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:
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.
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.
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.