Soft Skills in the Business World

While learning about soft skills, it can be hard to know exactly where they would be used while in business.  First, you need to know what soft skills are.  They can be hard to understand when someone explains it to you, but luckily we have the internet.  According to Dictionary.com, soft skills are “desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge: they include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude.”  In the video below, Tiffany Daniels from Work Force Solutions, a company focused on helping others advance their careers, explains why soft skills are important in the workplace.

Now that you know what soft skills are, it’s time to figure out which ones are the most important and which ones will help you advance in the workplace.  According to Heather R. Human in her article “The 10 Unique Soft Skills Employers desire in New Hires,” the ten main qualities employers are seeking in their new employees are:

  1. Being dependable
    If the management cannot trust you to do your work or get a project done on time then you will not last long in the company.  Make sure you prove to your employers that you will go above and beyond their expectations.
  2. Pulling together a presentation
    Almost everyone is expected to make some sort of presentation during their career.  Make sure you have the skills to communicate the necessary information across and make it interesting so people don’t fall asleep or get too distracted by the actually presentation.  For tips on making a good presentation, see my other blog post titled “Powerpoint Presentations.”
  3. Solving problems
    soft_skills_diagram_1Businesses are usually fast paced, so it’s best to be able to be a quick thinker.  When a problem occurs, make sure you can find a way to deal with it rather than just giving up.
  4. Coaching coworkers
    Don’t keep all of your knowledge to yourself.  Helping others shows that you are a good leader and will get you more noticed than hoarding your information and doing exponentially better than your coworkers.
  5. Fitting into the company’s culture
    If you don’t get along with anyone in the workplace, then it will most likely be you who loses a job rather than the others.  Make sure you are in a place where you fit in.
  6. Voicing opinions while being open to feedback
    Being willing to accept feedback shows that you are an intelligent person, but don’t just sit there quietly all the time.  It’s best to speak up every now and again.
  7. Being flexible and focused
    Stay on task.  Get your work done on time.  Show the management that you can be trusted with projects.
  8. Being creative and innovative
    If you want to change your work place, then find a way to make it fun.  This will not only make your work experience more enjoyable, but it will also get good attention from your employers.
  9. Developing new work processes
    Find new ways to complete problems, but make sure they are effective and they save the business time and money.
  10. Taking initiative
    Come up with new ideas and put them into action.  This shows employers that you actually care about what you do.

Recently I have come to realize exactly how important soft skills are in the workplace.  While looking for a job for this summer, I went to the place I had worked the previous summer to ask if they were hiring again.  The man who had been my manager was now at a different store in another city in Missouri, but the current manager asked me to fill out an application and he would talk to my previous manager.  A few days later I got a call from the company.  The manager told me that when he went to the weekly company meeting for all the managers, he talked to my previous manager who immediately said, “Hire her right now. She’s awesome.”  That, of course, was a huge boost of confidence.  And the interesting thing was, I hadn’t done anything amazing or special.  I simply did my job and did it well.  I arrived early for my shifts, worked hard when I was on the clock, was friendly to customers, and was flexible with my schedule when they needed me.  I was just a good, hard-working employee and that was noticeable.

keep-calm-and-use-your-soft-skills

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