inspire, organise, prioritise and delegate tasks effectively.
  1. Professionalism: Employers seek evidence of your responsibility for your actions and work conduct. Make sure you are punctual, can work effectively in a team and understand the impact of your written communication and body language. Take responsibility, learn from your mistakes and always behave with integrity.
  1. Teamwork: Many jobs demand effective and respectful collaboration with both colleagues and clients. Employers are always looking for individuals who can bring out the best performance in others.
  1. Analytical: Use careful analysis to identify issues and make well-informed choices. Weigh up the circumstances, ask critical questions, consider all the potential solutions and then devise a strategic plan.
  1. Detail oriented: Be as thorough and precise as you can. Review your work carefully to remove any errors. Employers appreciate seeing your commitment to maintaining high standards for the quality of your work.
  1. Adaptability: Demonstrate your flexibility by showing how you can adjust to unforeseen circumstances. Employers will value your ability to modify plans and adapt new concepts to achieve success.
  1. Digital technology: Employers usually offer training for job-specific software; however, they expect a solid foundation in basic computer skills and the ability to rapidly adopt new technical tools.

Industry-specific skills for career success in the UK

Now that we have delved into essential skills for career success which are universally valuable across various sectors, it's time to take a focused look at professional skills specifically tailored to different sectors.

1. Professional skills: Business and management sector

  • Leadership and decision-making skills
  • Communication and negotiation skills
  • Financial management skills
  • Strategic thinking and planning
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Adaptability and innovation
  • Time management and prioritisation
  • Ethical decision-making and integrity

By enrolling in business and management courses at Global Banking School (GBS), you can develop and refine these employability skills through hands-on learning, mentorship, practical experiences and exposure to industry-specific challenges, ensuring you are well-prepared for a successful career in the business and management domain.

2. Professional skills: Health and social care sector

  • Empathy and compassion
  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ethical awareness and integrity
  • Cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness
  • Time management and organisation
  • Leadership and management

Enrol in GBS health and social care courses in the UK to actively cultivate these employability skills through practical training, exposure to real healthcare scenarios, mentorship, a tailored curriculum and working alongside industry professionals.

3. Professional skills: Education sector

  • Classroom management and organisation
  • Effective communication and presentation
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Curriculum development and lesson planning
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Motivational and leadership skills
  • Technological proficiency
  • Conflict resolution and problem-solving
  • Cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness
  • Lifelong learning and professional development

Want to learn all the above employability skills? The GBS education and training course in the UK can help you do so by providing a blend of theoretical knowledge, practical teaching experience, workshops and exposure to modern teaching methods.

4. Professional skills: Digital technologies sector

  • Programming and coding skills
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Cybersecurity knowledge
  • Problem-solving and troubleshooting
  • Project management
  • Cloud computing knowledge
  • Adaptability to technological advancements

GBS promotes a mindset of continuous learning and development, ensuring students stay updated with emerging technologies and trends. By enrolling in the digital technologies course at GBS, you can develop and enhance these crucial employability skills through practical applications, workshops and exposure to real-world digital projects.

5. Professional skills: Construction sector

  • Project planning and scheduling
  • Budgeting and cost management
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Contract negotiation and management
  • Team leadership and communication
  • Regulatory compliance and legal knowledge
  • Quality control and assurance
  • Health and safety management
  • Supply chain and resource management
  • Problem-solving and decision-making

Construction management courses at GBS can help you improve your industry-specific employability skills. These courses are designed to fulfil the specific requirements of the construction management sector, ensuring you are well-equipped for a successful career in this field.

6. Professional skills: Banking and finance

  • Financial analysis and reporting
  • Risk management and assessment
  • Financial planning and advisory
  • Investment strategies and portfolio management
  • Regulatory compliance and legal knowledge
  • Customer relationship management
  • Market analysis and trends
  • Ethical financial practices
  • Communication and interpersonal skills

By enrolling in the banking and finance course at GBS, you can acquire these essential skills. The course is designed to meet the specific needs of the banking and finance sector.

How to develop skills for career success in the UK?

If you're considering a shift in your career path or aiming for progress in your current one, improving your skills for career success in the UK is an excellent approach to enriching your CV and expanding your career prospects. Although certain employability skills may come effortlessly to some, you can develop and enhance most skills through practice or training. Here are some ways to do this:

  1. Seek out a mentor: Connecting with a professional mentor offers a valuable chance to gain insights from someone you respect. You could start by initiating a meeting and if that goes well, you might discuss the possibility of a mentorship. A professional mentor can be particularly beneficial if you're thinking of a career transition, as engaging in a mentorship or shadowing experience allows you to experience before committing to a new career direction.
  1. Join a course or training programme: Certain skills, such as cloud computing, may not be easily learned through self-study. If you're looking to develop a technical skill that requires guidance, consider enrolling in a class or course. You can also explore industry-specific courses offered by GBS in the UK to gain all the necessary skills to succeed in your career.
  1. Read books and articles: The internet provides a wealth of resources for gaining and honing new skills for career success. Whether you're reading comprehensive educational books to self-educate or staying updated on industry-related news via online forums and journals, set aside some time daily to improve your understanding of a skill or industry.
  1. Examine job postings for roles you're interested in: Identifying your ideal job will assist you in pinpointing the specific skills for career aspirations you need to cultivate. Analyse job listings from different companies to understand the essential employability skills, qualities and experiences you need. Then, you can form a personal development plan to excel in your career.
  1. Make the most of company training: Numerous companies organise training events and workshops to develop their employees' skill sets. If there are particular skills beneficial for your daily tasks, ask your manager about potential training and development options. If you wish to pursue a career in a specific department within your company, you can ask your manager about potential job shadowing opportunities within that department. This will offer you a glimpse into various roles within your organisation, helping you determine if a specific job will be a good fit for you and your preferences.

Obtain employability skills for career success in the UK with Global Banking School (GBS)


GBS is a leading higher education institution in the UK, recognised for its industry-specific courses in fields such as finance, business, education, tourism and more. With a strong presence in major cities across the UK, GBS is dedicated to its mission of “transforming lives through education”.

Courses by GBS



Business and management

BA (Hons) Global Business and Entrepreneurship with Foundation Year

BA (Hons) Global Business (Business Management) with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons) Business & Tourism Management

HND in Business

BA (Hons) Business and Management (Level 6 Top-up)

MA International Business

Health and social care

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care with Foundation Year in Health and Care

BSc (Hons) Health, Wellbeing and Social Care with Foundation Year

BSc (Hons) Health, Wellbeing and Social Care (Level 6 Direct Entry)

HND in Healthcare Practice for England (Healthcare Management)

Digital technologies

HND in Digital Technologies for England (Cyber Security)

Construction management

BSc (Hons) Construction Management with Foundation Year

HND in Construction Management for England (Construction Design and Build Technician)

Banking and finance

BSc (Hons) Accounting & Financial Management

Frequently asked questions about skills for career

Essential skills vary by career, but adaptability, communication, problem-solving and technical proficiency are generally valuable.

Skills are crucial for career success as they enhance productivity, improve job performance, open up opportunities and increase employability. They enable you to meet the demands of your role effectively.

Yes, including professional skills on your CV is important to showcase your qualifications and suitability for a job.

To identify the necessary skills, research job descriptions for your desired roles, consult professionals in your field, analyse industry trends and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Tailor your skill development based on these insights.

Developing skills for career success involves continuous learning, seeking training opportunities, attending workshops, gaining practical experience, networking and receiving feedback. Additionally, staying updated with industry trends and advancements is crucial.

You can gain all the necessary employability skills for career success by enrolling in courses offered by GBS in the UK. GBS offers numerous industry-specific courses in the UK for you to stay ahead in your field. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us now.

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