Thinking on your feet is an excellent skill to have under your belt, both in the workplace and in everyday life. Whether you are a parent, student or retail employee, being able to adapt your thinking to the situation you are in and knowing how to think quickly can not only make your life easier but also help your employers, tutors and family know that they can rely on you no matter what events arise.
Although many careers focus on background knowledge and the ability to carry out routine tasks, a lot of sought-after careers also require the ability to think quickly and tackle unpredictable situations. Some of the highest paid jobs which you can earn without a degree, such as working as a firefighter or a police constable involve not only working with people (which is often unpredictable anyway!) but also encountering new and urgent situations which require you to think on your feet. Find out how you can bag a high-earning job and be rewarded for your quick-thinking skills.
1. Jobs in the Emergency Services
Police constables and firefighters are among the highest paid jobs in the UK which don’t require a degree. In the emergency services, it will likely come as no surprise that quick-thinking skills are in high demand. With a lot of training and practice on the job, your confidence and knowledge of how to tackle tricky situations will continue to expand but having those quick-thinking skills to start you off will come in very handy. It’s not all crime-fighting and putting out huge fires, however, as alongside the exciting parts of the job you will have to deal with a variety of people and know how to interact with people from all walks of life. Getting advice from people who have worked in these roles is one of the best ways to gain even better people skills, practical knowledge and quick-thinking skills.
2. Jobs In the Healthcare Sector
Surgeons: Whether working for the NHS or a private company, working in the healthcare sector covers a variety of potential job roles; most of which require quick-thinking skills. According to Scott-Brown’s Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, a book written by medical experts as a reference for trainee ENT surgeons, one of the most important skills which surgeons must have is decision making. They identify different types of decision making, including when surgeons are required to think on their feet and weigh up their decisions as quickly as possible to help their patients.
GPs & nurses: Of course, it isn’t just the surgeons who need to have good quick-thinking skills. From GPs (who only have an average of 10.6 minutes per patient according to The Guardian) to both human and veterinary nurses, dealing with emergency situations and medical procedures means that the entire team must be on the ball and able to think quickly. Working in a team is essential when in a healthcare setting, and often times you need to rely on one another’s ability to think on your feet in order to successfully help patients.
Receptionists & assistants: Even those who may not be directly working with medical emergencies or surgeries will likely encounter times when their quick-thinking skills come into play. From being able to prioritise patients coming in and emergency calls to knowing how to handle a technical issue, or simply being there to support medical practitioners, thinking on your feet is a key aspect to any role within a healthcare setting.
3. Business & Management Roles
Business: You might be thinking business and management roles rely more on skills in communication, team-work and knowledge about the ins and outs of the business. However, having efficient quick-thinking skills can help you at vital times within your business career including when giving presentations to management or when developing ideas within a deadline with your team. Tackling tricky questions and being able to manage a team of people with different ideas revolves around your ability to think on your feet and make good, quick decisions. In fact, a large aspect of verbal communication involves quick-thinking, and according to Illumine, the business world is keen to employ more quick-thinking employees.
Management: There is a lot of cross-over when it comes to working in business and taking on a managerial position. For example, being able to communicate with your team is vital, as not only can ineffective communication lead to employees losing faith in management, but it can also cost the company more time and hassle due to tasks not being carried out correctly. As well as communication skills, being able to resolve problems and tackle issues your employees are having will be much easier if you have great quick-thinking skills.
4. IT & Technology Jobs
As one of the fastest-growing job sectors on the market, working in IT and technology is a great career opportunity. As well as having a keen interest in IT, having an innovative mind and quick-thinking skills to solve problems and develop new projects can help you climb the career ladder in an IT and technology role. Being able to see the problem and fix it efficiently also allows for the smooth running of the company, and with technological developments happening all the time, staying on top of what’s current will come in handy. From fast-approaching deadlines to high-pressure presentations; thinking on your feet is a skill at the top of most employers’ lists.
How to Develop Your Quick-Thinking Skills
Not sure if you have the quick-thinking skills these employers are looking for? Well, with these top tips you can develop the skills you need to get a top-paying job.