It’s no secret that soft skills are essential for success in the workplace. Cultivating such skills will make all the difference for those seeking more out of their professional lives, whether it be a career change, a promotion or simply for professional development. All too often we hear about employees who don’t make the cut due to their lack of soft skills. Although technical skills and knowledge are important, an employee must offer more than these hard skills to experience career success. The National Careers Service of the UK recognizes the great necessity of soft skills. They’ve compile d a list of some common, transferable skills that can be used in many types of jobs. Here are some of the skills employers seek:
Skilled communicators get along well with colleagues, listen and understand instructions and put their point across without being aggressive. They can change their style of communication to suit the task at hand – this can be invaluable in many different situations, from handling conflict to trying to persuade a customer of the benefits of buying a product.
Gathering all the important facts, seeking advice, looking at the big picture, considering alternatives, being aware of repercussions – these are all things that go into making a good decision. Employers seek those who can do these things and are thoughtful and decisive.
Employers want people who are dependable, reliable, enthusiastic and enjoy hard work. Employees that are committed need very little supervision or motivation to do their best and get the job done.
We live in rapidly changing times, so those who are adaptable and flexible will be able to change with the times. It’s a great asset to be able to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Employers like people who are positive, upbeat and have a ‘can-do’ attitude.
When deadlines are looming, good time management is about prioritizing the most important tasks, and then deciding which actions will produce the maximum output with the minimum effort. Are you a good juggler? Can you work on several different projects at once?
Even if you’re not managing staff yet, leadership qualities are valued by employers. They look for people who lead by example, constantly look to improve and motivate themselves. They also want team players who are positive and know when to follow instructions.
Creativity and problem-solving skills
The ability to apply both logic and creativity to solve problems is highly valued by employers. If you are the kind of person who tries to see the solution as well as the problem, you’ll stand out.
Employers are on the lookout for people who take pride in their work, and are confident enough to put their name to it. They also respect people who can hold their hands up when things go wrong and don’t play the “blame game”.
Soft skills take time and effort to be learned, but consider how valuable they are to employers, organizations and your own development–both professionally and personally. Is it worth the time and effort involved to cultivate these skills? We think so.