Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Waiting for the career of your dreams might not be possible when bills keep creeping up and the unemployment rate is so high. A start-up job doesn't have to become a deadbeat. Instead, practice and refine these 18 portable skills and it will be beneficial for other jobs. These skills are according to Vickie Milazzo, author of "Wicked Success is Inside Every Woman."

Communicate well
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Many of the social media generation have lost the skill to communicate face-to-face or through writing.

Working on grammar and listening skills will create better connections and impress more people.

Don't get stuck inside the box

Show your boss that you're always looking for innovative ways to improve the company.

"Often, it's about taking ideas from other industries or companies and adapting them to fit your own," she said.

Be a problem-solver

Employers don't want to hold the hand of their employees for each step. Trust yourself to make decisions.

"When we find our own solutions, we grow stronger," Milazzo said. "Excessive reliance on others for our success weakens us."

Conquer the tough

Don't focus time and energy on little things all the time.

Instead, take full charge of the harder projects and the little projects will be able to get done even faster, later on.

"You'll stay focused on bigger goals and that will be a huge boost when you aren't being completely fulfilled in your day job," Milazzo said.

Who do you know?

Building positive relationships with everyone you come in contact with can produce opportunities. And these opportunities will last even if you change jobs, Milazzo said.

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Search out those that have skills you wish you had. Later these co-workers can help you with a project or teach you something new.

At the same time, show off the talents you have and offer to help others. Even if you're a newbie on the job you can bring new skills or understanding to a project.

Fuel the fire

Figure out a way to bring the things you're passionate about into your career. People will want to work around those that are enthusiastic.

Keep ahead of the game

Always be prepared to give a little more. Volunteer to work extra shifts or projects. People will notice your hard work and it will carry with you in your careers.

Build up your reputation
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Be the person people can count on. In the workforce, if people trust you, it will be easier to move up in the company.

Bridges aren't meant to be burned

Looking past people's annoying habits may be hard, but it can be beneficial later down the road.

Because you were a friend to them, they may help you later.

Become a negotiator

"In my eyes and in the eyes of many other CEOs, job candidates actually lose credibility when they underprice themselves," Milazzo said.

Your boss has been in the same position as you before and knows what it takes to work their way up. They will be more persuaded by those that are willing to step up to the plate.

Know the ins and outs of a company

Doing your homework about the company you're employed with can be a big selling point, Milazzo said.

People want to talk to someone that is knowledgeable in the industry. And the more people you talk to, the more connections are built.

Be a true networker
Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

Networking doesn't mean only over the Internet. True networking is reaching out to people, face-to-face.

These people are also outside of your social group and on a higher professional level than you.

"If you impress someone who is more successful than you are, they'll have a lot more influence than someone whose position is equivalent with yours," she said.

Act like an entrepreneur

Don't wait for the boss to tell you what to do.

"Quite often, you'll have to create your own opportunities and that will require that you take the initiative on certain tasks," Milazzo said.

The boss will be more appreciative of those that are creative and look for ways to improve the workforce.

Ask questions

Somebody probably has been stuck in the same predicament as you and knows the answers to your questions. Asking around will show you want to improve and do well in your job.

Seeking out a mentor at work is another great way to get answers.

Trust yourself

"Learn to identify what your gut feelings truly are (as opposed to being influenced by your boss, mom, friends, etc)," Milazzo said.

Don't be afraid to reroute your feelings later, but first learn to be confident in what your inner voice is saying.

Accept and apply constructive criticism

Listening and applying constructive criticism can improve your work. However, it's important to know how to take it well.

"Develop a thick skin," she said. "Instead of reacting negatively to criticism, openly look for opportunities to put the advice into practice."

Reach for goals

Setting goals for yourself will help you keep focused, motivated and moving forward.