If your soft skills are not up to snuff, you better work on them! If you are a doctor, dentist or surgeon, your technical skills could mean life or death! Does it matter, if these individuals treat you well? Soft skills are personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.
You need technical skills to perform your job or career. In fact, you want your heart surgeon to have superior technical skills. Unfortunately, technical skills are not enough! You want answers to your questions, someone who will listen and treat you as though you are important. Finding a good doctor is important, but you want one with good technical and soft skills. Soft skills are what employers want most. Soft skills are predictors of success in the workplace
Employers are looking for the brightest and best employees! Wouldn’t you like to work for Apple or Google? Do you have the skills and knowledge? They set the bar very high and there is a lot of competition. It is a little like getting into Harvard or Yale. If that is all it took, those companies would only recruit at those schools and take only the top 10%. I am sure that many of the candidates come from schools like those, but there is much more to this than that. Soft skills are essential to job success!
Soft skills encompass basic skills, people skills, personal qualities and thinking skills. The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) was appointed by the Secretary of Labor to determine the skills young people need to succeed in their career. Although the emphasis is on education to prepare young people for the work place, this is what employers expect in their workers.
- Reading – Understanding technical and non technical information.
- Writing – Good written communication skills to communicate information.
- Mathematics – Problem solving skills, using technology to enter and retrieve information.
- Speaking – Effective oral communication.
- Listening – Retain and apply information..
- Social – Understanding, friendliness, teamwork.
- Negotiation – Goals setting, goals and supporting and presenting their position.
- Leadership – Encourage, manage, direct and demonstrate competency.
- Teamwork – Communicate ideas and work with others to achieve projects or goals.
- Cultural Diversity – Work with a variety of people.
- Self Esteem – Understand other beliefs and change harmful ones.
- Self Management – -Personal goals, monitor progress and evaluation.
- Responsibility – Attendance, integrity, energy and positive attitude.
- Creative Thinking – Imagination, producing new information or idea.
- Problem Solving – Recognize problem, create and implement a solution and revise as needed.
- Decision Making – Identify goals, generate alternatives and choose best one and execute choice.
- Visualization – Strategic thinking or visualizing outcome.
Do you need to have all these skills? No, but you need to learn them. You may start out as an engineer, accountant or sales person. Soft skills provide personal growth and increase productivity in your career. Soft skills are important as technical or hard skills regardless the career or industry. These are the skills required to acquire and retain a job. These are also the skills that will get you fired! Soft skills are sometimes called employability skills.
These are the skills that prepare you for a job. Where do you learn these skills? School, home and everywhere! Team sports, clubs, student government and organizations teach and reinforce soft skills. How do you learn to be responsible or honest? Your parents help you learn these habits and you practice them in school. Good attendance is an important habit that you practice in twelve to sixteen years of school. Invest in yourself and learn these skills! Many employers will ask to see your transcript to see your grades and your attendance too. Your resume should include hard and soft skills because employers are looking for them. It doesn’t stop there. Include them in interviews and put them to use in th e workplace, social situations and personal life. How are your soft skills?
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Soft skills are truly critical for long-term success. I can think of a number of people I’ve witnessed over the years who have been technically skilled and perhaps intellectually gifted, but insufficient soft skills (in various forms) clearly held them back. This can matter even as early as job interview situations.
In an interview, you have to connect on some level. One of the soft skills is teamwork which require you to work with others.