Soft Skills: The Fast Track To Career Success?

The simple truth of finding success in today’s business world is that your intellect, competency and talent is not enough to take you to the top in your career. You need more about you, and developing what is known as your ‘soft skills’ will help you complete your transformation to someone that is not just respected for their knowledge, but liked, admired and trusted. Soft skills also help you be remembered, so when the time comes to put yourself up for promotion, it’s your face that your employers and leadership teams will have in mind.

In today’s guide, we’re going to run through some of the best soft skills you can develop to help you achieve success in the workplace. Soft skills are essential if you want to take steps into leadership positions, get promotions, or just get a lot more out of your role. Let’s take a closer look at all the options available to you, and start you on the path towards achieving the career you deserve.

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Communication

If you can’t communicate with other people, you have no hope of achieving any kind of success in your career. However, this is not just about making tubthumping speeches, rallying the troops or even being able to use over intellectualized words. Instead, it’s about developing your ability to adjust your tone and style to fit the audience. You need to be able to explain complex issues and instructions to colleagues and customers in a simple way so that everyone is under no illusion about what you are saying. But also, don’t forget to listen. A lot of people hear what others are saying in the workplace environment, but when it comes to actually listening – and understanding – what others say, it’s a remarkable few that can do it effectively.

Leadership

Some people are born leaders, as the old saying goes. But make no mistake about it, this applies to very few people, and the truth is that leadership is something that the vast majority learn as they progress in their careers. It’s an essential soft skill – and a collection of other soft skills – that will make you a better decision maker. If there are leadership or management courses available to you at work, take them. Be brave in the workplace, too – put yourself forward for low-level project management tasks at first, and use them as a learning experience. If you don’t develop your leadership skills, you will fail to develop your career sufficiently – it’s that simple.

Self-motivation

Unless you have a positive attitude and can use your own initiative to get stuff done, your career will be limited. Everyone respects a hard worker, of course, but even people who work their fingers to the bone can be a problem if they always require constant monitoring and supervision. Your self-motivation will show you to be reliable and committed to your role, and also that you can fit in perfectly with your company’s organizational structure. And once people trust you, you will be winning half the battle on the road to career success.

Responsibility

Do you take responsibility for your mistakes at work? Being self-aware enough to own up is actually a great way to demonstrate your humility and a willingness to learn. Everyone makes mistakes – it’s how we deal with them and learn from them that counts. But you should also take responsibility in terms of taking on other projects or roles. For example, could you become a health and safety representative for your company? Ask yourself: “Could I get fire training, or are there CPR classes near me?” Show yourself as willing to take on valuable roles for your company, and your career will get a boost.

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Learn to Solve Problems

It’s something of a myth that you are either a problem solver or not. There are plenty of examples of business analysts spending weeks – and a lot of money – trying to find time and cost savings on factory floors, who end up choosing the same solution recommended by a ‘lowly’ factory worker. Problem-solving is more about a state of mind, not just having creative, critical and analytical skills. If you can work with people, have a cool and level head, and know who can help you find the right answer to a specific problem, you are a problem solver.

Be Decisive

Don’t be afraid of being decisive, but at the same time, it’s vital to recognize the difference between decisiveness and recklessness. Learn to put things into perspective. Use your experience to weigh up your options. And start using all the information you have learned and have at your disposal to anticipate what will happen if you do x instead of y. Again, this is something you can learn over time. As your confidence and workplace education grow, becoming more decisive is a natural consequence.

Be Cool

If you want to achieve the best possible career in your life, it’s going to do you a lot of favors if you can remain calm in times of strife. The reality is that is you want to progress, it will involve facing up to demanding situations, tough deadlines, and incredible stress. Staying cool under pressure also requires you to sharpen up your time management skills. If you can organize your day more efficiently, you will b in a better position to prioritize your tasks better, take more on, and avoid stressful scenarios cropping up.

Be Flexible

Finally, when you take a look at the average workplace, you will find something quite striking. There will be plenty of folks who are happy remaining in their personal comfort zones and will only do what’s required. They use their ‘hard skills’ to perform their roles, but are not open-minded enough to take on new challenges. Then there are the other people, who do the opposite. They are more flexible, willing to work on things that might not be directly related to the role stated in their contract. And guess which of these two separate groups tend to do better in their careers? Learn to be more flexible, and you will reap the rewards.

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