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The top employability soft skills every professional should master

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: February 22, 2023

As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, it’s not just technical skills that matter. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with well-rounded, “soft” skills that can help them succeed in their roles and contribute to a positive workplace culture. In this article, we’ll explore the top employability soft skills that every professional should master to succeed in their career.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is critical for success in almost any job. It involves more than just talking – it requires active listening, thoughtful feedback, and professional writing skills. Verbal communication skills are essential for presenting ideas, giving feedback, and collaborating with colleagues. On the other hand, nonverbal communication includes body language and tone, which can convey a lot about your attitude and emotions. To be an effective communicator, it’s essential to develop both verbal and nonverbal communication skills.

Active listening is another critical component of communication. It involves fully focusing on the speaker and avoiding distractions. You should demonstrate that you are listening by nodding, summarising what the speaker has said, and asking questions for clarification.

Finally, professional writing skills are vital in many jobs. It includes writing clear and concise emails, memos, reports, and other forms of documentation. You should ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and free of errors.

Teamwork and Collaboration

Teamwork and collaboration skills are essential in almost any job that involves working with others. It involves building and maintaining relationships with colleagues, working collaboratively towards common goals, and conflict resolution and negotiation.

Building and maintaining relationships with colleagues involves being friendly, supportive, and respectful. It is essential to acknowledge the contributions of others and give credit where it is due. You should also avoid gossip or speaking negatively about colleagues.

Working collaboratively towards common goals involves understanding the goals and objectives of the team and how you can contribute to them. It’s essential to be open-minded and receptive to others’ ideas and feedback.

Conflict resolution and negotiation skills are also essential. Conflict is inevitable in any workplace, and it’s essential to be able to resolve disagreements in a professional and respectful manner. Negotiation skills are also essential in many roles, such as sales, where you may need to negotiate with clients or suppliers.

Adaptability and Flexibility

The ability to be resilient in the face of change is essential in the current job market, where technology and industry trends are constantly evolving. It involves accepting and adapting to new roles and responsibilities and embracing new technologies and work processes.

To be adaptable and flexible, you should be willing to take on new challenges and learn new skills. It is essential to be open-minded and willing to try new approaches, even if they are outside your comfort zone.

Team of skilled designers and business people working together on a project

Time Management and Organization

Time management and organisation skills are essential in any job. It involves prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines, managing workloads, and delegating tasks, and maintaining an organised workspace and schedule.

To manage your time effectively, you should prioritise tasks based on their importance and urgency. It’s also essential to set realistic deadlines for yourself and avoid over-committing. Delegating tasks can also be an effective way to manage your workload, provided you assign tasks to the right people.

Maintaining an organised workspace and schedule can also help you manage your time effectively. It’s essential to keep your workspace clean and clutter-free to avoid distractions. You should also keep a schedule and to-do list to help you manage your time effectively.

Leadership and management skills are essential for those in managerial roles. However, it is important to note that these skills are also valuable for those in non-managerial roles who are looking to advance their careers. Effective leadership involves motivating and inspiring others, setting an example for others, and fostering a positive and supportive workplace culture.

To be an effective leader, you should have a clear vision and communicate it to your team in a way that inspires and motivates them. You should be able to set realistic goals and lead by example, working alongside your team and providing guidance and support as needed. Being approachable and open to feedback is also important, as it can help you build trust and foster a positive workplace culture.

Effective decision-making and problem-solving skills are also crucial for effective leadership. This involves analysing data and information, weighing different options, and making informed decisions. When faced with a problem, it’s important to identify the root cause and develop a plan of action to address it. Effective problem-solving also requires creativity, as you may need to consider alternative solutions or think outside the box.

Finally, delegation and supervision of team members is a crucial component of effective leadership and management. You should be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of team members and delegate tasks accordingly. Delegation not only helps you manage your workload but also helps team members develop new skills and take on new challenges. However, it’s important to provide guidance and support to team members, as well as regular feedback to help them improve their performance.

How to develop your employability soft skills

Developing employability soft skills requires a combination of training, practice, and real-world experience. One way to develop these skills is by participating in workshops or training sessions focused on communication, teamwork, time management, and leadership. Online courses and tutorials are also available for those who prefer self-paced learning.

Another way to develop soft skills is by gaining experience through internships, volunteering, or part-time work. These experiences provide opportunities to work alongside others and practice skills such as communication, teamwork, and time management in a real-world setting. Internships abroad can also provide unique opportunities to develop cross-cultural communication skills and gain a broader perspective on different work environments.

It is also important to seek out feedback from colleagues, mentors, or supervisors to identify areas for improvement and continue to develop your skills. Finally, it is important to set specific goals and track progress towards achieving them. By actively working to develop employability soft skills, you can improve your chances of success in the job market and achieve your career goals.

In conclusion, mastering employability soft skills is crucial for success in the current job market. Communication skills, teamwork and collaboration, adaptability and flexibility, time management and organisation, and leadership and management are all essential skills that can help you succeed in your career. By developing these skills, you can set yourself apart from other job candidates and position yourself for success in the workplace.

By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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