In today’s highly competitive job market, having the technical skills and experience required for a particular job is not enough. Employers are increasingly seeking candidates with solid and soft skills, which are personal attributes and interpersonal skills that enable individuals to interact effectively with others. In this article, we will discuss the soft skills employers look for and provide tips on developing them for career success.
How to acquire and hone Soft Skills?
In contrast to hard talents, soft skills require situational awareness to know when to employ each ability. For example, when you are recruited for an accounting position, you are aware that you will probably spend most of your days using the complex skills you honed in school, including mathematical formulae, bookkeeping, and maybe some work in a spreadsheet program. When you apply soft talents, things are more complicated since they depend on intangible qualities.
It is what makes learning soft skills so unique. The greatest method to learn soft skills and successfully use them is via practice. And you may be thinking, “How can I highlight soft skills in my role?” The answer is simple — genuine concern for others is the main ingredient to strengthening your soft skills and career growth.
Soft Skills in demand with employers
- Communication skills
Practical communication skills are crucial in the workplace, regardless of industry or position. Employers want candidates who clearly and concisely convey information to their colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. To develop your communication skills, practice active listening, use clear and concise language, and be confident in expressing your ideas and opinions.
- Teamwork and collaboration
Employers value candidates who can work effectively as part of a team. Collaboration is essential in today’s workplace, and working well with others can lead to increased productivity and better outcomes. To develop your teamwork and collaboration skills, participate in group projects or team-building activities, and be open to feedback and different perspectives.
- Adaptability and flexibility
Employers highly value the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and be flexible. In today’s fast-paced business environment, things can change quickly, and adapting and adjusting your approach is essential. To develop your adaptability and flexibility, be open to learning new skills and techniques, be willing to take on new challenges, and remain calm and focused under pressure.
- Problem-solving and critical thinking
Employers want candidates who can think critically and solve problems independently. Analyzing information, identifying potential solutions, and making informed decisions are essential in today’s workplace. To develop your problem-solving and critical thinking skills, practice analyzing information from different sources, consider multiple perspectives, and seek feedback from others.
- Time management and organization
Employers value candidates who can manage their time effectively and stay organized. Being able to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and stay focused is essential in today’s fast-paced business environment. To develop your time management and organization skills, create a schedule or to-do list, use time-tracking tools, and set realistic goals and deadlines.
Managing your time well is essential for producing as much work as feasible. Time management-related subskills include:
- Stress reduction
- Target setting
- Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as the feelings of others. Employers value candidates who can empathize with others, communicate effectively, and work conflicts constructively. To develop your emotional intelligence, practice self-awareness, develop your empathy and listening skills, and seek feedback from others.
The capacity to understand, control, and regulate both your own and other people’s emotions is known as emotional intelligence. It consists of five essential components:
In the job, Emotional intelligence comes down to a few fundamental competencies:
- Are you able to recognize and control your emotions and behaviors at work?
- Can you establish a good rapport with others?
- Do you have empathy for other people?
- Can you provide and receive feedback that is both useful and constructive?
Although it may not seem like the most crucial skill for career advancement and success, in some circumstances, it is. For example, a study of new hires who underperformed throughout their first 18 months on the job found that 23% had poor emotional quotients.
- Growth Mentality
Regardless of the role, you will run across obstacles, setbacks, and other events in any career that may annoy you. A growth mindset, which is a way of thinking that reflects perceiving your abilities, talents, and intellect as skills you can grow and build upon, is a soft skill essential to your capacity for perseverance.
A person with a growth mentality may view missing a quarterly target as a chance to assess their strengths and flaws to reach the next quarter’s objective. But someone with a fixed mindset might tell themselves, “I’m not good at blogging,” and let that negative attitude affect their upcoming quarter without believing they can improve.
Leadership and influence skills are highly valued by employers, regardless of your job position. Inspiring and motivating others, making decisions confidently, and influencing others to achieve common goals are essential in today’s workplace. To develop your leadership and influence skills, practice active listening, build your communication skills, and seek opportunities to lead or take on new responsibilities.
For success in your career, you must get out of your comfort zone at times to know yourself and fit into the raw world. On the other hand, after having worked on your soft skills, you can think of consulting a career guidance coach to minimize unrequired activities and get straight into what is actually required for you to grow and succeed.
In conclusion, employers increasingly seek candidates with solid and soft skills essential for success in today’s workplace. You can increase your employability and achieve career success by developing your communication skills, teamwork and collaboration, adaptability and flexibility, problem-solving and critical thinking, time management and organization, emotional intelligence, and leadership and influence skills.