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Soft Skills for A Successful Career

2018-10-17 Smita Soni HR and Placement

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Whenever companies hire employees, they primarily focus on the technical or job-relevant skills of the candidate. However, with the growing competition in the market, candidate’s soft skills are also given immense significance by employers these days.

Besides attaining and perfecting your technical skills, it’s important to develop your soft skills if you truly want to succeed in your career. Soft skills are essentially your ‘people skills’ that go a long way in creating a great first impression and getting your work noticed by people. In the current scenario, companies are giving as much importance to a candidate’s soft skills as to his/her technical skills. It’s easy for people to acquire the technical skills required for the job, but your soft skills are uniquely yours - it’s what you bring to the table.

Unfortunately, unlike technical skills, there is very little or no formal training to improve one’s soft skills. The best way to refine your soft skills is to examine the way you work with others and focus on the aspects where you need to improve.

The ability to work in a team, communicating clearly, managing one’s time effectively, demonstrating leadership skills, building relationships, resolving conflict, thinking laterally, and more, count towards your soft skills.

Therefore, as a professional, you should not assume that only relevant technical skills and experience is enough to get you a job of your choice. It is important to possess certain soft skills as well for career growth and to rise above the competition.

Below mentioned is an overview of key areas highlighting the significance of soft skills in a professional setting:

  1. Effective Communication Skills: The ability to express your ideas effectively both verbally and in writing, in individual and group situations, adjusting language, terminology and non-verbal communication in a manner appropriate to the recipients, resulting in understanding and/or action.

In your work environment, you have to deal with people in different positions such as colleagues, superiors, juniors, interns, etc. You may be reporting to a superior and also delegating work to those who are working under you. In all these scenarios, the ability to communicate properly with different people plays the most important part.

Good communication is all about getting your thoughts and ideas across in an easy-to-understand and effective manner. Speaking confidently is the next step. When you speak clearly and confidently to people at work, you command both respect and authority in the workspace, and your point of view is given its due importance.

  1. Leadership Skills: The ability to guide, direct and motivate individuals or groups to task accomplishment. Strong leadership skills are very important for you to get ahead professionally. Delegating tasks, ensuring a conflict free environment, listening to suggestions from peers and taking on-the-spot decisions are some facets of this soft skill. A good leader sets examples for others and this quality can further your career faster than you think.
  2. Personal Effectiveness: The ability to adapt one's interpersonal style, skills and qualities so that high quality results are achieved. Modifying behaviors to accommodate tasks, situations and individuals.

Having the skill to influence your peers or your team is very crucial for professional success. A good influencer must have the ability to negotiate well at different levels of business, create a strong network of professionals, form productive relationships with others and effectively communicate his/her opinions and ideas. Such individuals, who are self-confident and quick decision-makers, are always in demand in every industry.

  1. Teamwork & Collaboration Skills: The ability to work effectively with others on a common task; taking actions which respect the needs and contributions of others; contributing to and accepting the consensus; negotiating a win-win solution to achieve the objectives of the team.

Connect with people whose work you admire or with people who are working on problems that matter to you. Not only is this a useful learning experience (that can also lead to lucrative collaborative efforts) but being connected with the right people in your industry can help you stay updated on relevant job opportunities that offer scope for growth.

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