What are Soft Skills and Why are they Important to Help Me Find a Job?
Soft skills, or essential skills, can also be thought of as people skills. These are your personal qualities that go beyond technical or specific job-related knowledge which are known as hard skills. Unlike hard skills, soft skills are more about how you interact with others and handle various situations. These essential skills are applicable across all industries and professions and can play an important part in your success from the first interview through your career journey.
Here’s a break down of some of the key soft skills and their attributes that are important in any profession:
Literacy and numeracy: Literacy skills are the ability to read and comprehend written materials effectively in the language you are hired to work in. This includes understanding the meaning of words, sentences, and paragraphs, as well as being able to interpret and analyze the information presented in different texts. These are important for comprehending instructions, following guidelines and engaging with written content in various forms such as articles, manuals, emails and online resources.
Numeracy, on the other hand, is the ability to work with numbers and using mathematical concepts. It encompasses basic arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and in some cases, as more advanced skills such as problem-solving, data analysis, and statistical interpretation. Numeracy is essential for everyday tasks like managing finances, measuring quantities, understanding time, making change and making informed decisions based on numerical information.
Time management: Being able to prioritize tasks, manage your time efficiently - including arriving to work on time - and meeting deadlines effectively.
Communication: The ability to express your ideas clearly, listen actively to others, and understand their perspectives. Good communication helps in avoiding misunderstandings and promotes effective collaboration.
Problem-solving: Ability to think critically and find solutions to challenges. This includes being resourceful, innovative and analytical in addressing various issues.
Teamwork: Ability to work well with others as part of a team. It involves respecting others' ideas, cooperating and contributing to group goals.
Adaptability: Being flexible and adaptable indifferent situations. This includes being open to change, quick to learn new things and able to adjust when circumstances require it.
Active Learning: Ability and willingness to engage actively in the learning process, taking initiative to seek out knowledge, ask questions and participate actively in educational experiences while on the job.
Empathy: Being empathetic means understanding and sharing the feelings of others. It allows you to relate to people's experiences, show compassion and build better relationships.
Positive attitude: Having a positive outlook and attitude towards work and life can influence how you approach challenges and interact with others.
The following soft skills are especially important if you are in a management role or want to be promoted:
Leadership: Leadership skills are not just for managers; they can be applied in various situations. It includes guiding and motivating others, taking initiative and being responsible for your actions.
Conflict resolution: This skill is about handling disagreements or conflicts in a constructive and positive way, seeking compromise and understanding others' viewpoints.
Stress management: Ability to handle stress and pressure in a healthy manner, avoiding burnout and maintaining emotional well-being.
Critical Thinking: Ability to objectively analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information or ideas to form well-reasoned judgments and make informed decisions.
Decision Making: Ability to assess situations, identify available options, weigh their pros and cons and make choices that are well-considered and aligned with one's goals and values. Effective decision making involves a combination of critical thinking, problem-solving, emotional intelligence and the ability to manage uncertainty and complexity.
Overall, soft skills are essential in both personal and professional life. They not only contribute to a more harmonious and productive work environment but also lead to better relationships, improved communication and personal growth. These skills are transferable and can be beneficial in various aspects of life, not just limited to the business world. So, when your career coach recommends a Soft Skills training course for you, say yes. It will be time well spent to help you get closer to a better career.