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Soft Skills: Key to Career Advancement

According to CareerBuilder, “when evaluating who they will hire in 2017, 62 percent of employers rated the candidate’s soft skills as very important.” Soft skills are getting increasing attention—and rightfully so. Soft skills include a whole host of personal traits and interpersonal skills that allow you to be successful. You probably never took a quiz on them in college, but will be expected to practice them when you enter the workforce. Soft skills have been getting particular attention as millennials, the first generation of digital natives enters the workforce. The increasingly digital landscape makes these analog skills more important than ever. Conduct a quick inventory on yourself in these three key soft skills:

  1. Communication. Are you able to be clear and personal in your communication? Can you tailor your communication effectively to the format (inter-office email, client proposal, team presentation)? Are your oral or written skills stronger? How can you strengthen them? Who are communicators who you look up to? What do they do well?

  2. Teamwork. How do you get along with your coworkers? Have your relationships with your coworkers improved or deteriorated with time? Do your coworkers find you reliable in projects you work on together? Do you invest in the good of the team as a whole, over and above what helps you?

  3. Time management. Do you accomplish projects in the allotted time? Are teammates regularly waiting on you when working together on a project? How quickly do you return emails? What ways can you better plan ahead and stay ahead of deadlines? Are there distractions you can eliminate at work?

There is always room to grow with soft skills. Consider reading a book on a topic you’re interested in and mining the treasure-trove of TED Talks. What valuable lessons have you learned about soft skills over the course of your career? Join us on social media to share.