Most times, soft skills are one essential requirement that is not usually spelt out as part of the criteria for landing a job. Still, as the workforce moves towards digital transformation, these are skills that every hiring manager is seeking for, and they’re a must-have in order to land your dream job and also move up the ladder in your career when you must have secured the ‘perfect’ job. In the past, to secure and hold on to a job, you needed an impressive portfolio of technical skills. A civil engineer needed to show he could conceive, design and build major structural projects in the public and private sector; Surgeons needed to show that they could perform surgery. However, the professional world has moved past these academic demands to other personal attributes that enable you to relate well with clients and colleagues. There are top-notch doctors out there. But beyond the skill set they possess, why do you feel comfortable consulting with a particular doctor? Sometimes, you are ready to wait endless hours just to have him see you while there may be other doctors ready to attend to you. In this case, the doctor you feel comfortable with has developed soft skills that enable him to interact with his patients. In other words, while your qualifications may get you a foot in the door, in reality, it is the soft skills that you have perfected that helps you get through the door and keep the door open for more opportunities.
Soft skills are a set of interpersonal skills, personal attributes, or if you like, people skills that enables you to interact well with people around you. Unlike the hard skills that you might have acquired through training, certifications and years of studying, soft skills are much harder to define or put a finger on. They may include skills such as empathy, listening, teamwork, conflict resolution, problem-solving, decision-making and leadership.
You may be a well-qualified professional in a certain top organization but your career is currently in a rut because you lack the requisite soft skills to manoeuvre your way in the business and corporate world. As a professional you may have all the certifications, has undergone the required training and know a lot about your field but seem not to be moving up the ladder. Meanwhile, in that same organization there is another professional whose qualifications are just average and yet his career is blossoming and moving at a geometric progression. In a lot of organizations today, technical skills alone are not just enough to see one through the everyday demands of the workplace. You would be rendered redundant and effective if you don’t have the people skills to interact with clients, charm them into doing business with your organization and generally hold unto previous clients. So, alongside that impressive resume that you possess, develop the required soft skills to make your hard skills truly marketable.
Just like the scenario above, every customer feels comfortable patronizing or doing business with only people they can relate to on a personal level. With new technologies and smartphones that are emerging and offer them more convenience and competitive prices at the click of a finger, customers are spoilt with choices. And so, clients will only come to you if they feel that you are able to communicate efficiently with them and make them feel like your business revolves around them because, in truth, it does.
Maybe previously it wasn’t clearly spelt out as a requirement for landing a job, now it is. Hiring managers are looking for employees who are bringing something different to their organizations, not just their CV. In an age where automation and artificial intelligence is taking over, there should be something you can offer in which the machine can’t. Recent statistics show that by 2022, the total task hours completed by humans will drop by 13%. [World Economic Forum]. Therefore, a set of the requisite soft skills up your sleeves may just help you land and keep that coveted role.
Do you have a soft skill gap? Now may be the time to do something about it. The workplace has evolved and only those with the right interpersonal skills will survive the coming disruptions.
Recruiters and hiring managers are on the lookout for applicants with the right set of hard and soft skills. At Zutzu, we’re giving you the ability to develop both.
▪ Build a range of practical experience: According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 survey, “nearly 91 per cent of employers prefer that their candidates have work experience, and 65 per cent of the total group indicate that they prefer their candidates to have relevant work experience”. These are eye-opening statistics for every job seeker. By signing to Zutzu, we will connect you with the right employers that would enable you to build your portfolio and gain relevant work experience.
▪ Develop employability skills: At Zutzu, we’re able to assign you to the right roles that would enable you to develop employability skills such as creativity, teamwork and self-motivation.
▪ Build your connections: Networking with other people allows you to build your communication skill, which is a core soft skill that is very relevant in the workplace. Zutzu can help you build your online connections and communicate with the right employers.
While most job seekers and employees are content with allowing only their hard skills to impress prospective employers, you can position yourself for the future by polishing your soft and hard skills. What kind of soft skill gap do you see in your life and what could you do today to develop yourself? Share your thoughts with the Zutzu Community and discuss soft skills further on in the comment section below.
Experience and skills Zutzu Team ZUTZU
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