WTF are Soft Skills and Why Do They Matter?
An Evio Exclusive written by See Girl Work an Evio Community Partner
You and your co-worker have equal amounts of work. You both coordinate multiple campaigns. You both get your projects in on time. But despite starting at the company a year earlier than her, she’s the one who gets the promotion that you thought you were in line for.
You’re good at your job and have seniority, so what gives? Well my friend, she outranks you in “soft skills.”
WTF are Soft Skills?
You have the technical capabilities necessary to do your job well and you always have great ideas. But you have trouble actually communicating your ideas and you lack the leadership required for a more senior role.
Whereas hard skills are the tangible and technical skills easily demonstrated by an employee’s qualifications and specific professional experiences, soft skills refer to the intangible and non-technical abilities that are also required from employees.
Soft skills illustrate your emotional intelligence and shows whether or not you’re capable of working in a professional workplace with other professional individuals.
Although soft skills cannot qualify you for a job, raise or promotion, they can make you a much more attractive candidate when paired with solid credentials and professional experience.
From custodian to CEO, everyone has soft skills. Knowing your strongest skills is very important and can give you a leg up in any job interview or performance review.
Top Five Soft Skills
In every job and at every level, you will need to communicate with people. You will need to be able to clearly speak with people in person, on the phone and in writing. Whether you work at a big company or run your own small business, you will also need to be a good listener.
Working on team projects or participating in departmental meetings means you need to be able to work effectively with the people around you. Regardless of if you see eye-to-eye it’s important to be able to work with others, recognize and appreciate diversity, and accept and apply feedback from others.
A person with a positive attitude has a better perspective of life and will typically bring good energy to projects and the overall office culture. Employers are always looking for someone who will bring optimism to the office. They want employees who will be friendly to others, will be eager to work and are generally a pleasure to be around.
Having leadership skills helps you gain visibility within a company, which can lead to more opportunities for promotions or salary bumps. It’s important to display leadership skills to your employer since bosses are always on the lookout for those employees who will one day take over the reins and lead the team. Being a leader means influencing people, being able to gain their trust and taking on more responsibility.
Knowing how to prioritize your tasks and being productive shows that you have a good sense of time management. It’s not impressive to your manager if you work 10 hours each day, but you only have five hours of work to show for it. Learning how to manage your time to create maximum efficiency is a money saver for a business and makes you more valuable to the company.
Everyone has soft skills. But if you’re not sure what your strongest soft skills are, ask your friends, family members, colleagues or even your social media network. Even if it’s not what you need it to be, over time soft skills can be improved. Meaning you can still try for that promotion the next time around.