Workplace skills can be categorized as “hard” and “soft” skills. The hard skills refer to the job-specific, technical expertise that you need in order to do your job. These are often quantifiable skills that you learn from educational and training programs. Computer programmers, for example, may know about JAVA, and that’s a hard skill.
In contrast, soft skills refer to your ability to work with others. These are your attributes and traits that let you interact more smoothly with other workers and customers. It’s not as easy to measure as a hard skill, but employers recognize it when they see it.
Here are some soft skills that companies like to see:
Ability to Solve Problems
This is regarded as the top soft skill that bosses are looking for, and it’s easy to understand why. After all, you can say that employers hire people because they want these workers to solve their problems.
To solve problems, you need to develop your critical thinking. This is the ability to define problems precisely by asking the right questions, and then inspecting the data and comparing the potential solutions to determine the right course of action. This is an analytical approach that involves creative thinking.
What is teamwork? It’s a catch-all term that includes many attributes that let you work more efficiently and smoothly with a group. It involves skills like trusting people and sharing responsibility with others. You should know how to give help when it’s needed, and when to ask for help from others. You should be able to recognize and accept both the strengths and weaknesses of other people. You should know how to provide constructive criticism, and how to resolve conflicts.
Nowadays, the solo superstar is an obsolete corporate model. Work today is much more collaborative, and thus you need to make sure you can work well with others.
Written Communication Skills
This is a skill needed for just about every level of the corporate structure. This involves being able to write effectively to communicate your ideas, and in turn, being able to understand the ideas presented in written communication.
The basics of these skills include proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. But good written communication skills should also include knowing how to present your ideas clearly and understandably in emails and documents.
If you’re applying for a job, then your resume and your cover letter will indicate your written communication skills. How you promote yourself as the best candidate for the job will affect your employability, and that’s how important this soft skill really is.
While it’s true that companies today need people who can work together, employers also want to find future leaders that can help make sure that teams work efficiently. Leadership involves all the other soft skills we’ve already mentioned, which are problem-solving skills, and written communication skills.
Crucial teamwork skills for a leader will include the ability to resolve conflicts and offer constructive criticism. But they should also know how to delegate tasks and motivate others to do their best.
The good news about these soft skills is that you can actually learn them. Practice these skills constantly, and you can do your career a lot of good in the end.