Why you need soft skills

By Kate Smith

Having the technological knowledge is one thing, do you have the soft skills too, to help you develop your career?

These days, technical skills alone will not get you a job. Of course formal education is highly valuable, but the extra advantage of possessing soft skills will help you stand out from the crowd.

Almost every job advertisement you read will list some soft skills which the position requires from candidates. The soft skill requirements vary between companies as different cultures and individual roles call for individual skill-sets.

The term soft skills refer to your interpersonal skills. What it means to employers are the non-technical aspects of a position. Can someone communicate well, show initiative, work in team, solve problems, manage themselves and plan? They’re important as it makes your work more enjoyable and increases the success of your projects.

Research has indicated that soft-skills are just as important as the technical skills, and people may even be offered a job over another candidate who has stronger technical skills, because their soft-skills were superior.

Do you have a strong work ethic, good communication and time management skills, good problem solving skills, and a positive attitude? Are you a team player, have self-confidence, able to accept criticism, and do you work well under pressure?

Perhaps you have all, perhaps you have some, the good news is that we all can, and should continue to develop our soft skills and continuously learn more.

You can take a course, seek a mentor to guide you and provide advice, read books on the topic (such as, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R Covey), and you can use online resources and train yourself.

Here’s a great video that we’ve shared throughout our office about being persuasive: http://vimeo.com/84460349?autoplay=1

Do you have any advice to offer about developing your soft-skills to share? If so, share in the comments!


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