Being a creative genius is not enough to get your dream job. No matter how good you are. A polished curriculum vitae and soft skills will go a long way in making any expert stand out from the crowd.
Any employer will tell you that deportment, creative problem solving, leadership, excellent communication and interpersonal skills are some of the most sought after attributes in a candidate today.
Soft skills are a combination of attributes that enable an individual to manage himself and relate to other people. Personality, demeanor and attitude are required for teamwork. Hard skills on the other hand are important for execution. Employees who merge hard and soft skills climb the corporate ladder much faster because they delegate their tasks to teams as they gain experience and work less with their hard skills. If you want to rise to a managerial position, soft skills are critical.
You’ve found your dream job-the perks are good, the company culture inspires you and there are immense opportunities for career growth. How do you get your foot through the door? How do you make sure that you do not get passed up for promotion?
Pick one or two skills that you want to focus on then practice them as often as possible. Take stock of your projects and tasks at the end of each week. How did you resolve conflicts and how can you learn from your challenges? This will enable you to discover your work patterns and areas of improvement.
Interpersonal skills can be honed in a team setting. Being a good follower is key to team success. Sharpen your listening skills when in a team, meet your deadlines and refrain from spreading negativity as you all work towards a common goal.
You do not need to have President Obama’s eloquence or Achebe’s writing flair to perfect your communication skills. However, you must speak well enough to be understood and professional enough to calmly explain your expectations to your co-workers. Listen to podcasts, motivational speeches and note how speakers express themselves and make sure that your CV and cover letter have no typos when you’re job hunting.
Polish up on your MS Office and business English skills through online tutorials or enrolling for a computer packages course. This will help you create top notch presentations at work, write professional emails and set you apart from your colleagues.
“Tell us of a challenge you faced at work and how you overcame it” is a question many interview panels will ask you. When faced with a challenge, develop creative problem solving techniques. Employers are constantly looking for solution providers and not problem creators. Push yourself out your comfort zone and look for ways you can make your workplace better through the solutions that you provide. Don’t forget to involve your colleagues because this will sharpen your interpersonal skills.
If practice doesn’t make perfect, you can enroll for a course that allows you to learn these skills which will help you in your profession and personal interactions.
The ADMI Career Launchpad is a great place to start. This is a requirement for all Diploma students which equips them with the digital and soft skills they need to launch a successful career.
In this one year programme, students hone their professional skills, create their portfolio, acquire life and leadership skills and gain confidence to work in teams. They also acquire interpersonal skills that enable them to effectively collaborate and communicate in multidisciplinary, multicultural and increasingly virtual teams. Once you complete the programme, you will earn a Global Professional Standards Certificate.
Would you like to fast track your career? Watch a quick video that sums up why its important work on your soft skills.