How mastering important soft skills can help you supercharge your career

5 min read

Career Trends: August 8, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Soft skills never expire—they are relevant, transferable, and keep a person highly employable.

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When it comes to experience and skill, you may be exactly what a potential employer is looking for. But your chances of securing the position becomes slim if the person interviewing senses a lack of soft skill and abilities. The skills outlined on a résumé only tell a fraction of the story, while understanding an individual’s work ethic, how they overcome adversity, and how they interact with their peers is much more indicative of success.

Soft skills are often overlooked because they are difficult to measure, calculate, and quantify. However, mastering soft skills is essential to navigating today’s fast-paced work environment and evolving your career.

Hard skills can have a short half-life. Constant innovation, technology updates, and new feature releases quickly obsolete many of these skills. Meanwhile, soft skills never expire—they are relevant, transferable, and keep a person highly employable.

Here are some important soft skills you can inculcate:

1. Adaptability

  • Adaptability in the workplace is the ability to adjust to changes in your role, processes, and surroundings.
  • No matter the situation that you’re put in, it should be your goal to acclimate and excel.
  • Don’t wait for change to come to you; anticipate what changes may be headed your way.
  • These changes may include a new manager with a different work style, the addition of new responsibilities to your role, or a shift in priorities with the signing of a new client.
  • What do you need to be adaptable? An open mind, a can-do attitude, and a growth mindset. 

2. Emotional Intelligence

  • Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to perceive, evaluate, and control their emotions while being aware of other people’s emotions.
  • We also refer to a person’s emotional intelligence as their EQ (emotional quotient),a high-EQ person thinks before taking action, practiees self-reflection and understands their feelings.
  • Work to regulate your emotions, shift gears when needed, and don’t let your feelings interfere with producing great work.

3. Effective Communication

  • Effective communication is much more than transferring information from one person to another.
  • A good communicator can express ideas clearly and also engage proactively and productively.
  • Your ability to communicate well will strengthen new connections, bolster long-term relationships, and boost your reputation.

4. Negotiation

  • Negotiation is one of the most crucial yet underrated soft skills.
  • Underneath the negotiation umbrella, you’ll find time management, active listening, accountability, and critical thinking.
  • Identify your priorities and set clear, firm boundaries regarding what is and is not negotiable.
  • This way, you comprehensively understand a situation and can work toward the best outcome.

5. Teamwork

  • A business doesn’t run without a team, and an effective team player can drive success and contribute to a positive environment.
  • Always celebrate your team members’ small wins and give them the kudos they deserve.
  • This creates a happy work culture in which team members feel recognised, heard, and seen.
  • Celebrate your small wins, small projects, and small ideas. Don’t neglect the smaller things while chasing big goals.

6. Positive attitude

  • Aim to engage positively, especially when collaborating with team members to achieve a common goal.
  • Look through a challenge and think of new ways to solve a problem.
  • A positive person sees possibilities instead of roadblocks.
  • Attitude is contagious—and a positive mindset impacts your job performance, job satisfaction, and even how others view you.

7. Time management

  • Remember that you can’t do everything at once (and do it well).
  • Make a list and prioritise your tasks.
  • Divide the tasks into “urgent,” “important and nonurgent,” and “other” categories.
  • Use tools to automate away some tasks, delegate to others, and delete unnecessary tasks.

8. Conflict resolution

  • Aim to avoid conflict in the organisation or, when conflict is unavoidable, work to resolve disputes early on (before they snowball into more significant problems).
  • You can apply the communication and negotiation skills mentioned earlier to find solutions to conflicts.

9. Work ethics

  • Take responsibility and accept ownership of your work.
  • It’s also important to accept the consequences of the mistakes you make on a project.
  • Deliver your projects on time, respect your colleagues, and show up every day with enthusiasm.

10. Collaboration over competition

  • Competition is short-term, whereas collaboration leads to long-term connections and mutual growth.
  • Collaboration also results in deeper relationships, increased creativity, and more innovative results.
  • Also, when you collaborate with other team members, you may learn new ways of tackling assignments.
  • Sharing information allows for cross-training within and among teams.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

Why it is important for students to properly allocate their time

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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