According to an article published by Harvard Extension School, struggling to advance in an IT career might not end only by gaining technical expertise. A Harris poll conducted on hiring managers revealed that soft skills are valued by a good 77 percent employers. On the other hand, over 25 million online job listings were analyzed by Burning Glass Technologies and the results revealed that one in four skills most sought by employers are soft skills.
When you get you graduate from your grad school and consider yourself to be well qualified to tap into the job market, the many turn downs from different organizations must have led you to think that if the problem is not with your degree or skill, then what is it? Having a reputation for being the best coder/ mechanic/editor is not enough in getting you the job you have dreamt of.
The hard skills, as they are called, amount to little if you lack the ability to effectively use soft skills along with them. Soft skills are not taught in classes but are equally (or even more) crucial when it comes to working as part of an organization. Just what exactly are soft skills are discussed in detail below;
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are simply skills that help you form a courteous relationship, they shape your communication skills, how much of an empath you are, your ability to form bonds work with your team, etc.
Surveys show that an ability to communicate well with the team, having good command on written and spoken language along with being able to keep your nerves calm under stressful situations are the kind of skills that are highly demanded by virtually all kinds of jobs.
And this is where the need for hard skills decline when compared to soft ones. The reason why soft skills are revered more in professional circles is that it helps aid human connection and no workforce has ever succeeded with one man show. Some of the most demanded soft skills by employers include;
Read about relationship skills and active listening. Read up on material from the Gottman Institute. This is focused on family relationships but we have relationships at work also.
Both, written and verbal communication, pave your way for a successful career since they set a tone for a clear perception of you by the people around you. Communication also enables you to build better relationships with your co-employees and your employers. Your productivity enhances when you know how to convey what you are supposed to and you will be considered a hot ticket especially when it comes to delivering the what, where, when and how of a project.
2. Team Work Spirit
When many people work towards a common goal, success is achieved. One person doing all the work is neither ideal nor practical. Synthesized talents of all the employees lead to a joint success of the company. In addition, a Gallop poll concluded that overall job satisfaction is enhanced and workplace related stress is decreased if you have friends at the place you work. Therefore, employers are on the lookout for high spirited team players that will help build an amicable corporate culture.
3. Problem Solving
When you know how to think on your feet and take action, you will become indispensable for an employer. Issues are always going to crop up therefore when you approach your subordinate with a solution instead of a problem, you will likely become the apple of his eye in sooner than you expect. There is always a big problem. Ask for it, get advice, ask a vendor, think outside the box. Do things others haven’t.
When things don’t go as planned, there always has to be a plan B and when that doesn’t work either, improvisation and adaptability are kings. Being able to find alternate solutions and pivot is the basic rule of flexibility. The rapid changes in the workplace often require rapid shift in mindset as well and any employee who is not comfortable with uncertainty will likely collapse in such a situation. Therefore employers hunt down people who are welcoming toward change and have the ability to tackle with new challenges.
5. Conflict Resolution
Whenever there is more than one person in a place, it is likely to result in conflict. Maintaining relationships with peers and being able to resolve a conflict in a way that it ends up in a win-win situation is a rare trait but is just as necessary. Stress, panic and conflict in a workplace also reduce workforce efficiency therefore letting both parties air their grievances and then stepping in as a mediator will likely make you revered in everyone’s eyes.
6. Develop People Skills
Do not limit your work interaction with other tech types. Talk to sales, account and customer support. Ask questions and discover what is important in their world.
7. Show off your skills
When you know you have all the needed skills in you, be a little ostentatious. Present at a meeting, peer group or user conference. Start publishing on SM or be a guest on a podcast.
Decide Consulting provides IT staffing services. Our conclusive hiring methodology enables us to bring the best IT problem solvers to your organization. Our entire management team comes from an IT technical background giving us a unique perspective on candidates and the industry.