Brush Up Your Soft Skills

career soft skills Apr 20, 2022

For many, describing your soft skills can be the hardest part when you’re going for a promotion. You’re prepared to discuss work achievements, but how do you show that you’re a team player or early adopter?

In case you don’t already know, hard skills are the job-specific education and experience you can quantify while soft skills are more intangible qualities like how you relate to others.

Consider these tips for how to develop and demonstrate soft skills that will be important to your career.

Communicate skillfully. Strong communications can require many different abilities. You might excel at making presentations but need to work on active listening.

Solve problems. Rising to challenges and addressing business needs is central to any job description. Think about how you react when you encounter a setback.

Express creativity. A physical therapist can be just as creative as a sculptor. Think about what makes you an artist.

Radiate confidence. Feeling sure of yourself and your abilities encourages others to see you more favorably. Believing in yourself also makes it easier to be assertive and take risks.

Think positive. Whatever position you’re applying for, your future boss and co-workers will be asking themselves if you’re someone they want to work with. An upbeat attitude suggests that you’ll be pleasant and helpful.

How to Develop Your Soft Skills

Ask for feedback. Your family, friends, and coworkers are a good place to start. See what they have to say about your strengths and areas where you might want to grow.

Study a role model. Find someone you admire for their work ethic or strategic thinking. Look for ways to adapt their methods to suit your own personality.

Use your job. Seek out opportunities to practice your soft skills. Take on a project no one else wants to head up.

Take a course. Adult education programs at your local university and online courses cover any topic you can imagine. Learn more about conflict resolution or basic grammar.

Volunteer your services. Support a worthy cause while you pick up new skills. Contact a group that interests you and propose a project that suits your mutual goals. 

Job offers and career success often depend on soft skills even if you have an advanced degree or know how to code in 5 languages. Make yourself a more valuable asset by enhancing your communications and thinking abilities.