Which Soft Skills Will Be Most Important In 2021?
Soft skills are complementary to your hard skills. Soft skills are about who you are as a person, your character traits and interpersonal skills. It characterizes your relationships with the people around you. Soft skills show who you are as a person, whereas hard skills show what you know. Your soft skills help you interact with others which highly contributes to your success in the workplace.
Communication. Especially in the times of Zoom and Teams, your ability to communicate well helps you express yourself to others in a clear and understandable way, both in speaking and in writing. Communication helps you to be able to understand instructions and it helps you acquire new skills. Being able to communicate well also means being able to listen. When you truly listen to what someone else has to say you are able to answer in a meaningful way. This is why active listening is so important while communicating with others. Mat Apodaca wrote a very informative article on how to become an active listener.
Teamwork. Teamwork skills help you to work well with other people, such as colleagues, clients, managers and other people in your workplace. They are the qualities and attributes that help you work well in meetings, projects, conversations and other types of collaboration. You will be required to work with others during your whole career. You can improve your teamwork skills by asking others for feedback, using this feedback to set personal goals to improve a teamwork skill, pay attention to your teamwork interaction throughout the day, and by practicing the qualities you are trying to build. Soft skills are harder to improve, but it is not impossible. Do not wait. Get started on it today!
Responsibility. People who take responsibility for their work are more productive and successful because these people are willing to make improvements. They care about the success of their work and are not scared to be responsible when something fails. Some of the skills that will help you in taking responsibility are your motivation, trustworthiness, accountability, discipline, and honesty.
Adaptability. With the pandemic changing our work lives, having the ability to adapt and accept change is of high importance in the next year. Adaptability is about rapidly learning new skills when a situation suddenly changes and being comfortable with it. The pandemic has showed us that a situation can rapidly change and that we need to be flexible and react effectively to these changing situations in order to move forward. We need to see challenges as opportunities where we can improve.
Problem-solving. Employees who are good problem solvers tend to be more self-reliant. Problem-solving helps you to solve issues quickly and efficiently. It helps you to find the underlying problem and helps you to effectively find the most fitting solution, implement it and evaluate the effectiveness of your solution. You can increase your problem-solving skills by familiarizing yourself with issues or problems that often arrive in your area of work and prepare for them. It is also always beneficial to learn from more experienced employees who have faced such situations many times before.
As soft skills are personal strengths rather than hard skills, which are skills that are learned through education or training, most employers want to find people who show these soft skills. Mention them on your resume, cover letter, and during interviews. Do not only mention that you have that soft skill but also explain how your soft skills align with the goals of the company, it’s values and/or mission.