5 Ways to Improve Soft Skills for Career Growth

Ever wish that you had that “edge” that allowed you to walk into any interview and feel totally ready for anything that potential employers may throw your way? If you are like anyone else, you more than likely know that feeling. While we can’t guarantee that every interview will be a breeze after learning a few soft skills, you can at least grow your employability traits by boosting the following skills…

1.          Listening
Learning how to listen to instructions, feedback, concerns, questions and answers from those around you is vital in the workplace. By allowing those around you to know that they have your full attention, you are well on your way to building relationships. As such, this skill helps with networking as well as inter-personal relationships with co-workers, team members, employers and other people that you see on a daily basis. Start by taking notes during meetings and conversations, and get into the habit of summarising the main points to make sure that you understand what has been said.

2.         Confidence
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Speaking clearly, slowly and deliberately, thinking before speaking, engaging in conversations, limiting fidgets and hand gestures and listening all go a long way in presenting confidence. Even if you do not feel confident, learning how to appear so can actually help you start to feel confident after a while. Breathing slowly and steadily, maintaining eye contact (without staring anyone down of course) and staying calm will also become easier in time. Being rude, boasting about achievements and having an attitude on the other hand is only ever going to make you appear arrogant rather than confident.

3.         Manageability
This applies to how easy it is to teach or manage you as an employee or member of a team. For example, it could refer to how well you take feedback – whether you are able to listen and learn or react emotionally. Or it could also refer to whether you focus on solutions or only see the problems. Being able to do your job is one thing, but being someone who does not make supervisors and managers roll their eyes in frustration is another thing altogether. If you are able to show up to work on time, follow orders without problem, listen to feedback, learn from mistakes and generally be a team player, you should not have too many issues perfecting this skill. If on the other hand you find yourself consistently battling in almost every job, it may be time to learn how to be more manageable.

4.         Adaptability
Being flexible and adaptable is important for many reasons, not least because it show employers that you are willing to grow within the company or position. Show that you are flexible by volunteering for projects, work well with your fellow workers, demonstrate an ability to deal with problems creatively and positively and prove that you are able to work under almost any conditions without falling apart, and this skill will soon be mastered.

5.         Initiative
Showing initiative can be as easy as taking on leadership roles, solving a problem, taking on additional projects, adding a new qualification or certificate to your resume, dealing with responsibility proactively and showing employers that you are able to think out of the box and work within a team and on your own when needed. Even if you have limited skills and are applying for an entry level position, showing that you are able to seek out opportunity for growth goes a long way in getting ahead.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to boost those soft skills, be sure to show future employers that you are taking your career growth seriously by putting them into action.