Updated: Aug 18
The future belongs to those who polish their soft skills and combine them with creativity to achieve their goals. You may have an MBA degree from the most prestigious Ivy League college or certifications for various complex knowledge and skills that will greatly help you in your job search. However, they will be of little value if you do not acquire the soft skills necessary to maintain your position or move up in your field. Soft skills are like currency in the business world. The more skills you have, the more attractive you are to potential employers.
Take, for example, a computer programmer who spends all their time acquiring the skills only in that niche. You can learn many computer languages and become an expert, but you will still fall behind in your field if you do not have the soft skills needed to succeed.
Some soft skills are part of your personality, and it is not a problem to improve them. Since everyone has different personality traits, you should always weigh which skills you can improve and which ones you should work a little harder on.
1. Communication skills
Almost 73% of employers look for written and verbal communication skills in a potential job candidate. Preference is always given to the one who can demonstrate excellent communication skills. Nowadays, most business communication is done through email, so written communication should be your greatest strength.
Verbal communication is essential to get noticed at meetings and other business events. You may have an excellent idea, but it would be useless if you can not present it effectively. Your supervisor might not allow you to present the idea you have worked so hard for if you do not have practical communication skills.
Believe in yourself even if no one else does. Your confidence in yourself and your abilities will help you go far and also gain the confidence of others in your abilities. Believe that you can overcome any hurdles, even if you are fresh out of college and have landed an entry-level position. You should be convinced of your worth and that with patience, time and the proper support, you can accomplish anything. You can increase your confidence by improving your body language, positive thinking and attitude.
Resilience is your ability to bounce back in the face of failure or setback. You may not always win, and failures are part of life, but the way you handle those failures and never lose your focus will determine your success in the long run. When faced with a failure or setback, train your mind to stay positive and believe in your ability to prevail.
4. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own emotions and the emotions of others on your team. According to an article at flexjobs, emotionally intelligent people tend to quickly assess a situation and understand the feelings of others when they are hurting. By proactively recognizing what others are going through, you can avoid many conflicts before they arise.
5 Critical Thinking
Whenever you are faced with a complex situation, you may not have an immediate solution. If you develop your critical thinking skills, you can get to the bottom of the problem faster than others and find a workable solution. Critical thinking means assessing the situation, gathering the necessary information, and then deriving a solution based on facts. Managers prefer to assign complex tasks and important assignments to critical thinkers who have confidence in their abilities and do not react hastily, but gather relevant information based on facts before making a decision.
6. Time management
Time management is a critical skill when it comes to professional success. People who know how to manage their time and meet deadlines get more work done in a workday. They know how to prioritize and streamline processes to complete the task on time. Time management requires you to delegate less important tasks to others so you can focus on more important tasks and estimate how much time is needed for a particular task.
Empathy is a skill that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. By putting yourself in others' shoes and analyzing the situation and feelings of others, you can make a rational decision, avoid future tensions, and better understand your colleagues and customers.
8. Teamwork and collaboration
According to Forbes magazine, today's business world is hyper-connected and you are expected to work in teams rather than as individuals. To be successful in your career, you need to build your teamwork skills. The nature of work has become globalized, and in order to do your job effectively, you must collaborate with other individuals and companies to be successful.
9. Flexibility and open-mindedness
According to Indeed, you need to be flexible and open-minded to advance professionally and contribute more to the development of a company. Innovative thinking helps to find new ways to solve a problem. Sometimes you just need a new perspective to solve a problem instead of adopting the old, rigid ideas.
10. Management and organizational skills
Last but not least, the essential skills you need to develop for professional success are your management and organizational skills. If you are already a manager with excellent management and organizational skills, your chances of being selected for future promotions are good. If you organize your work and know when to delegate and work as part of a team, you will achieve your goals more quickly.
The only thing left to do is identify your strengths and weaknesses in terms of talents. This is not a simple undertaking, but once you know where you fall short, you can work to improve and excel in any field you choose. Even more crucial than that is to build on your skills that you are already good at and use them to your advantage to go further up the career ladder.