There are certain skills that transfer to almost every job you can imagine.
These skills are often referred to as soft skills.
There are two categories of skills in the workplace, hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical and often position-specific skills like the ability to operate a forklift. While soft skills are more general like the ability to resolve conflict.
Unlike hard skills, soft skills are intangible and cannot be measured, but are often the most valuable.
Soft skills are highly desired by employers because they are versatile and often facilitate positive relationships and workplace experiences. Those who have mastered their soft skills are often those who rise to the highest level of advancement in almost any field they pursue.
Unfortunately, employers often struggle to find employees with these oh-so-important soft skills. This is often because job seekers don’t realize just how important soft skills are or which to focus on.
To ensure that you have what employers are looking for, here is a list of the top 5 most desirable soft skills that are directly related to increased employability:
1) Effective Communication
The importance of being able to effectively communicate with others is largely underrated by many job seekers. Employers are always looking for candidates who can speak professionally and translate their thoughts and ideas into concise explanations. Not only this, but employers want to know that their employees will have the skills to communicate with all ages and abilities, tailoring their speaking tone and content to the proper audience. The quality of written communication should also be considered. Faults in one’s ability to write a concise but comprehensive resume or craft a professional-sounding email can substantially affect a job seeker's odds of gaining employment even at the earliest stages of their job search.
2) Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is without a doubt the most versatile of all soft skills. Those with high emotional intelligence are often very skilled when it comes to working with a team, understanding the needs of others, resolving conflict, and making mature decisions. These are invaluable skills in any workplace. It’s important to understand that emotional intelligence does not only come naturally with age, but young job seekers can learn it too. Younger individuals can gain this type of intelligence through proper parenting with an emphasis on empathy and self-discipline as well as through positive interactions with peers.
Now, more than ever, the ability to adapt to one’s environment is an essential skill for any successful employee. Methods of work and work environments are constantly changing with consumer needs, meaning employees must be able to quickly and successfully adapt. Not only do stellar employees adapt to their work tasks and environments, but they can also adapt to their customer or client base. In the same vein as communication, an adaptable employee can act as a chameleon of sorts, molding their personality to meet the needs of who they are assisting. Adaptability is also related to resiliency. Employers want employees who can undergo hardship as well as hear feedback for mistakes and take the necessary steps to adjust themselves accordingly.
Organized employees can produce a myriad of benefits in the workplace. On the external level, organized individuals often keep a clean and tidy workspace which translates well with clients or customers. On the internal level, organized individuals are usually better able to manage their time and schedule their tasks according to importance. An organized individual can keep track of their responsibilities and follow through on them as expected. Overall, there is nothing an employer will seek out more than a worker who can remain organized and effectively self-manage.
There is a reason that the infamous “describe an example of a conflict in a previous workplace and how you solved it” question is always asked during interviews. A good employee knows how to evaluate a problem or problematic situation, weigh their options while considering the consequences, and then execute a decision with confidence. An even better problem solver won’t just come up with a decision but will craft creative solutions that consider all factors of each unique situation and aim to benefit all parties involved.
Written by: MacKenzie Verhelst, BAPsych, CVRP-TSA
MacKenzie Verhelst is a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant for Creative Therapy Consultants. MacKenzie is a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Professional (CVRP) with Transferrable Skill Analysis (TSA) certification and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from McGill University. She demonstrates expertise in vocational assessment, resume/cover letter development, interview preparation, active job search support, and job sustainment services. MacKenzie is passionate about helping others reach their utmost potential and advocates for finding joy in work. To learn more about Vocational Rehabilitation services, please visit click here.