Essential Soft Skills to Develop in the Workplace

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 16, 2019
Success


Embarking yourself in the corporate world could be one exciting and life-changing moment. As you look forward to applying the concepts and principles you diligently studied and toiled for in the last few years in school, you realized that not everything matters in the real world.

Suddenly, everything went back to square one and you are actually vying to be given the opportunity to at least start a career and prove yourself.

And again, your accolades in school does not guarantee the same success in the workplace. While they are good starting points and say something about your passion for learning and your mental capacity, it does not alone dictate how you will be able to cope with the different demands of your industry. The corporate world is different, let alone each industry has its own challenges and expectations.

But before you slump there in the corner already feeling defeated because you only have your diploma, to begin with, your best news of today is that you can develop the skills you need that will compel the hiring manager to give you the chance.

Soft skills

In this fast-paced world, which for some reason is even faster in the corporate world, career people must be able to cope well and evolve alongside to stay relevant and needed. Therefore, we must develop soft skills that gear towards your personality and character. This is not anymore about who is the best but who thinks ahead and is in for the long haul.

The Competition

As you enter the corporate world, I want you to know that you are also entering a competition.

I bet you experience different competitions at schools involving sports, academics, or leadership positions. They were there to give you a glimpse of what’s in here in the real world.

Office politics, promotion, quotas, or simply your boss’ praises are just some of the things that you’ll compete with others for. But they are just the tip of the bigger competition out there.

You will be competing with yourself.

In the real world, your greatest competitions are your hesitation, fear, and mediocrity.

Trying to fit into everyone’s shoes might make you end up too tired to pursue your true passion. But focusing on developing your personality, your skills, and your character will help you maximize your opportunities.

Competing with yourself means you know your potential and you know you can outdo yourself all the time. Having this mindset will motivate you to persist during tougher days or when you work without a team.

Competition benefits you and your employer eventually. By empowering yourself to do better, you are becoming a powerful asset whom your employer can take pride in.

Companies can sense your quest for the best opportunities. But they will be more impressed to know that you have the skills they need that add value to their business. After all, humans are every company’s greatest resource.

Soft versus Hard Skills

Your hard skills refer to competencies that are rooted in your industry. They are also called technical skills.

Meanwhile, your soft skills are how you are going to deliver your hard skills that will benefit your employer, impress your clients, and empower your colleagues.

The list of soft skills is exhaustive, but most of them are attributed to interpersonal relationships and personal development. Employers feel you are a gem when you have a teachable spirit and a persistent character.

Essential Soft Skills You Must Have Now

Regardless of profession, hiring managers are on the constant lookout for talents who can potentially go above and beyond themselves. They are the people who welcome growth and learning in their career.

Here are the top soft skills that employers are looking for in you:

Communication

As with all kinds of relationships, communication is the key. Other soft skills are subsets of communication like empathy, persuasion, and negotiation which makes it a powerhouse skill to develop.

Developing strong communication skills not only means being able to speak or write well, but also to use the language to communicate manners, relevance, quality, commitment, and other intangible aspects of your service.

Communication is important for colleagues to foster teamwork and collaboration. With having more people working on a project or doing brainstorming, there is an exchange of more ideas, insights, and even questions that will help your team achieve the right solution, or may even spark innovation.

Critical thinking

Sometimes, it is all in the details. When you know how to assess a problem from a nuclear viewpoint, you create a 360-degree view and dissect its underlying layers to help you.

Aside from focusing on unearthing as many details, critical thinking also involves analytical and creative ways of approaching a problem. May it be technical or relationship-based, a critical thinker knows how to tackle problems systematically and efficiently.

Flexibility

As I’ve mentioned, employers are looking for people who are in for the long-haul. Human resources are an employer’s greatest asset as well as its biggest investment. Getting someone adaptable and flexible to changes including positions, environment, or leadership is both cost-effective and healthy as it provides continuity and opens doors for promotions.

Ability to work under pressure

Resilience is an important trait for everyone. And as they say, the character is best tested under pressure. Being able to persist and not easily give up can also empower your teammates.

Responsibility

Being entrusted with a position, employers will be looking for someone who will embrace all the tasks and activities that come alongside. This is in the belief that achieving excellence in your position is like a ripple that affects others positively. Responsibility is taking ownership of the role and doing your best to deliver your outputs.

Leadership

Any entrepreneur will be aiming for a self-sustainable business. That is, the income can already support itself and the management can do well with less intervention from him. Thus, employers are looking for leadership qualities in their people who can drive the business by empowering, leading, inspiring, and motivating each other.

Final Thoughts

I am positive that if not all, you have some of these essential soft skills already in you. The challenge now is how you will let your future employer know that you have them and you are willing to develop the rest given the right opportunities.

During the job interview, make sure that aside from highlighting your technical skills and experience, you also emphasize the importance of soft skills. Even if you are a first-time job seeker or have limited work experience, you can still sell yourself as someone who values character and personality to drive the outputs you are required to produce.

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