How to use soft skills to shine during your job and in your career.

TAKE YOUR SKILLS TO WORK

How to use soft skills to shine during your job and in your career.

You may be a talented programmer, editor, or mechanic, but if you don’t work well with others, none of it matters. The most important professional talents cannot be taught or quantified in a classroom. These characteristics are known as soft skills, and they are more important to your job hunt and profession than you may realize. Soft talents are valued because they let people connect with one another. The most significant soft skills employers look for in new hiring are cooperation, collaboration, conflict, critical observation, and communication.

Published: 23 September 2022

Take your soft skills to work

You may be a talented programmer, editor, or mechanic, but if you don’t work well with others, none of it matters. The most important professional talents cannot be taught or quantified in a classroom. These characteristics are known as soft skills, and they are more important to your job hunt and profession than you may realize. Soft talents are valued because they let people connect with one another. The most significant soft skills employers look for in new hiring are cooperation, collaboration, conflict, critical observation, and communication.

What Are Soft Skills?

 In contrast to hard talent, which can be verified and evaluated, the soft ability is intangible and impossible to define. Soft talents include critical thinking, verbal and written communication, and leadership. Technical qualities like reading comprehension and arithmetic are not considered soft skills, therefore you must provide more than just outstanding sales figures, coding languages, or exam scores. It makes no difference how skilled you are at your work if you lack decent soft skills.

Soft Skills

Communication

Why you need it: In the workplace, both written and verbal communication skills are crucial because they set the tone for how people perceive you. Communication skills boost your performance because they allow you to clarify expectations with your manager so that you deliver excellent work.

Why employers look for it: It is imperative that workers understand how to communicate with their colleagues. If you can describe the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the project, you will be in high demand.

Teamwork

Why you need it: Successful companies are seldom the result of one person doing everything all by himself/herself. Instead, it is the result of many people working together toward a common goal. When employees work together, everyone wins.

Why employers look for it: Team players help employers build a friendly workplace culture, which helps retain employees and attracts top talent. Additionally, collaborative work improves performance.

Adaptability

Why you need it: soft skills help you manage reality, and reality is, things do not always go according to plan. Successful leaders can pivot and find other solutions instead of digging in their heels

Why employers look for it: The workplace is constantly changing, so employers need employees capable of adapting to industry shifts and keeping the company up to date.

Problem-solving

Why you need it: Knowing how to think on your feet can make you indispensable to an employer. Knowing what to do when something goes wrong can either make or break your career.

Why employers look for it: The ability to navigate unexpected challenges is dependent on companies relying on problem solvers. 

 Critical observation

Why you need it: Data is meaningless if you don’t know how to understand it. Is a pattern developing? What else should you be on the lookout for? Being a critical observer can help you become a better worker in general.

Why employers look for it: Companies want critical thinkers—individuals who provide a fresh viewpoint and offer intuitive answers and ideas to assist the organization gain a competitive advantage or enhancing internal operations.

Conflict resolution

Why you need it: There will always be friction in a firm with more than one employee. As a result, being able to handle conflicts with co-workers can assist you in maintaining connections with peers and working more efficiently.

Why employers want it: The ability to work productively through disputes with others is a solid sign of maturity as well as leadership potential. Someone like this contributes to a healthy, collaborative workplace.

Leadership

Why you need it: Confident and a clear understanding will help you influence your co-workers and encourage them to support your ideas today and in the future. Having such leadership qualities allows you to achieve exposure inside a company, which may lead to greater prospects for advancement.

Why employers want it: Employers and managers are constantly seeking for individuals with leadership capabilities because such individuals will one day take over the helm and build on the company’s heritage.

What's happening in Early Career Success

Each month, we scan the African landscape for the latest news in Professional Development

Network Member Spotlight: Nelson Kamanga

Read more

AL for Agribusiness Welcomes New Intern

Read more

Networks Welcomes a New Intern

Read more