Skills Needed to Get a Better Job with a Higher Salary

For the majority of young Sri Lankans, their primary means of income early on in their careers will always be a salary. Unless you inherit a family business or are determined to be entrepreneurial from the get-go, a job is the best way to get your footing into earning your own money. While some of us enter the workforce with degrees and diplomas, the rest have to rely purely on their skills to only get a job but also to excel and advance. After a while, your formal education and general job knowledge cease to be able to give you an upper hand in the workplace. As a young adult entering the workforce for the first time, negotiating for a higher salary is one of the biggest difficulties. Living your life with an insufficient salary leads to over-reliance on credit cards or payday loans from service providers like

Here are some of the most sought-after and appreciated job skills that can not only land you a job but provide you with an arsenal with which you can steadily climb the ladder towards a higher salary and a higher position.

Skills needed to earn better

Communication Skills

One of the most important skills in any job is knowing how to communicate effectively and efficiently. There is no activity in the world you can engage in without having to deal with other people; it might be your boss, your coworkers, customers or suppliers. No matter how much knowledge and other talents you might possess, if you are unable to communicate well with others, you will not be able to utilise that knowledge and talent.

Some aspects of communication are:

Public speaking

Having a phobia of public speaking is so common that if you are good at public speaking, you already have an upper hand over your colleagues. Public speaking skills help a lot when you have to do presentations, which you will have to in any field.

Verbal vs Nonverbal

Your body language is an important aspect of communication. Even if your words are perfect, if your facial expressions and energy are awkward or hostile, your message might get diluted. Try to relax and be pleasant at all times.


Negotiation is an important part of any job, where you will likely have to compromise or meet someone halfway when it comes to tasks, salary and countless other things. Having good negotiation and persuasion skills will greatly help you in getting the job with a higher salary.

Critical Thinking

Having critical thinking skills is a sign that you have the capacity to make strategic decisions when it comes to work, projects, business etc. Most education systems train young people to learn out of books and even do activities, but rarely are youngsters taught to question what they learn and think for themselves. Having the ability to understand the situations and analyse available data to reach the best, informed decision will take you a long way in your career, be it at a job or even your own venture.


Even though you might not have a team reporting to you, leadership skills will manifest in many other ways. If you are able to take firm decisions and stand by those decisions, and have the ability to manage any situations thrown your way, your employers will see that you possess leadership capabilities. This will greatly help you to get to better job positions and allow you to ask for a higher salary.

Some leadership qualities include:

Handling conflicts and disputes

  • Decision making
  • Ability to give clear feedback
  • Inspiring and motivating other people
  • Managing difficult conversations


There is no career that allows you to work as an individual. Apart from good communication skills, if you are unable to work well with other people, you will find it very difficult to even survive in the workplace. Even in highly competitive work environments, the ability to get support from your colleagues will help you not only get ahead in many ways, but also signal your superiors that are able to not only work well in a team, but also possibly that you are able to lead and manage one. Being a good team player might very well catapult you towards higher managerial roles, bringing with it a higher salary and other benefits.


Creativity is a skill which some people inherently possess but which can be developed through various exercises and activities. While many people think that creativity is not required for certain fields and job roles, creativity is not just limited to obvious fields like advertising and marketing. Creativity is necessary when it comes to tackling challenges, solving problems and even performing basic tasks, helping the business and your team complete their work in more innovative and efficient ways.

Organisational Skills

Even though you possess a myriad of other skills, talents and knowledge, if you have poor organisational skills, you will find it difficult to streamline your work and complete everything in a methodical and efficient manner.

Some aspects of organisational skills include:

Time Management

Time Management

Managing one’s time efficiently will not only help you complete all your work on time, but also allow you to be able to take on more responsibilities, thereby giving you more leverage to negotiate for a higher salary.


Multi-tasking goes hand in hand with time management, allowing you to handle multiple tasks and projects without dropping the ball on any. 

While all these are soft skills, the increasing number of degree-holders among job seekers means that these skills might allow you to stand out from the crowd. In no way a replacement for technical knowledge and qualifications which help you get your foot in the door, there is no denying that these skills play a huge part in helping you advance your career and earn a higher salary.