There are lots of articles about the soft skills that employers are focused on developing or prioritising after COVID-19. We’ve drawn inspiration from these articles and summarised some of the main soft skills below. If you can master these skills, then you’ll make yourself an attractive employment prospect in any industry!
The ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients and customers is critical for almost every position, so it’s no surprise that employers value communication skills so highly. These skills include everything from oral, written and non-verbal communication, to empathy, listening and confidence.
The New York Times bestseller Words That Work by Dr Frank Luntz might help you broaden your communication skills.
Some problems are unavoidable, but it’s how you handle those problems that really counts. Employers want workers who can approach problems calmly and methodically, and use creative thinking to find solutions. Problem-solving skills include observation, negotiation, lateral thinking, analysis, brainstorming and decision-making.
A very good book on the topic is Stop Guessing: The 9 Behaviors of Great Problem Solvers by Nat Greene.
Not all jobs are leadership-based positions where you’ll be managing a group of people. But most will require you to take the lead at some point, whether on a project, with a client or with customers. Employers value leadership skills because they demonstrate that you have the ability to make decisions, manage situations and guide others when the need arises. Leadership skills include conflict resolution, delegation, empathy, versatility and project management.
Simon Sinek, a British-American author and inspirational speaker talks about leadership in his books and interviews, find a few minutes for his TED Talk.
There are very few professions where you will work completely on your own, which makes teamwork skills essential. Employers want employees who can work well with others, even when they may not necessarily agree, and pull together in order to succeed. Some of the key teamwork-related skills include collaboration, cooperation, listening and delegation.
Arriving at work on time, completing tasks within deadlines and being organised are all part of having a strong work ethic. These actions show that you believe in the importance of your work, which will endear you to employers. Specific skills in the work ethic area include self-motivation, dependability, professionalism and discipline.
On Fire at Work by Eric Chester might be a good start for some inspiration.
Employees with a positive attitude are essential for any business. Not only can they help to make the workplace a fun and productive place, but the ability to remain positive can help to counterbalance high-stress and fast-paced working environments. Cooperation, enthusiasm, friendliness and respectfulness are some of the key related skills.
There are plenty of tips online on how to nourish the positive feelings in you. You can try something different each day. For example, you can treat yourself to some self-care after work, read some jokes before heading to work or on your commute to your office. Never skip real breaks during working hours and listen to music that matches your mood that day.
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- Publication date
- 20 April 2022
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
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