Mastering soft skills for your career success
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
To be successful in your career, qualifications and experience are vital. But there’s another underestimated quality that can truly set you apart: your soft skills.
Let’s take a look at what these skills are and how you can enhance them.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills, also known as your interpersonal or people skills, cover a wide range of non-technical abilities that contribute to your professional success. They include vaguely fluffy attributes like communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, time management, and more.
While hard skills (like carpentry or accounting) are essential for specific tasks, it will always be your soft skills that will help you navigate the complexities of the workplace.
Why are soft skills crucial?
Soft skills aren’t just a bonus - they’re a necessity. Many employers today prioritise soft skills during the hiring process because they recognise their value in promoting a positive work environment and driving productivity.
Employees with strong soft skills tend to be better communicators, collaborators, and leaders, which makes them indispensable in any organisation.
How to improve your soft skills
- For Better Communication: Practice active listening and asking useful questions. If you can, ask your colleagues for feedback to make sure you’re being understood.
- To Be a Better Team Player: Make the most of the opportunities to work in teams, so you can practice building your working relationships. Being open to different perspectives during group projects and learning how to compromise are key to this skill.
- For Better Time Management: Make use of time management tools and techniques, like apps and to-do lists, to help you stay organised and focused. Being able to see your tasks clearly will help you to prioritise your tasks, set realistic goals, and create schedules for your time.
- To Practice Leadership: Even if you’re not in a managerial role, you can show leadership by taking initiative. That includes holding yourself and your team accountable to project deadlines, and inspiring others with your work ethic.
- Emotional Intelligence: Understand and manage your emotions while recognising and empathising with the feelings of others. This skill shines when it comes to resolving conflicts and building better relationships.
Soft skills are the unsung heroes of career advancement. They’re the glue that holds teams together, the driving force behind effective communication, and the foundation for personal and professional growth.
When you cultivate your soft skills, you’ll not only enhance your employability for your new job search but also enrich your personal and professional life.
Melody Sadé Abeni