The Soft Skills That Benefit Every Career
In an era where every career requires specialist training, it’s useful to know that there are some skills which will stand you in good stead no matter what path you choose. Many of these are referred to as soft skills, and savvy employers look for those skills in hiring and promoting staff, because employees with transferable skills are a valuable asset to any organisation.
Even better, with some focus on developing these skills, you can make them an asset that works for you no matter what your starting point. There are a range of soft skills which each play their part in building a successful career – from flexibility and integrity to a positive attitude and a professional demeanour. But we believe the below three skills are of utmost importance. So read on, and in your next big job interview or performance review, you’ll be able to showcase these most wanted skills.
Great interpersonal skills
There is no career in which you will not be required to have strong interpersonal skills. If you’re an employee, you will likely be part of a team, you will have a manager and perhaps also staff reporting to you. If you’re a business owner, you need to build and manage client relationships as well as manage workers and other stakeholders. While some employers might be willing to work with awkward behaviour if your skill set is rare and valuable, it will ease your path to promotion if you work on your personableness. The good news is that you don’t have to be an extrovert to have great interpersonal skills. Practice your listening skills, don’t interrupt and talk over people, make eye contact and be receptive to feedback, and you’re most of the way there.
Time management skills
Whether you’re a senior manager or the newest graduate hire, you’ll be expected to manage your tasks and your time without constant supervision. You’ll also lessen your stress and feel more in control of your work if your time management is up to scratch, and that calm and confidence will speak volumes. Use lists or apps to keep track of priorities, focus on one job at a time rather than multi-tasking, and utilise downtime to get yourself set up for the next day. Time management skills can set you apart from the pack and set you up for some serious success, so make it a priority now.
Problem solving skills
Great problem solving requires creativity and a willingness to think laterally when confronted with a problem. Zero in on what the problem is and focus on the end point. What solution are you trying to head toward? Then break down the problem into steps and see if there are ways you haven’t thought of to implement those steps. With practice, you’ll become familiar with seeing the path through any problem – and even if you can’t solve them all, your initiative and ability to break the issue down into parts will reflect well on you in the workplace.
This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Psych Central, Seek and Fast Company.