Sometimes, we all make the mistake of focusing a little too much on how hard skills can add to your employ-ability. There’s no denying that some technical skills are a must-have in certain fields of employment. But that’s not to say that spending time on your soft skills is negligible. It’s anything but. Here, we’re going to look at why soft skills are important in all roles and how they can actually be the one defining skill of a career.
Communication: Good written and verbal communication is vital in just about any job. If you can’t get an idea across to your audience effectively, it’s your failing, not theirs. For the crowd pleasers and those who actually enjoy public speaking, there are plenty of careers that you can make of it. For instance, there’s a big market for motivational speakers nowadays and there are always businesses in need of salespeople.
Self-Motivation and Management: Sure, employers like someone who works from orders and can keep up to the standards set to them. But you need a bit of self-determination, too. You have to show that you’re able to operate independently and without having to constantly be checked on. Working on your time management, in particular, is essential. The better you can prioritize tasks and fit them in your own time scale, the more of a catch you’ll be.
Teamwork: Even in jobs where you’re typically doing work alone, you are likely to be asked to collaborate with someone else at some point. Improving your own teamwork skills isn’t all that hard, either. Sometimes, you just have to spend more time around people. Volunteer, for instance. While you’re there, give yourself a talking to every time you catch yourself blatantly opposing others ideas or making them feel unimportant.
Conflict Resolution: Working peaceably in a team is one thing. Being able to properly deal with a team that has become hostile is a whole other kettle of fish. It’s also a skill that some consider immensely more important. Conflict resolution is the main skill in demand for people that work in environments like an HR consultancy. Given how many businesses use HR specialists to deal with their employees, it’s easy to see the demand for such a skill.
Problem Solving: Objective critical thinking and problem solving are traits that employers find too rare. A lot of people are too close to the work and too invested to be able to think critically in their job. If you’ve always been the objective problem-solving type, then you should look into a job in analysis. Whether it’s looking at money, business processes, or data, the critical thinking model has become particularly popular in business as of late.
Regardless of whether it’s hard or soft, a skill is a skill. Don’t be afraid to spend time practicing on weak points even if they don’t feel technically important. Above all, don’t be afraid to hype it up a bit on your resume. Be your own cheerleader and it will help raise your confidence in your already wonderful abilities!