Top 5 Soft Skills for Career Success
School can teach you many things. However, somethings that are often left out are soft skills. Soft skills or your people skills are critical to helping you land your dream job. Employers aren’t just looking for university degrees anymore, and working on your soft skills can be perplexing if you don’t know where to start.
Here are the top 5 soft skills will help you achieve career success:
- Active Listening
- Adaptability / Willingness to Learn
There’s a reason why a majority of schools require you to take a language course as a breadth requirement. Employers are looking for someone who can thoroughly communicate their ideas. Simply sitting behind a computer and crunching numbers doesn’t mean much if you aren’t able to explain the numbers to someone else. Working on your communication skills also allows you to improve your presentation skills, which are always beneficial. Honing your communication style allows you to speak more confidently, and in turn, allows others to trust what you are saying.
A great way to practise this skill is to read texts that interest you out loud. If you are in university or college, try volunteering as a campus tour guide. The more texts and tours you are able to complete, the more comfortable you will become.
Active listening is not the same thing as passive listening. In order to be an active listener, you are giving your full attention to the person speaking, and are understanding the message. By taking on an active role, you are able to provide something serviceable to who is speaking. This skill is also a great way for you to form meaningful relationships. Relationship building is important, as it will help you when you are looking to network.
Try asking friends and family about their day. This will allow you to put active listening into action, and build on your already existing relationships. We often hear “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. In truth, it’s actually who knows you. When you’re able to apply active listening and communication together, you’ll build stronger relationships.
No person is an island. We may want to do it all by ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we should. Being able to work in a team ties into active listening and communication as well. To be a great team member, you have to be able to listen to the needs of your group, and to communicate your own needs.
Let your team know what you do, and what you’re best at. Then, follow up with other skills that you would be of use on other areas of the project. Let your coworkers know you can assist them too. It’s also important to understand that everyone comes from a different background, and therefore have different working styles. Work with your team to figure out what styles work best to complete the job.
Adaptability / Willingness to Learn
If there is one thing that’s true, it’s that you weren’t the same person that you were yesterday. Change happens all around us, and it happens every day. If you’re not ready to adapt to the situation you may just be left behind.
The best way to approach adaptability is to keep a positive outlook. Don’t panic when there’s change. Instead, ask yourself what another approach to the problem is. Does this require you to learn to do something differently? If it does, be willing to learn. No knowledge is ever wasted, and the more you learn the better you become.
Sometimes leadership doesn’t just mean that you’re the boss. It means that you’re able to steer your team into the right direction. Sometimes, this may even be managing your manager.
The true sign of great leadership is the ability to keep everyone on track while being supportive and positive. Use your communication skills to provide constructive and helpful feedback. Use your active listening skills to determine what your team needs to do well. Use your teamwork skills to learn everyone’s individual roles, and how you can help them succeed. Finally, use your adaptability and willingness to learn when you need to jump into a role to assist.
Soft skills have become increasingly important in the workplace. Which of these skills do think you can improve on the most, and how do you plan to do so? Let me know in the comments below.Follow: