If you’re interested in career development, you’ve heard of soft skills. Soft skills are personality traits or personal attributes that make someone more effective at relating to others and building connections. While soft skills can improve your relationships with others in many ways, the term is usually used when discussing professional skills and business associations.
When you’re trying to build your career, regardless of your field, you need to get different skill sets and build experience to thrive at your job. For some industries, this means going to college and getting a specific degree. For others, this means building up experience or attending a trade school. These kinds of attributes and skills are often referred to as hard skills.
However, regardless of your line of work, soft skills are vital to learn and grow. While they may not be as straightforward as getting a technical certification or degree, they are often just as integral to building a successful career. Here are some of the best soft skills to cultivate at work.
One of the best ways to think about soft skills is to change the term to people skills. While some jobs have employees working more directly with others, good people skills are valuable in almost any career. Still, it’s important to note that not all soft skills are about friendliness, and some are less about people than others.
One of the best people skills to acquire is collaboration. With collaborative abilities, you can work better with others and value their input. While teaching collaboration is complex, a willing attitude is the best way to cultivate it. If you are open to others and respect them, you’ll be more interested in their input and working together as a team.
Problem-solving and troubleshooting skills are very valuable. For example, say you work in IT; you may know many technical things and have lots of experience. Still, you may have to troubleshoot software that you’ve never worked with before. Quick thinking skills and an ambitious attitude to solve problems can get you far in this situation and many others.
In nearly any job, complex situations may arise. With good problem-solving skills, you can take on challenges without getting frustrated or defeated.
While communication may be a broad term, it’s crucial. These days more than ever, great employees need to be able to communicate effectively over many mediums. Most people have to communicate with others at work, or with clients, over the phone, email, and in person. So, learning how to communicate firmly and professionally through speech and over text is essential.
You may be stronger at one type of communication than others, and playing to your strengths is wise. However, there are also many ways to build other communication skills. For example, you can take courses or read articles on how to come across as friendlier and more effective over email.
Another crucial soft skill to learn is time management. Most companies want their employees to be productive and efficient at their jobs. Suppose you have difficulty showing up on time or completing tasks effectively. In that case, this can affect your job performance and future job opportunities.
Some tips for learning better time management include using apps, setting alarms, and establishing milestones for more significant tasks.
Final Thoughts On Soft Skills
While the list of soft skills in this guide isn’t complete, they give you a starting point for some important traits to learn. While these attributes can’t be taught overnight, you can focus on your own personal growth in one area and see how it positively impacts your career.