Even if you rock the technical aspects of your job, there’s more to success than nuts-and-bolts know-how. And some of the most important skills in a professional environment can be the hardest to learn. These are “soft skills” that are crucial to any work environment. Here are the top five you need to master:
Written and verbal communication skills are super important in the workplace because they set the foundation for how your supervisors and co-workers see you. They help you build good relationships with your co-workers. They can also boost your performance, because the give-and-take of good communication makes sure you’re on the same page as everyone else. You hear clear expectations from your superiors, so you can deliver your work with excellence and efficiency. This is the most important soft skill to employers because if you can express the who, what, when, where, why, and how of whatever you work on, you will be a hot commodity. One of the best ways to improve your communication skills is to practice public speaking every chance you get. Speak up in class, in the workplace, and even with family and friends.
Companies don’t achieve success from just one person’s efforts. They grow when they are able to find employees who are all willing to work together to reach a shared goal. Employers will look to people who can collaborate to be productive and efficient, while also enjoying what they do. A friendly office environment is one that everyone enjoys and helps to attract other talented people to the company. It also strengthens quality of work. If you want to hone your collaboration skills, start small by lending a hand to a co-worker who needs some help.
3) Critical Observation
Information doesn’t mean a lot if you can’t analyze it. You need to look at your facts or data and see if there is a pattern emerging. Ask yourself the obvious questions and then go further. Being a critical observer can help your all-around performance at work. Companies love people who can see beyond just the numbers. They need people who bring fresh, new ideas to help get a leg up on the competition and to improve the company internally.
4) Problem Solving
When there is a problem at hand you can either dwell on it or take action. Initiative and action is what will get you noticed in a positive way. Know how to adapt and think on your feet and it will make you stand out to an employer. Companies rely on their top employees to navigate unexpected problems and find creative solutions. It’s a good idea to approach your bosses with solutions instead of problems. When an issue comes up make sure to think about how you can address it before you bring it to your supervisor.
Even if you don’t currently have a title that implies you’re a leader, that doesn’t mean you’re not! It is important to have confidence in what you do at work. Have a clear vision and use your great communications skills to positively influence your co-workers to get on board with your good ideas. Don’t be afraid to take on extra projects at work and build a team to help you achieve results. Your leadership skills will help you gain visibility within your company, which could lead to more opportunities. Employers are always looking for employees with leadership skills because they want to find people who can rise in the ranks of the company as time goes on. But being a leader is more than just getting people to do what you want. Try to inspire and help others reach their potential. Think about mentoring another worker. You’ll be a great help to them and you will also learn to manage and motivate.
At Career Quest Learning Centers, we know career training is valuable if you want to advance in your career. But we also understand the importance of soft skills. That’s why we teach and talk about them all the time in all of our programs. If you’d like to attend a school that really cares about your success, contact us at any one of our four locations: Jackson at 877-365-8144, Mt. Pleasant at 877-345-8505, Lansing at 877-481-4930, or our newest campus in Bay City at 877-305-9991.