Soft skills are the key to career success and employers care more about the level and quality of soft skills possessed by an employee than technical abilities and other hard skills owned by them.
The prime reason being, that it is soft skills that help to form and mould human connections. Soft skills build relationships, leadership qualities and create opportunities for advancement. Although you may be one of the best at what you are doing, but if your soft skills are found lacking you will limit your likelihood of growing and being successful in your career.
The impact of technology in all fields of life is creating so much ambiguity and uncertainty about the future. Changes in various industries and even job functions raise the question as to what skills will be required in the future. In my opinion what is most critical to our survival in the future job market is – the ability to learn. Those of us who possess this ability are those who manage to survive in all scenarios.
So, focusing on and strengthening our soft skills are one of the best assets we can build for ourselves. Soft skills can be grown, developed and refined as our career also grows. The growth and development of Artificial Intelligence is making soft skills development even more important as these skills cannot be automated by robots. This is also the prime reason why senior leaders of today place greater importance on soft skills than hard skills.
- COMMUNICATION SKILLS : Both written and verbal communication skills are of great importance since they are key to your relationships as well as interaction with colleagues, subordinates and bosses. Communication skills also help to boost our performance as it presents clarity of thought and expectations and supports you in delivering excellent results. Employers look for these skills in employees, as their experience tells them that employees are more productive when their communication with peers is clear.
- CREATIVITY : One of the most coveted skills of the future is creativity. Technology has replaced many human jobs much more efficiently today. Knowledge retention, numbers crunching and efficiency in research are being carried out by computers instead of human beings. But, ultimately a computer lacks imagination and the creativity to envisage the future. It is also lacking in the emotional competent that a human being possesses. So, organizations require creative employees who can visualize and conceive the solutions for tomorrow.
- CRITICAL OBSERVATION AND ANALYTICS : Companies need employees who can bring a fresh perspective and ideas which take the company forward against competition, improve processes and build innovative solutions. Possessing data does not mean much if you cannot analyze it and put it to use, for the advantage of the company. It is employees who can analyze business data to extract patterns and gain insights required for making better business decisions who are the key to the future. It is based on this analysis that businesses make strategic moves to grow and survive in today’s markets.
- TEAMWORK : For a company to be successful, the quality of teamwork among its employees plays a vital role. You need to be able to sync and work well with others to have a meaningful career in the professional world. A business will prosper and flourish when it has a diverse team who can contribute individual ideas but also work well together towards a common goal. Employers look for people who are a good team fit, can contribute to building a friendly company culture and help retention. Being able to collaborate well with other colleagues also strengthens the quality of your work.
- ADAPTABILITY : The speed of change is so rapid, that the need to adapt to changing work scenarios is a constant. Employers look for and also value those employees who can rotate their skills and find alternative solutions to changing circumstances as required. It is necessary to be aware of changes and be able to accept and adopt change. An adaptable mindset that acknowledges and accepts, that the solutions of the past will not be able to solve the problems of tomorrow, is essential for moving forward in today’s ever-changing world.
- PROBLEM SOLVING : It is a skill which is required in any position and any industry. When anything goes wrong there are two avenues open to you, complain or take action. If you take action and resolve the problem you will be valued by your employer. So in order to be indispensable always approach your boss with a solution and not a problem. When an issue comes up, first sit down and think of possible solutions of how to rectify it, before bringing it to your boss’s attention. Strong problem solvers are valued additions to any team.
- TIME MANAGEMENT : There is no doubt that ‘Time is money’, as it is a valuable resource, which once used does not return. Mastering time management will serve you in all walks of your life. It will help to increase your productivity at work and also let you manage your personal matters better. Effective employees use their time more efficiently and also ensure that they focus on doing things that are important and not those that do not matter.
Some of the key Soft Skills worth focusing on and developing, are : It is quite obvious that soft skills contribute to your success and help you to get ahead in your career. So, now that you know what skills you need to cultivate, focus and develop them and shine at your job and workplace.