If you’re looking to make yourself more marketable in the job market, or if you just want to uplevel yourself in your current position, working on your “soft skills” is a great place to start. Here at Catalyst, we actually don’t love the term “soft skills” because that term makes them sound unimportant! Our good friend and advisor here at Catalyst Development, Jenna Scott, likes to call them “HUMAN SKILLS.” Either way, it will benefit you to have more confidence in your abilities when it comes to these skills because they’re useful in pretty much every job. Here are the my top five most important soft skills that employers want you to have. In the coming weeks, I’ll address each one of these skills individually and we’ll discuss how to cultivate and improve them.
If you want to impress your boss or interviewer, the first skill to master is communication. If you’re job searching, you should definitely include this one somewhere on your resume. It’s the heart of relationships in business and one of the most important skills employers are looking for. Whether it’s clear and concise writing or public speaking, being able to articulate your thoughts fluently will help you land your next job (or promotion).
Remember when the pandemic first started and we all had to change the way we’d been doing things? Suddenly we were doing Zoom meetings and inventing new ways to do old tasks. Well, those who thrived were those who were adaptable.
Flexibility shows an employer that you’re open to changes in the work environment and able to quickly adapt to different situations without complaint. You’ll be surprised how much the employers will appreciate this trait when they know how quickly things can change in the business world!
Time management is one of the most important skills to have in any job, and yet it’s also a notoriously difficult skill to master for most people. It’s not just about doing more – it’s about prioritizing correctly so that you’re happier and less stressed in all areas of your life, not just at work.
Effective time management is so rare that if you can honestly say that you’re comfortable with time management, it will be a skill that gives you a competitive advantage and sets you apart from your peers.
Creativity is an underappreciated skill by many in the business world, but in my opinion, there’s not a single industry or company that wouldn’t benefit from more of it. After all, every big innovation, no matter the industry, was the result of someone thinking creatively.
Every team needs a creative problem solver. When a project starts to get complicated, everyone looks to the critical thinker, the person who has the ability to think outside the box and be innovative. Creative problem solving skills can mean the difference between success and failure in so many scenarios.
I saved the best for last – interpersonal skills, also known as emotional intelligence or being a “people person,” are maybe the most important of all. From dealing with conflict to negotiating a salary, you’ll need these skills at every turn in your career.
If you think you have to be an extrovert or naturally gifted at working with people, think again! These skills CAN be learned, and I’ll have tips to help you do it.
Emma Blankenship is the Chief Strategy Officer at Catalyst Development and a certified career and life coach. As a writer, she has several published academic articles and awards. She is also an accomplished songwriter and recording artist.