Soft Skills For Today’s Job Market
July 20, 2021 by Alexis Babiarz
Getting a new job has never been an easy task, but now that remote work has become the ‘new normal,’ in many ways, it’s become even more difficult. No longer is an in-person interview a routine, relatively early step in the process. No more are we likely to meet hiring managers at job fairs and kick things off with a handshake. Still, many job requirements remain in place — and those include soft skills.
Soft skills are the know-how that today’s workers are expected to possess regardless of their seniority level. Showcasing possession of these characteristics in applications is a great way to stand out from the online crowd. Here we give our top soft skills to hone, whether you’re looking for a new position or are perfectly happy where you are.
Thinking and acting outside the box, especially when it comes to ideation and problem solving, are huge boons to any employer. In order to cultivate this sort of ingenuity, put the fear of misstepping on the back burner.
As Barbara Dyer writes in a piece for Fortune.com: “Invention entails freedom to run in multiple directions, often at once: What if we tried this? What if we added that? It necessitates failure – preferably early – in order to get it right.”
Siloed working has gone the way of the dinosaurs. Today’s workplace is one that prizes collaboration — so playing well with others (and showing that you can do so) is of high importance in landing a new job.
Here’s some good news if you’re not a natural collaborator: The first step to becoming one might be as easy as closing your mouth and just listening to your coworkers.
“Collaboration in the workplace takes into account [other] employees’ ideas, skills, experiences, and opinions,” Jamie Yan writes in a blog post for simpplr.com. “When individuals work together openly, processes and goals become more aligned, leading the group towards a higher success rate of achieving a common goal.”
To many people, the word ‘leadership’ conjures images of a sharply dressed executive with a long set of hard skills cultivated over decades at large companies. But the truth is that being a good leader comes from having a far more intrinsically human quality: caring.
“It’s love that shows up in meeting the needs of others to get results, clearing obstacles from people’s paths, and empowering others to succeed and grow as workers and human beings,” Marcel Schwantes writes in a piece for Inc.com. “It has intrinsic value for both leader and employee. Ultimately, it’s this kind of love that defines some of the best CEOs on the planet.”
This one’s no surprise, but a highly valued skill among job applicants is the ability to effectively communicate with coworkers and supervisors alike. Of course, this requires some degree of finesse. Clear communication doesn’t mean brutal honesty, nor does it mean giving coworkers a constant stream of play-by-plays.
A good place to start? Focusing on writing or saying what you mean and losing the jargon.
“The best way to make sure your message is clear to anyone not familiar with your department’s specific jargon is to not use buzzwords at all,” a Ladders.com blog post reads, in part. “Think of it this way: If you were speaking to your mother about a problem at work and she had no idea what your job was, how would you explain it to her? Use this approach regardless of who you are communicating with and the method used, whether via email, chat, text, or video. “
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