Most of us are familiar with the hard skills – i.e., the teachable, technical skills such as programming or graphic design – that are prerequisites for success within our industry. However, there are a whole other array of “soft skills” which are mentioned far less often in professional circles but are nonetheless equally important for the success of any professional in today’s workplace.
What Are “Soft Skills”?
“Soft skills” is a phrase that is frequently thrown around in the workplace, and yet even today, most people only have a vague idea of what it means. The good news is that it’s very straightforward: a soft skill is, essentially, any skill or ability that allows someone to be a better interpersonal communicator or team-player.
What Are the Soft Skills That Are Most Important to Develop?
Some soft skills will be applicable only within a particular industry, while others will be vital skills for any professional, regardless of the field they happen to work in. For our purposes, we’ll be taking a look at those soft skills that can be translated across virtually any profession.
Here are our top five soft skills for any profession:
- Flexibility: Professionals today need to have the ability to adapt to new technologies and work practices without missing a beat. With success in mind, employees need to be able to adapt to an ever-shifting environment with novel problems, norms, and expectations.
- Public Speaking: One of the fundamental traits of leadership is the ability to maintain composure while speaking in front of peers, leadership, clients, or colleagues. Practicing eye contact, upright posture, articulate speech, and sharply honing your ideas beforehand is guaranteed to give you increased confidence when speaking in front of others.
- Creativity: Employers and team leaders are always on the lookout for those who can think outside of the box. Employees who can devise unconventional solutions to complex problems will invariably stand out amongst the crowd.
- Negotiation: Whether you’re pitching a proposal, enlisting the help of third-party contractors, or managing a client, the ability to fairly and confidently negotiate is crucial to any profession.
- Be True to Your Word: When you’re setting expectations for a project you’re responsible for or organizing your schedule, be realistic about your bandwidth. It’s always better to live up to what you’ve committed to than it is to set hyped-up expectations and not be able to deliver.
Are You Ready to Land Your Next Job?
If you’re ready to apply your suite of soft skills and technical expertise towards finding an exciting new role, check out our jobs board or call us today at (866) 80-SALEM.