In life, one of the biggest commitments we humans undertake is our work.
It is more than just a means of earning money, it’s our passion, our motivation and a successful career is what we strive to achieve in our lifetime.
Whichever field you may work in, if the work does not give you joy, pride and purpose then it is just a means of earning money.
Over the course of your career, you will be required to acquire a number of job skills that will help build your career and ultimately take you to the fulfilment of your hopes and dreams, especially when starting a new job.
What Skills must one acquire for successful Career Development?
Over the course of our lives, we will learn a variety of life and work skills. These skills can be categorized into 6 different skill types, each important for your career and its successful development.
- Labour Skills – Skills required for practical and hands-on professions such as brewers, masons, electricians, carpenters, decorators etc. and these skills mostly require the use of physical labour.
- Life Skills – Skills such as interpersonal skills, technical skills, and cognitive skills. These skills are usually required to execute life activities and tasks in our society like basic cooking, organization, dealing with money etc.
- People Skills – Human beings are social. Throughout the course of our lives, we build relationships, place our trust in people, develop sympathies and empathies with others in different roles as a friend, partner, employee etc. People skills are key to working in team and being a good communicator.
- Hard Skills – Commonly referred to as technical skills, hard skills are typically concentrated towards the achievement of a particular task or a situation. These skills will typically require you to be qualified either technically, academically or professionally.
- Social Skills – Living in a society means adhering to its rules. To succeed working with and alongside others in a verbal/ non-verbal way while being respected and liked is important to build a career in many industries.
- Soft Skills – Soft skills are a combination of a variety of skills such as your communication skills, interpersonal skills, and social skills for example.
While all of these skills are important for our careers and its growth, in this article we will cover the various soft skills that support job skills one requires to expand their career.
Which Soft Skills are essential for your Career Development?
Hard skills, technical skills and job skills are the skills which are required to land a job but what happens after?
You need a repertoire of soft and transferable skills such as a positive attitude and mindset, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and a decent work ethic. These soft skills also help you grow as a leader.
What most people often forget to consider is that these skills are an integral part of our society and our working environment. Our ability to converse with people, to empathize with them and to build good relationships are as important as hard skills, but sadly often undervalued.
It is often assumed by organizations that the people they hire will have a good work ethic, but it is difficult to know or check. Therefore, anybody should at least acquire some of the following soft skills that are detrimental to any career progression.
Top 10 crucial Soft Skills to master for the best Career Development
- Communication – Being a good communicator is a requirement by almost every employer in any industry. Even introverts have their own group of people they talk to and communicate with. Verbal or written communication is one important skill for several jobs as it helps you with interacting with your colleagues, customers, traders, and it helps you build strong relationships, which is key for networking. Effective modern communication tools to master include video calls, phone calls, emails, and face to face communication, but also interacting on social media which requires one to consider netiquette. This has become even more prevalent with the rise of remote working job positions and online work.
- Adaptability – We do not always get what we want, life often throws us a curveball and we’re left dealing with it, the good and the bad. Being able to adapt, accept and change when things go south is important not just when it comes to your career and its growth but also in life. Many modern companies specifically look for good problem-solving skills and creative thinking skills as these are key in the digital world in which things change very frequently.
- Teamwork – When you work for an organization you are also working alongside others in your team. Success is a result of not one but many individuals working towards a common goal. Collaborating with your colleagues will only strengthen your work. Your quality of work will improve when other people use their skills and their strengths to work together and achieve better results.
- Observational Skills – Pure data means nothing unless interpreted properly. Observing and studying your data, learning various patterns, monitoring them closely with the right project management tools and providing solutions will give you an edge over your fellow colleagues. Equally, observing social behaviours and inner social systems in a company can be beneficial for your career progression.
- Problem Solving – When things go wrong, your plan of action will determine your position in the company. Noticing problems beforehand in combination with your observational skills will help you find solutions to any current problems as well as problems which are likely to arrive in the future and being able to tackle them beforehand is a key skill employers look for when hiring people in positions of power.
- Conflict Resolution – When a group of individuals work together, sometimes they are going to disagree and have conflicts. Individuals in managerial positions or team leaders are required to solve such conflicts to keep a healthy working relationship and environment among colleagues and need to learn how to resolve conflicts, how to give constructive feedback, how to motivate staff etc.
- Work Ethic – A strong work ethic will show your employers that your work is important to you. Adhering to the office hours, being punctual, meeting deadlines etc. all these constitute to be a part of your working ethic. It depicts that you can both give orders and receive them when necessary.
- Time Management – Even though you may be able to multitask, some tasks require your undivided attention. Time management along with a combined work ethic make for a model employee. With effective time management skills it becomes easier for employees to also maintain a healthy work life balance which is equally important.
- Empathy – Being empathetic is one’s ability to understand someone and put themselves into their shoes. In situations such as medical emergencies, mental health issues one is required to offer support, not just for them but their family members too. Your ability to understand someone’s problems and extend that deadline or extend a helping hand will make you more valuable to the team.
- Leadership – Progress when it comes to working is being able to grand that promotion and take on new roles and responsibilities. Those in managerial positions are people that are in a position of power. Having a clear goal and the means to do it will show your co-workers and those above you that you are dedicated, hardworking and someone with great ideas. Leadership skills help you gain visibility in an organization thus helping your career and your team.
Career Skills support Career Progression
There is no one skill you need to acquire and master for your career. Many of the listed soft skills in the article are intertwined and work hand in hand for the betterment of your career and life. Some cannot be learned through a course, but in conjunction with training or during an internship for example. But the best preparation for any employment is to volunteer or build something of your own such as an online property or specialist portfolio through creating attractive websites that showcase your previous work and with that the skills you have acquired with your projects.
Shirley Brown, a blogger and writer, is also a full-time student counselor. She assists students with their academic and career-related issues and enjoys writing blogs on education, technology and general news. An avid reader, she occasionally volunteers for a library-on-wheels program in her neighborhood in downtown Melbourne.