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Soft skills you need to develop to boost career success

t skills you need to develop to boost career success

Remember how you always fantasized about superpowers as kids after watching Spiderman? Well, what if I told you your wish came true but you’ve never been aware all along? You are a magnet of superpowers. You have a gazillion and one ability in you that can make your life easy, which in turn can help boost success in your career and professional Journey. Soft skills are these innate abilities. They are secret superpowers that help you soar in your life, career, and workplace.

What are soft skills?

Imagine your career as a complex puzzle with a lot of pieces. Your technical knowledge and qualifications being the individual pieces. These pieces won’t come together unless you fix them one to another. In fixing them, you need all your senses to come to play. That’s exactly what Soft Skills are in your career and the workplace. That very one factor that keeps the puzzle pieces coming together one at a time. Soft Skills are the invisible force that amplifies your hard skills.

They are personal qualities and interpersonal skills that help you manage yourself, navigate situations, and have a hitch-free interaction with others. They are very important in your professional journey and are the secret enigma that drives you towards success in your career. 

Top 10 Soft skills in the workplace to boost career success

As technology advances, traditional offices are disappearing, and more and more people are working remotely or in flexible arrangements. This requires a lot of nontechnical abilities for smooth operation. 

Below are the top 10 soft skills that consistently hold high value in boosting your career, enhancing personal growth, and navigating workplace collaboration across various industries;

1. Active Listening

When you hear active listening, you almost would bluff it off and think “Oh, I do this all the time, I listen to orders from my superior and also contributions from my colleagues” Active listening isn’t just about hearing what someone says. It is about involving all your auditory arsenals when others are speaking, and following through what a person says. Imagine trying to walk through a person’s mind, it would involve paying attention to their body language, every one of their words, and even their silence. That’s what active listening is. Engaging every word that proceeds from an individual. 

2. Clear and Concise Communication

Think about relating what you do to your toddler niece. You know how you’d simplify the words and wear your acting suit in a bid to ensure your niece understands you clearly. That’s what clear communication is. It’s not just about passing a message but knowing when to use the right tone, word choice, and even visual aids to truly connect. 

Concise communication is as important as making your words clear. You don’t want to bore your teammates or superiors out every time you are required to give an opinion or presentation on a subject. Be direct, get to the point quickly, and avoid unnecessary stories or information. 

3. Effective Teamwork

Soft skills you need to develop to boost career success

As the name implies, teamwork has to do with a team coming together and working together to achieve a common goal. For instance, a football match is more than just playing nice rather, it involves a lot of synergy and leveraging each player’s strength and position on the pitch. Teamwork is leveraging each other’s strengths, respecting individual differences, and celebrating shared victory. 

4. Constructive Conflict Resolution

In a world of different people with different personalities, disagreements are inevitable. Handling these disagreements is what defines your collaboration. Constructive conflict resolution is the ability to use open communication(communication that allows for everyone’s opinion) to find win-win solutions. It involves transforming conflict into a springboard for growth, addressing disagreements productively, and finding solutions that benefit everyone.

5. Critical Thinking

This is your mental detective hat. Wearing this hat means being able to analyze information objectively, identify root causes, and consider different perspectives logically and systematically. As an employee with the ability to think critically, you can step back from the chaos, see the bigger picture, and then dissect issues logically to find the solution.

6. Creative problem-solving

Beyond logic, there’s the act of ingenuity. It’s about thinking outside the box, challenging assumptions, and coming up with innovative approaches. As someone with creative problem-solving skills, you are open to suggestions, flexible, and able to approach situations based on their unique requirements.

7. Resilience

The earth rotates on its axis once every day. When we are on the side facing the Sun, we have daylight. As Earth continues its spin, we are moved to the side facing away from our Sun, and we have nighttime. 

Our disposition on whether or not the earth is facing the sun means It will not always be daytime. Sometimes, Life throws curveballs at us, but how you bounce back defines your trajectory. Just like how the earth’s rotation creates a balance between day and night, being resilient is also about finding balance in life. Whether it’s in your career, marital, or social life, finding balance and ways to cope with challenges when your career takes a turn and transitions into the night is the exact way to show resilience. Believe it or not, there will always be nighttime, but resilience allows you to learn from setbacks, adapt to change, and keep moving forward with a positive attitude and determination.

8. Time Management

Time Management and Personal Organisation go hand in hand. It’s called self-management. It involves organizing your workload effectively, scheduling priorities, and making the most effective and efficient use of your time. Whether you’re a professional, learning a skill, or transitioning into a new field – being accountable, and disciplined enough to ensure that your work is completed promptly and ensuring deadlines are met are all qualities any organization would kill to have in an individual.

9. Emotional Intelligence

Emotions are not entities, they don’t own us but they are choices we become when we handle situations in a certain way. Most negative emotions such as anger are usually born from a wrong perspective. But being able to understand and manage emotions, both your own and those of others, is the superpower you need to build strong relationships and navigate complex situations in the workplace. For you to be highly intelligent emotionally, you need to first understand your strengths, weaknesses, values, and goals. Be empathetic and able to control impulsive reactions, especially in a work environment.

10. Effective Negotiation

This is a very important skill to have as you journey through your career. When you advance to a certain level, it’s crucial to be able to articulate your needs, come up with a win-win outcome for both parties, and advocate for your interests without being overly aggressive. This is not just about winning, it entails communicating your ideas while reaching mutually beneficial agreements with partners, clients, or teammates.

How to develop soft skills for career success in the workplace

Soft Skills are like muscles that if never used would never grow. Here are some ways to develop the best soft skills to enhance our lives and boost career success.

1. Identification and Assessment

To be able to achieve a high level of personal effectiveness, you have to be self-aware. Seeing ourselves clearly helps us to be more comfortable, confident, and make smarter decisions. 

A thorough self-assessment involves taking a deep dive into your personal skill set, thoroughly being honest with yourself, and knowing your shortcomings and strengths. If you sometimes struggle to express your ideas clearly or navigate conflict-ridden situations, knowing your strengths and weaknesses is the first step toward targeted improvement. 

Assessment can be achieved by;

  • Reflecting on your current strengths and areas for improvement.
  •  Seeking feedback from colleagues, and mentors.
  • Taking self-assessment test.

Identification on the other hand involves identifying specific soft skills that align with your career goals and industry requirements.

2. Build Your Fortress of Knowledge

Knowledge is that thing that fuels the flame of your innate abilities. It involves mastering your abilities and taking advantage of the possibilities within your environment. To gain more knowledge and wisdom on everything from effective communication to emotional intelligence, you need to be able to 

  • Take online courses.
  • Read self-help books.
  • Learn and teach others.
  • Socialize.
  • Join a social group that has the same goal as you.

3. Practice 

Remember, soft skills aren’t just theoretical concepts. They’re muscles that need constant exercise. Embrace every opportunity to put your learnings into action. Actively listen to colleagues, collaborate on projects, volunteer for presentations, and even step outside your comfort zone to take on leadership roles. Every interaction, every challenge, is a chance to fine-tune your skills and become a more well-rounded professional.

4. Seek Feedback and Feedback Some More

Knowing what other people think about you is not always a sign of weakness. It can be a crucial step in your growth Journey. You need to be able to ask for honest criticism from colleagues, mentors, or even trusted friends then use their insights to identify blind spots and adjust your approach. 

5. Continuous Learning

Remember, “The Hero’s Journey Never Ends”.

Soft skill development is not a one-time sprint, but a lifelong marathon. Stay curious, embrace new challenges, and constantly seek opportunities to expand your knowledge and skill set. Attend conferences, network with inspiring individuals, and keep reading, learning, and growing.

Make your Mark

In today’s competitive job market, technical skills are no longer enough. To truly stand out, you need to master your soft skills. These are the personal qualities and interpersonal skills that help you work effectively with others, manage yourself, and navigate different situations. It’s more important than ever to be able to manage your own emotions and understand the emotions of others. This is essential for building trust, resolving conflict, and creating a positive work environment. Investing in your soft skills is one of the best things you can do for your career. It will make you a more valuable employee, a better teammate, and a more successful person overall.




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