Which soft skills to develop
As mentioned, it can be helpful to develop a comprehensive tool kit of soft skills. While some of these non-technical abilities are universally valuable in the workplace, some may be especially helpful in particular industries or specialties.
For instance, managers may emphasize strategic thinking, delegating and conflict resolution, and those in positions requiring innovation should be creative and able to communicate ideas effectively.
While the necessary skills can differ, one idea is the same across all industries. A LinkedIn® survey found that 92% of hiring managers and talent professionals agreed that soft skills were increasingly important in the age of AI and automation. While algorithms can handle technical tasks, they cannot duplicate human communication, collaboration or motivational skills.
Here are five essential soft skills that can serve you regardless of industry or specialization.
Organizational skills help employees tackle multiple tasks, meet deadlines and delegate. Organized professionals go through their workdays with a clear vision of their duties and daily goals or benchmarks they need to meet.
Those with well-developed organizational skills can handle more complex tasks. By accomplishing challenging duties, employees can make themselves more valuable to their company. They may earn additional responsibilities as well as the salary and perks that come with them.
Meanwhile, students have to juggle multiple courses and academic challenges at once. School is an excellent setting for developing organizational abilities.
Communication is a collection of related soft skills. Effective communicators are usually associated with traits like charisma and storytelling ability. However, in work and academic settings, characteristics like empathy and the ability to listen and respond to others are also essential for communication.
Communication helps you explain ideas, needs and plans. It can also get others to buy into a specific strategy or goal. Good communicators create unity and purpose among team members.
While communication is often associated with executives and senior managers, team members working on projects with one or more of their peers also benefit from developing communication skills.
Networking is the art of building relationships that assist your career plans. Networking starts during your academic career. If you build relationships with peers and professionals, it could lead to internships and entry-level job opportunities. Even if you do not receive direct offers, people in your professional network can deliver information about opportunities or job-seeking strategies.
Networking opportunities can happen at school, professional events, conferences, alumni gatherings, trade shows and just about anywhere else.
Leadership is a necessary skill for anyone who wants to advance to a senior role within a company. As with communication, it is a collection of related traits, such as the ability to delegate tasks, inspiring people to complete them and building a team based on each worker’s technical and soft skills.
Leadership is not only for those with C-suite ambitions. Any professional who wants to advance will benefit from developing their abilities to manage, inspire and organize others. Leaders can emerge within a team of peers, making themselves more valuable to their employers and becoming essential members of their work groups.
Have you heard the saying “teamwork makes the dream work”? That’s because when you have a group of people working on one project, you can delegate the tasks to people’s strengths or allow overall collaboration for growth. Productive and successful outcomes can happen. Being able to work with a team as well as being self-sufficient is a great quality to have in almost any career.