© Carole Kanchier, PhD
Soft Skills Needed in Today’s Work World
What are soft skills?
Think of soft skills as your personal skills — things that make you a great employee outside of the technical skills needed for the job.
While there is an abundance of soft skills, here are top soft skills employers are looking for in 2020:
1. Time management
Our lives are busier than ever, the pace of work is constantly increasing, and the distractions are never-ending.
The average employee reportedly wastes about eight hours on tasks that are totally unrelated to their jobs. And, that lost productivity comes at a high cost for employers.
Therefore, many employers actively pursue employees who can juggle multiple projects and deadlines, while ignoring distractions.
Regardless of what job you’re in, you need to communicate effectively with others—both verbally and in writing – to perform responsibilities well.
3. Business writing
Nearly every job requires some writing expertise—whether you’re writing emails or in-depth reports.
And, that’s why the ability to express yourself clearly with the written word is a quality that will get you noticed for jobs you want, and strong business writing skills help you perform more efficiently and effectively in the office.
4. Creativity and innovation
Considering the world is constantly evolving, employers are increasingly looking for employees who can stay ahead of the curve.
In many cases, employers look for team members who can think beyond limitations and push the company to grow, advance, and innovate.
Even if you won’t be spearheading a team, honing your leadership abilities will make you much more confident in whatever role you’re in.
Maybe you don’t earn your paycheck through commissions, but chances are good you still need to do plenty of selling throughout your career.
You need to sell a potential employer on the fact that you’re the most qualified candidate. You also need to sell your manager on the fact that your idea is a good one. The list goes on.
With those things in mind, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some sales skills under your belt to make those conversations that require negotiation and persuasion at least a little bit easier.
Of course, if you work in a marketing capacity, this skill is a must for being competitive in your field. Much like sales, at least a little marketing knowledge is also needed to get yourself ahead in your career.
You need to know how to effectively promote yourself and your abilities—whether you’re aiming to land a new job or climb the ladder with your current employer.
8. Data Analytics
Data analysis is a growing career field If you currently work in a data-related position, you can look forward to continued demand and career growth. But, make no mistake, this is an impactful and impressive skill to have—even if your chosen profession has nothing to do with digits at first glance. A basic level of knowledge to analyze and understand that information will make you desirable in the eyes of employers. At another level, learn how to transform dull data into engaging reports and visualizations.
Although the capabilities that specific employers are looking for can run the gamut, research agrees that the above skills are currently sought after by many employers, and will continue to be prioritized in the future. So hone them. You’ll be ready to take your career to the next level.