What will it take for you to find success in your career? The right educational qualifications, the appropriate technical skills and years of experience seem like a potent and surefire recipe for climbing up the career ladder, but there’s actually another important consideration employers look for.
And that’s soft skills!
What are soft skills?
Hard skills refer to teachable and measurable skills such typing speed or the ability to use Excel functions to analyze data, while soft skills refer to character traits and communication skills that affect day-to-day social interactions. Examples of soft skills that are valued at the workplace include leadership, self-motivation and the ability to think critically.
An employee at a telecommunications company can have all the technical knowledge needed to help customers with troubleshooting, but if he lacks the social graces and communication skills to deal with situations like a customer complaint, ultimately, he would still fail to do his job well.
This factsheet gives you five great reasons why honing your soft skills is one of the best investments you must make.
1. Soft skills take you from mediocrity to excellence
IT Training magazine conducted a survey which found that communication skills and interpersonal skills (soft skills) were the main factors contributing to career success.
Picture this: There are two possible candidates, A and B for a management position. Their technical skills are on par. A shows great leadership potential and is able to get along better with his colleagues. On the other hand, B is less organized and occasionally, gets caught in conflicts. It comes as no surprise when A gets the promotion.
Here’s another example: Product knowledge isn’t enough when you work in sales. How many times have you been swayed by sales personnel because of their ability to make you feel comfortable with their personable service?
2. Personal growth and development
Soft skills do not just come in handy at the workplace; above all, they are essential in life.
Soft skills such as having a positive attitude towards life and integrity will take you far in both your social and personal spheres as well. Every day, we deal with stress in various forms. Possessing self-motivation and the ability to manage stress will allow you to sail through life with greater ease.
Prioritizing and performing your tasks systematically is not only applicable when your superior hands you a list of tasks to do. Having planning and organization skills enables you to competently plan an itinerary when you travel free and easy.
3. Open more doors for yourself
It has been said that hard skills will get you a job interview, but ultimately, soft skills will land you the job.
The business climate of today is such that the job market is brimming with jobseekers with university degrees and skills certifications. With the intense competition, the need to stand out from the crowd has become even more pertinent. What will give you an edge over jobseekers of similar calibre?
What’s the use of having aced your studies and having the right skills if no one knows about them? During an interview, you’ll need to market yourself. Knowing the right way to interact and subtly bring your strong points across is very likely to bag you the job. With the tight competition, perception is the only thing that counts.
4. Be better at your job
Social interaction is part and parcel of every job. Learning how to negotiate interpersonal relationships is thus half the battle won. A managerial position requires a mixed bag of soft skills. For instance: the ability to resolve conflicts among the team, the art of delegating duties and the finesse to toe the thin line between being over-friendly and too domineering.
Not everyone is born with these skills. Opting for training in the third will thus make him or her a more well-rounded manager.
5. Achieve the perfect balance
After all that’s been said and done, hard skills and soft skills co-exist harmoniously. Having one without the other is like having nachos without cheese – something’s just missing.
To bring out the best of your abilities, work on your soft skills!
If you find that your soft skills need some beefing up, the good news is that they can be honed with training and practice. Training workshops will enable you to learn about the fundamentals of the respective soft skills, and learn about exercises or methods to put what you have learnt into practice.
Verztec Learning offers a comprehensive range of soft skills training programmes and workshops delivered by professional and engaging facilitators. Make the first step towards laying the foundation for a better future today. Visit www.verzteclearning.com for more information
Verztec Learning is the Management Training, Learning and Development Solutions division of Verztec Consulting, an international leading provider of global content management services.