Wednesday, May 27, 2015

4 Soft Skills You Need to Develop for Your Career

In surveys employers and businesses often note that many applicants are lacking soft skills they deem necessary. Even many job postings will note the soft skills an employer is seeking, in addition to the technical skills and mastery required of the job.

Below are 4 soft skills to develop and highlight in a job interview, along with several tips to improve these skills.

1. Communication. It's important to write professional emails, speak appropriately on the phone, and look people in the eye and shake hands firmly when meeting and speaking in person. Watch others who are good communicators and model their behaviors. Ensure that your emails include a greeting a and a closing. You might also consider joining a local Toastmasters to develop your communication skills.

2. Initiative. An effective way to develop initiative is to volunteer for new opportunities as they come up at work. An even better way is to suggest new processes or projects and take the lead in testing them out.

3. Team work/collaboration. A great way to develop team work and collaboration skills is to
volunteer with a local nonprofit or church organization and participate in planning an event or fundraiser. The more opportunities you have to work in collaboration with others the more you'll be able to improve your skills in this area.

4. Creativity. Everyone is creative in some way. Creativity is not just for artists and designers. Creativity enables you to look at problems in a different way and come up with unique solutions. It may even mean that you come to understand that the problem really isn't a problem after all. You can continue to develop your creativity by being curious. Don't stop learning. Meet new people and travel to new places. And don't neglect your personal passions. They can co-exist with your job.

Consider finding a mentor to support you in developing these soft skills and you'll find yourself improving in ways you never imagined.

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