To get ahead in your career, you have to know what skills companies are actually looking for. One thing is for sure, employers are looking for hard skills along with soft skills.
So what are hard skills and soft skills?
Hard skills are specific technical skills that can be acquired through education and training programs. They are specific skills that can be taught in schools and colleges and can be measured. Skills like writing, teaching, sales, marketing, game development, web design are some of the examples to name a few. No doubt, these skills are essential to get you a job.
On the other hand, there are soft skills also known as ‘people skills’ or ‘interpersonal skills’ that are derived from the right side of the brain. Some examples of soft skills are communication skills, patience, creativity, empathy, emotional intelligence, time management to name a few.
While hard skills can be learned as part of academic curriculum, soft skills can be taught to a certain extent in the classroom. Moreover, soft skills are naturally inherent in a person, and you can improve it by your understanding, experiences and mindset . For instance, some people are naturally good at public speaking and interacting with large groups, while there are others with creative skills but lacks communication skills. In order to improve your soft skills, you need to identify what skills you are good at or carry out personal audit and work towards continuous improvement.
If you are thinking, what’s the point of developing soft skills when I have the technical expertise? We have the answer for you!
Well, the path to job opportunity is changing along with globalization. Employers are looking for the best talent all around the world to keep themselves ahead in the business curve. In fact, a PWC survey shows that 77% of CEOs find the difficulty in finding key soft skills when hiring employees in the organization. Even, tech billionaire investor Mark Cuban predicts that the soft skills are most sought in demand skills in this age of automation. He believes that the boom in technology and artificial intelligence will do most jobs of human that requires hard skills. Eventually, the robots cannot conceive fresh ideas and think like a human, that’s why soft skills are crucial for business professionals.
If you want to level up your personal or professional development, you need to improve various skill sets- both hard skills and soft skills.
According to LinkedIn’s latest research, these are the five most sought out soft skills companies are looking for in 2019. Among the HR managers who participated in the LinkedIn survey, 92% said they give preference to soft skills than hard skills, while another 80% agreed that soft skills are increasingly important to company success.
According to LinkedIn data, there are over 50,000 professional skills in the world. Out of them, they select the most demanding soft skills that companies are looking for in 2019. They are:
In the words of Henry Ford-“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” For many of us, the adaptability to change can be scary, but it will open doors to new possibilities.
As the business world is continuously evolving; businesses are trying out new strategies for thriving in a constantly changing business environment. What sets your team or your company apart is your adaptability to change. Even if you don’t feel comfortable with the changes, you must understand that adaptability is more about accepting reality and looking forward in the future.
By now, you know highly adaptable people who are willing to adapt and change are highly valued in their respective field of work. But if you are thinking “How can I develop my adaptability?”; here are some tips for you:
Be open to alternative solutions even if the first idea/suggestion does not work.
Be willing to adapt and change if you need it to complete the job.
Expect the unexpected and be positive with new circumstances.
Be open to new roles and opportunities.
When it comes to creativity, most people think of artists, painters, writers, designers among others. But, creativity is not limited to the artistry and creatives field only. Creativity is a soft skill that anyone can learn and be better at.
So, what actually is creativity? According to Stefan Mumaw, who has written several books on creativity quotes, “Creativity is about problem solving with relevance and novelty.” Putting it together, Relevancy means solving the problem and Novelty refers to an original way. In other words, creativity is about solving problems primarily in a way that has not been done before.
It’s not terribly surprising to see major changes in the corporate world over the last few decades. The major disruptive innovation in science and technology is creating a breakthrough in the overall economic system, giving rise to new companies with new business models. Along the way, this gives rise to new problems that demands creativity to solve their problem. To borrow from Albert Einstein-“We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” No doubt, you need creative skills to succeed in your work and life.
You might have a great product, great platform or great concept that saves the whole of humanity, but if you can’t persuade people to buy it, guess what? You’ll reach nowhere. Persuasion skills are both equally challenging and equally enjoyable soft skill that you can possess.
Many people perceive persuasion as getting things done through manipulation, being inauthentic or tricking other people for your benefit. Instead, persuasion is about influencing people, establishing credibility and communicating with clarity.
By now, you understand why persuasion is an important soft skill you need to invest in. How are you going to develop persuasion skills?
Be aware of your Emotional Intelligence (E.I)
Understand how other people think, and actively listen to people.
Plan on what you want to achieve and organise time to get there.
Develop communication skills and build rapport with people.
In the present context, the workplace has become increasingly connected through collaboration and less hierarchical with the advancement in the technological revolution. Studies show that collaboration in the workplace results in a more engaged team which further leads to increased performance and higher productivity in employees. This way, team members feel free to communicate with each other, share their ideas and enhance learning culture in the organization.
Today, companies are looking for collaboration skills in their employees so that they are using team collaboration in their workplace. Just like any other skills, you can develop your collaboration skills. Whether you are a student, manager or employee, you can create a collaborative environment anywhere, either you are organizing events, playing sports or working together in a common project at the workplace. You can improve your collaboration skills following these steps:
Plan ahead regarding the goals, time period, resources and division of labour.
Identify each members’ strength in terms of skills, knowledge and prior experiences.
Assign the roles and responsibilities to each member.
Collaborate and work together to achieve the project goal.
Identify collaboration problems if there is any, and approach open mindedly to solve them.
Time management is more than a soft skill, it’s a life skill that’s needed everywhere, no matter what you do at any stage of your life. Whether you are a student, housewife or working professional, you have to deliver your work on time prior to the deadline. That’s why, good time management skills are essentially important to maximize your productivity each day.
When we say time management, it refers to the process of effective planning, allocating time on various activities and consciously controlling them. With effective time management, you can increase your productivity, reduce stress and be able to make effective decisions. So here are some tips on developing effective time management skills:
Identify your tasks and set priorities upon them.
Keep track of your time on a daily and weekly basis.
Focus on one task at a time.
Stop procrastination and review your progress periodically.
At SAIM College, we focus on academic excellence as well as developing the soft skills required for students so that they can prepare for the real world. SAIM college is dedicated upon creating a suitable environment to learn, explore and innovate for students. If you’re looking for your career advancement, getting a BBA degree and MBA degree from SAIM college can be a stepping stone in your future career success. Visit us for more insight into our BBA program and MBA Global business program.