In an earlier issue, we discussed ensuring that your soft skills were on point when you start applying for jobs. For those of you who are not sure what a soft skill is, a soft skill is a skill that you have that isn’t technically something you can vocalize on your resume. For instance, things such as being on time, being dependable, and being resourceful.
The problem lies in knowing where the strengths of your soft skills lie and what they are. We’ve broken them down here to give you a good idea of how to at least go about finding your soft skills and knowing which ones you should develop.
Emotional: Emotional soft skills include things such as being enthusiastic, positive, and outgoing. No one is saying that you have to hop around like a cheerleader on speed, but we are saying that it’s a good idea to develop skills that make people want to work with you. A smile can go a long way. Even if you are having a bad day, your positive attitude will make a world of difference when interacting with employees and clients.
How You Look: Should it matter how you look if you do your job and do it well? Yes, and here’s why. Your company is either selling a product or a service. And to do either of those, they need to have people who the public can trust. Would you give your investment money to a banker or to someone who had their pants around their ankles and wearing shirts 8 sizes too large for them? Of course not, and no one expects you to. You are not only selling the service or product, you are selling yourself as someone who is knowledgeable about the product or service you are selling. If you are not able to present yourself, how do you expect to present your product?
Political: We aren’t talking about picketing or showing up at various events. We are talking about your ability to stay out of the politics that run rampant in any work place. You have to walk a fine line between being interested in what’s going on in the company and being too interested in what’s going on in the company. Tact is your friend and it’s a skill you should hone to perfection. Know the difference between helping out and being taken advantage of. These are key things that you are going to have to develop to survive in any place of business.
Negative Emotions: There are some days it just can’t be avoided. However, it’s how you handle your emotions that will tell you who is going to win the race. You are not always going to be put into ideal situations at work. We all have bad days. The trick is to not let it affect your work. Go in, square your shoulders and get started. If you get into a work routine, the day will take care of itself. If you’re having to reprimand someone as part of management, screaming at your employees is not acceptable in any work situation. This not only opens you up to legal problems, it opens the company up for them as well. Your job in any situation is to turn that bad situation into an ideal situation. Consider paring criticism with encouragement. Try it!
The Job You Do: Yes, you know how to lift 50 pounds, work 80 different software programs, and you climbed Mount St. Helens when you were 6. But can you do the job that is being asked of you? The words on your resume may be super and fantastic, but if your quality of work is lacking, you won’t be there for long. It’s fine and dandy to know the program that you are using at work, but do you know it well enough to produce results? What is your follow through like? Do you complete projects that you are given? Are you a perfectionist? When you do that presentation or speak to someone just off the street, do you sound like you know what you’re talking about? Is your work quality in line? If you’re using welding tools, are all the safety points being considered? That PowerPoint presentation you submitted recently, is everything spelled correctly? You are not only being judged by how you look, but by the type of work you are producing. Make sure that yours is worth remembering.
Soft skills are skills that are often overlooked when applying for, or even when you are on the job. They are skills that can greatly impact your work experience. They cannot only take you to the next level when developed properly but they can also keep you back when they aren’t. Make your soft skills work for you! △