By Greg.Digital “Mr. Meditate & Motivate”
Peace to the tribe, welcome to the Holistic Hallway.
“Sometimes the greatest gift, is the gift of gab”
Back in 2015, I spoke with my cousin Antoine about how he got a job in the tech industry within his first month of being released from prison. When I asked him how exactly he got the job, “soft skills and the gift of gab,” were his response. Outside of having the coding skills; knowing what to say and when to say it can help put you in very powerful positions. Most tech companies want to know if you’re a team player, if you’re willing to advance your learning, if you have leadership skills to pick up the ball when it’s needed or if you’re enthusiastic about what you do.
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are the personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success on the job. Soft skills characterize how a person interacts in his or her relationships with others, creates trust, dependability, and lead teams.
Unlike hard skills that are learned, soft skills are similar to emotions or insights that allow people to “read” others. These are much harder to learn, at least in a traditional setting. They are also much harder to measure and evaluate.
In essence, they are essential for your success in the workplace, your company’s success, and your personal life.
Other Soft Skills:
Team collaboration practice
- System knowledge: Jira, hp alm, Testrail, Postman, Google Docs.
What are Soft Skills important?
Most interactions with other people require some level of soft skills. At a company you might be negotiating to win a new contract, presenting your new idea to colleagues, networking for a new job, and so on. We use soft skills every day at work and developing these soft skills will help you win more business and accelerate your career progression.
Another benefit of soft skills in the workplace is that they help people adapt to changing circumstances. Being able to communicate effectively during a time of uncertainty or collaborate with others when solutions aren’t immediately obvious is hugely important; whether someone is in a leadership position or not. Given their many applications, it’s hardly a surprise that organizations are doing more to assess a candidate’s soft skills during the interview process.
- Increased productivity - Employees' efficiency in their tasks and responsibilities increases which will help bring the company closer to achieving its goals.
- Improved teamwork - For a business to function effectively people must work well together in order to achieve a common goal. The quality of work improves when people use their individual strengths and skills together in collaboration.
- Improved retention rates - People want to work at a company that invests in employees' career development, in fact, 63% of UK employees would change their employer if they are offered a job at a company with more training opportunities. Also, recruitment costs for the company decrease with increased staff retention.
- Improved employee satisfaction - Investing in employees' shows them that they are valued. Feeling appreciated and having a positive outlook of the company increases job satisfaction.
- Improves leadership - Soft skills help prepare employees for leadership positions because specific skills are needed, such as active listening, empathy, etc. This is important because 50% of employees leave their job due to poor managers.
- Attracts new clients - If your clients are happy with your company’s service, they are more likely to recommend you to other clients. This provides your company with new business opportunities.
How to develop Soft Skills.
It’s never too late to develop soft skills. For example, you can learn a lot just by observing other people within a company who excel in these seven areas. Also, offering to take on more responsibilities at work (serving on committees, planning events, etc.) can help you gain valuable experience. In addition, consider taking online soft-skills courses. Developing emotional intelligence will make you a more valuable employee, and increase your chances of career success.
Employee assessments can also reveal areas where improvements could be made, which makes it easier to put together a development plan to address those needs. People often focus specifically on technical skills or competencies when planning their development. Neglecting soft skills can make it difficult to succeed in future positions that require a high degree of emotional intelligence and social interaction (in other words, just about any leadership position).
What are employers looking for?
- Enthusiasm for coding
- Enthusiasm for problem-solving
- Enthusiasm for Tools
- Understanding of Git and Sub-Version Control
- Strong Foundation of Project Management, Agile, and PM Tools
- Dedication to always learning something new
- Willingness to put hours into learning and problem-solving
- Experience with multiple different languages, frameworks
- Strong Interpersonal Skills:
- Effective communication
- Listening skills
- Creative Thinking
- adaptability, attitude, communication, creative thinking, work ethic, teamwork, networking, decision making, positivity, time management, motivation, flexibility, problem-solving, critical thinking, and conflict resolution. creativity, persuasion, collaboration.
How to nail the interview with Soft Skills
Perseverance and dedication
Perseverance and dedication represent your work ethic. Both of these skills are invaluable to employers. These are skills that are more inherent rather than taught, which is why they’re regarded so highly. Highlight your perseverance and dedication when talking about your accomplishments, job responsibilities, and answering the ‘why do you want to work here?’ question. You can also showcase your perseverance when talking about problem-solving, as these skills go hand in hand.
Problem-solving skills are easily demonstrated throughout the entire interview. One standout place where you can highlight your problem-solving abilities is when you’re asked to describe a past accomplishment. Rather than just saying what you did, describe how you did it. Outline the steps you took to reach the end result. You can talk about how you overcame obstacles along the way to success or how you found a solution by addressing challenges as they came up.
Teamwork and collaboration
Teamwork and collaboration are important parts of any job regardless of the position you’re interviewing for. To showcase your teamwork and collaboration skills, avoid making too many ‘I’ statements and replace them with ‘we’. When you’re talking about your accomplishments, be sure to mention how you collaborated with your colleagues or played a role as part of a team.
Being able to adapt to different situations is a key skill in the workplace, which makes adaptability one of the most frequently used soft skills. There will always be times that you need to step outside your typical responsibilities. This can range from pitching in on a project to taking over if a colleague quits unexpectedly. One surefire place to showcase your adaptability is when you’re talking about your previous job responsibilities. You can describe a time that you went above and beyond your daily work or how you stepped in to help when you noticed someone needed help.
Creativity is finding a unique solution to a problem. It’s approaching something from a different angle. It's innovation and diversity in thinking. It’s a part of so many aspects of work, from problem-solving to communication, leadership, and so much more. Creativity can be a bit more challenging to showcase, especially when you’re in a technical or administrative role, but it’s not as difficult as you might think.
Time management is a critical skill for every employee to have, regardless of job or title. To showcase your time management skills, talk about how you were able to stay on track with a deadline or how you created a timeline to keep a project on track. Never say outright that you’re good at time management, prove it instead.
This is the easiest skill of all to demonstrate – your role in an interview is to persuade the interviewer to hire you! Demonstrate your persuasion skills by clearly stating and elaborating on your answers. Use persuasion along with your communication skills to showcase why you’re the right candidate for the job.
All of these skills are actually related to each other, so you should find yourself describing them multiple times throughout your interview, and not always exclusively. Remember to clarify your answers with a ‘how’ statement, which allows you to talk about things in more detail.
Soft Skills can be learned. Most employers want to know you have soft skills. You can acquire a job in the tech industry by having soft skills before you have mastered coding as long as you’re willing to further your learning. A lot of companies will hire you if even if you only know the basics of certain tools and languages. They will essentially pay you to learn if it’s beneficial to them. We use soft skills daily whether we realize it or not. Remember to adapt, work on time management, remain creative, be persuasive. Sometimes the gift of gab can put you where you want to be.
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