It is not an easy time to be joining the workforce. The days of getting a university degree and staying at one job for the long haul are a thing of the past. These days people need to specialize, constantly up-skill and be ready to switch jobs at the drop of a hat.
That notwithstanding certain things hold true even today and these include equipping oneself with the necessary soft skills to hold you in good stead in your career. Some of these are listening skills, team work, communication, a positive attitude, the ability to hold difficult conversations and many of these are not generally taught in the traditional curriculum.
1.Awareness or empathy
This under-rated ability is actually very critical to work success as without it you won’t understand where the other person is coming from or their perspective at all. Empathy helps us to read people and situations, adapt and adjust accordingly which in the long term helps us to build rapport with others, fosters teamwork and encourages trust.
2.Creativity and problem solving ability
The last thing an employer wants to see in a challenging situation is his or her employee say “I have no idea what to do,” unless it’s an absolutely dire situation. The ability to come up with logical and creative solutions to obstacles is a must have in any employees arsenal.
Express enthusiasm for tackling challenges and offer innovative ideas when you can.
This one is huge and may go without saying for most but its an absolute must have in any profession.
The ability to communicate with clients and team members well is absolutely integral, more so in this era of zoom meetings, google meets, video calls and the like.
Invest in a communication class if you have to, it’s well worth the time and money spent.
The ability to assess situations and keep yourself emotionally in check helps build professional relationships that all leaders need to have. Leaders need to be able to connect with others and foster collaboration and trust.
They also need to have the ability to influence peers in order to achieve results and meet goals. Doing this without being directly authoritative and domineering or stifling others is a much needed skill.
A can do attitude is not just Pollyanna syndrome but exceedingly important in the work context. Employees are expected to be friendly, enthusiastic about work and generally likeable. This is especially so in a fast-paced, high stress work environment.
Listening shouldn’t be just done passively but active listening is important when others are speaking. Pay attention, put away your phone, make eye contact and make the effort to understand what the other person is saying.
The importance of humility at work is often underrated and perceived as being meek or not speaking up when in actual fact that isn’t the case at all. It’s about being able to support other people’s success before thinking of your own.
Being able to work with others as a team is a huge asset. Whether it’s doing team projects or attending departmental meetings you need to be able to work well with everybody in your team. This includes being able to accept feedback from others.