In January, we talked about why Managers need to develop their team's soft skills, but as a team member there are steps you can take on your own. Why develop your soft skills? Some argue they are just, if not more, important as your hard skills.
To land a job, you typically need to meet a few technical requirements. Welders need mechanical ability. Engineers need to be certified. Administrators need basic computer skills. But beyond certification, which Engineer is likely to excel? The one who gets the job done but has a hard time admitting mistakes or the one who works hard and encourages his colleagues?
Your hard skills may get you in the door, but your soft skills will open more doors of opportunity.
Soft skills span a wide range of personal attributes that are non-technical in nature. There are many positive soft skills a person can have, here are 5 to consider developing for your career growth.
Team Player Mentality
Most jobs require some degree of collaboration – in fact, a company's success is rarely dependent on one person doing something on their own. Your ability to work well with others with a positive attitude can make or break your tenure at a company. Being able to collaborate well with your co-workers strengthens the quality of your work.
Open to Feedback
The ability to gracefully receive developmental feedback is crucial for any individual to grow – especially in a new role. This feedback is only meant to help you do the best you can, getting defensive will only hurt yourself in the long run. The key is to walk into those conversations from a place of kindness. You are only receiving constructive feedback that can help you more effectively hit your goals.
Going hand-in-hand with "Open to Feedback," growth mindset is the ability to reflect on your abilities and skills to see how you can improve and excel. Instead as looking at your setbacks and challenges as complete failures, look at them as opportunities to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Adaptive to Change
Your job, company, professional environment and industry are always changing. A positive attitude towards change, whether it's a company take-over or a simple seat shuffle, can go a long way. It's important to not only accept the change but embrace it. You'll be seen as a leader and role model in the company.
It's inevitable that things will go wrong throughout your career. You can either complain about them or take action. Taking initiative to solve a problem and navigate challenges is what will get you noticed and make you indispensable to an employer.
Developing these skills to advance your career is certainly easier said than done. It takes a conscious effort, willingness and commitment to self-develop, but what weaves all of them together is keeping a positive attitude.