Top Soft Skills Training Tips that will Propel Your Career


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Here’s a pop quiz for all of you who are won­der­ing what skills will be required to advance quickly in your career:

Name the top skills that com­pa­nies want from their employees:

  1. Tech­ni­cal skills/hard skills
  2. Social media skills
  3. Soft skills

You may think that with the level of tech savvi­ness that most work­places require these days, choice #1, tech­ni­cal skills/hard skills would be a clear favorite. After all, don’t top soft­ware engi­neers even have agents these days? While it’s true that if you aren’t able to per­form the tech­ni­cal aspects of a job, you may have a hard time land­ing that job, but you prob­a­bly won’t get very far in said career unless your num­ber one pri­or­ity is work­ing on #3, your soft skills. In fact, in a recent study co-led by Amer­i­can Express, over 60 per­cent of man­agers said that soft skills were the most impor­tant skill that will help employ­ees move quickly up the ranks and into the realm of man­age­ment. Tech­ni­cal skills? Those were favored by 32 per­cent of employ­ers, and social media skills were only ranked high by 7 percent.

So, see­ing that soft skills seem to be in high-demand, let’s get more spe­cific about what types of soft skills train­ing you should be hon­ing in on to make sure you start mov­ing up the ladder.

Orga­ni­za­tion and depend­abil­ity? Yup, those are top soft skills

Since the Great Reces­sion, work­places have had to deal with a short­age of work­ers, but often the same amount of work. To stream­line and max­i­mize pro­duc­tiv­ity, com­pa­nies prize those employ­ees who are able to pri­or­i­tize what needs to get done, stay orga­nized, hit dead­lines, and deliver results. Doing less with more is a com­mon mantra for many offices these days, as you are prob­a­bly well-aware. If you are inter­ested in advanc­ing, there­fore, take note that learn­ing how to stay orga­nized, be depend­able, and be effi­cient are keys to your career success.

A pos­i­tive atti­tude goes a long way

Atti­tude is every­thing, so the say­ing goes, but what does this have to do with soft skills train­ing? Well, every­thing, as it turns out. Main­tain­ing a pos­i­tive atti­tude on the job, even if you’re not pas­sion­ate about what you’re doing, makes you eas­ier and more enjoy­able to work with. A pos­i­tive atti­tude inspires oth­ers, boosts morale, and demon­strates your will­ing­ness to help advance your company’s goals. A study found that 46 per­cent of new hires fail in the first 18 months on the job. Their pri­mary rea­son for fail­ing? Eighty-nine per­cent failed because of their atti­tude, and only 11 per­cent failed because of their inabil­ity to per­form the work. The key take­away? Adjust your atti­tude and stay pos­i­tive – this is one of the soft skills that will truly take you far.

So you say you want to be a leader?

If you have aspi­ra­tions to lead, know that it requires a team-oriented atti­tude, which is a soft skill that requires time to develop. Many mil­len­ni­als, who make up a good por­tion of the work­force, tend to have weaker soft skills because they focus more on the tech­ni­cal require­ments of a job, and the very nature of our hyper-connected cul­ture means that peo­ple engage less per­son­ally with oth­ers and are more com­fort­able with vir­tual forms of inter­ac­tion. How­ever, those who know how to lead under­stand that soft skills train­ing will set them apart from oth­ers in the work­force and improve their chances of advanc­ing and mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in their orga­ni­za­tion.

You don’t have to work on your soft skills train­ing in a vacuum

As you start to focus on improv­ing your soft skills, know that this task may not get you the type of tan­gi­ble feed­back you’re used to get­ting from your hard skills. Soft skills are not directly mea­sured by met­rics, increased rev­enue, or stats (though they cer­tainly can influ­ence these num­bers!). As you begin work­ing on improv­ing your orga­ni­za­tional skills, your atti­tude, and your team-skills, ask for feed­back from your col­leagues. Do they enjoy work­ing with you? Are you mak­ing their jobs eas­ier? What could you be doing to fos­ter a more col­lab­o­ra­tive and pro­duc­tive work­place? Ask­ing for feed­back will help you as you fos­ter the soft skills that are key to improv­ing your chances of being on the fast track and pro­pelling your career.


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