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Why soft skills are important to your career



Soft skills are anything but 'soft'. They are the bedrock of your career. Soft skills are often referred to as 'people skills' or 'interpersonal skills' because that's what they are; they are your ability to work effectively with colleagues, suppliers, and clients.



In fact, LinkedIn found that 92% of talent professionals believe soft skills are equally or more important to hire for than hard skills.

Another study in Australia found that by 2030, two-thirds of all jobs will be based on soft skills.



Generally, we actively learn hard or technical skills, while soft skills are more innate with natural strengths and weaknesses. How you develop these personal skills is pivotal to the longevity and satisfaction rating of your career.

An openness to lifelong learning is one of the greatest soft skills to have, as it underpins your growth journey. If you can be open to learning new ways of communicating, doing things, and new hard skills, you can pivot and propel your career in any direction.

Why are soft skills important in the workplace?

In today's world, the reason why soft skills are becoming more important to hiring managers boils down to these five topics. Keep reading to learn what they mean for you.

  1. Change is the norm

  2. Teams are more diverse

  3. Technical tasks are increasingly automated

  4. Roles are more autonomous

  5. Soft skills improve your chance of a promotion





1. Change is the norm

Companies must seize opportunities quickly to be competitive and respond to the changing economy. Therefore, organisations see change occur more frequently internally. That may manifest as team restructures, new processes, or even intense periods of hiring. Employers look for highly adaptable individuals who can accept and embrace change without creating blockers.

Soft skills needed in changing workplaces:


  • Willingness to learn

  • Resilience

  • Adaptability

  • Likability

2. Teams are more diverse

Thanks to inclusive hiring practices and remote working, you are more likely to work with people who are neurodiverse and from different cultures than your own. Diversity of thought leads to richer and more creative solutions, but it also introduces a wide range of communication differences.

Employers look for employees who are, first and foremost, open-minded enough to embrace workplace diversity. A flexible communication style then goes hand in hand with open-mindedness as managers look for team players who can adapt to their colleague's needs.

Skills needed in diverse workplaces:

  • Open-mindedness

  • Flexible communication styles

  • Empathy

3. Technical tasks are increasingly automated

Organisations are using automation scripts to complete more and more technical tasks such as data processing. Therefore, employers have more capacity to hire for workplace roles centred around soft skills, which employers cannot automate. Employers need staff members who can complete tasks that combine soft and hard skills, such as the project management of a technical skill.

Skills needed in automated workplaces:


  • Willingness to learn

  • Leadership

  • Collaboration

4.Roles are more autonomous

As people work from home and use digital project management software, managers leave staff members to complete their work without constant supervision. In exchange for control over their workday, employers look for staff members who are dependable and self-motivated enough to get their work done on time. Soft skills needed in an autonomous workplaces:

  • Time management

  • Dependency and reliableness

  • Decision making

  • Time management

  • Self-motivation and discipline


5. Improve your chance of promotion and a secure career In busy offices, it’s easy for your managers to overlook your achievements. Sometimes, it can feel like the louder team members who don’t work as hard get all the recognition. Unfortunately, employers can only promote you based on available information. Therefore, if you have strong communication skills, you’re more likely to be seen as a leader and change-maker and be promoted. Soft skills needed to get a promotion:

  • Productivity

  • Willingness to learn

  • Communication

  • Self-starting

There are hundreds of ways to develop your soft skills, whether you are already confident or just starting. Here are a few tried-and-tested ways to kick-start your interpersonal skills:

  • Challenge yourself by learning new skills

  • Meet new people by joining networking groups and courses

  • Ask for feedback from mentors and friends


Still not sure where to start? Rate yourself on your soft and interpersonal skills using our chart below to find which skills you should invest in first.

Soft & Interpersonal Skills

1. I need to invest time working on this skill

2. I am ok at this skill but I can still improve

3. This skill is a strength of mine

Creative thinking

Dependency and reliableness

Resilience

Adaptability

Communication

Likeableness as a team player

Leadership

Time management

Innate project management

Empathy

Willingness to learn

Open mindedness

Decision making


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