The ever-changing job market is setting the bar high for job seekers. Technology is transforming, new and old professions are blending, and there is a growing demand for professionals with sharpened and versatile competencies. How do employers see a new employee today? What skills should he have?
Soft or hard?
“A great mind will show strength not only in the ability to think, but also in the ability to live”. Р. W. Emerson
There are two types of skills in professional fields:
- hard skills. These are technical competencies which a person possesses. They relate more to a person’s developed or acquired skills (e.g., driving, programming languages, foreign languages, and others). Mostly skills are related to the main activity and emphasize professional competence. However, hard skills require constant work and improvement, as they are prone to obsolescence.
- Soft skills (“soft” or “flexible” skills). Unlike hard skills, they are not defined visually. They include managerial, communicative skills – that is, the properties that a person possesses. “Soft skills” do not become obsolete as quickly, require less correction and are more universal: they help a person to achieve heights regardless of professional qualities.
How to develop soft skills yourself
For successful career building, “flexible” skills are extremely important, and they are now very popular and in demand in all business spheres. In order to work on your competencies, first of all, you should divide them into areas and work on each of them:
- Communication skills (negotiation, meetings, teamwork, etc.).
- Personal effectiveness (planning and setting goals, control of emotions and stress, readiness for changes, the ability for self-development, etc.).
- Management skills (mentoring, task control, delegation, etc.)
- Leadership skills (ability to prioritize, flexibility, ability to solve complex tasks and problems, etc.)
- Additional skills that are required for a particular position.
Communication, listening and negotiating skills are required in almost any field. Time management skills are no less valuable: working out an individual schedule of work and rest, understanding the most productive hours – that is, creating a reliable concept that will help not to lose a single minute and show the greatest labor efficiency. A. Friedman talks about the ability to plan the workday in his course “Corporate Chronophages: Finding and Disarming.”
“I don’t believe that anyone can do today’s work in yesterday’s ways and stay in business tomorrow.”Н. Jackson
Of course, the development of soft skills happens throughout life. A certain percentage of competencies is built at an early age. Such skills as diligence and carefulness are mainly developed in childhood. Communication skills are developed at school, universities, and during family and friendship contacts. However there is a number of unique management and leadership skills, which can be learned at any age, and now, in the era of modern technology, remotely in the online school of Premium Management.
Deficient “soft” skills: what are employers looking for?
According to research by HeadHunter, employers primarily look for the following “flexible” skills for managerial positions:
Executive soft skills:
- entrepreneurial spirit;
- ability to work with people;
The difficulty with this group of skills is that they are difficult to demonstrate and even more difficult to test. Valuable “soft” skills are inherent in a person who has the ability to use different models of behavior, understands and feels the line between public and own interests, shows creativity, and is able to set priorities. It is the ability to find a way out of a situation in several variants, the ability to see its halftones and find non-standard solutions that are among the most important skills of a manager in the soft skills category.
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Soft skills of developers, project managers:
The problem of modern society is that our education, in principle, has a theoretical orientation. By and large, students who have graduated from a good university do not have experience and practical skills in their chosen field of work. Therefore, when they take up a position, a new round of training awaits them, only now it is a direct introduction to the profession. And it is here that soft skills come to the rescue – the skills that a person possesses regardless of the education received. And communication skills are especially important because any business is a team game, where the effectiveness of the whole team depends on the work and motivation of one “player”.
Soft skills of a sales manager:
2) stress resistance;
3) work ethics;
5) independent work.
When looking for employees for a large company, the employer first of all wants to see a responsible, reliable person who will comply with the work ethic (perform the assigned tasks in a timely manner and understand their value for the development of the company). “Soft Skills” will help the manager build positive relationships with colleagues and supervisor, such an employee strives to improve his or her work and is eager to grow and self-learn.
Very important qualities for this category of employees are the ability to build sales correctly and knowledge of techniques that improve interaction with any client. You can learn how to negotiate, how to build a conversation with the client and successfully close the deal by taking a course by Sergey Azimov “Sales. Negotiations.
“Soft” skills – a set of universal human characteristics, multipurpose and sustainable competencies required in all areas of life and activities. They do not represent anything supernatural and complicated. This means that anyone can develop professional “flexibility” and build a successful career. The main thing is to set a goal for yourself, learn new things, practice what you have learned, and move firmly in the direction of your dreams.