The most successful technology professionals use a combination of soft skills and tech skills to get ahead in their careers. In general, students and working professionals in technology stress more over their technical skills than their soft skills, but one should be aware that developing soft skills right from the beginning will benefit greatly in their professional life in the long run. According to a Deloitte report, soft skill-intensive jobs will make up 63% of all jobs by 2030. These skills might take days or months or even years for one to master depending upon how much you apply and improvise.
Here is a list of soft skills vital for a person in technology.
Being clear and concise is a sign of a good communicator. As easy as it may sound this skill has got a lot of facets to it, since it differs when you deal with different members of your own team, other departments, clients, the client’s end-user, and other stakeholders. Again, the way of communication varies when it comes to presentations, emails, documentation, on calls, face-to-face conversations, meetings, also how you communicate an issue in the ticket system.
For a tech professional, it is essential to communicate complex ideas in the simplest form; taking into account the group or person they are addressing, using excessive jargon and technical words when communicating to a less technical person will just end up in poor communication. In addition to being good at communication, one must essentially possess the skill of being a good listener too. Poor communication can become an obstacle when expressing the best solutions and ideas.
Teamwork and collaboration
Tech jobs are often stereotyped as being best for people who like to work independently or introverts; while working by yourself is a good idea for a lot of individuals, collaborating and working in a team has its own set of benefits. Collaborating with others helps in the exchange of ideas, and skills; brainstorming to come up with the best solutions to problems that one might not have thought of while working individually.
Working in a team can be fun and helps one become more productive. Sometimes there are chances of working with cross-functional teams – having people of different organizational roles and different behavior, the ability to communicate and interpret what they are communicating and working effectively with them becomes essential.
Time Management and Organisation
Organizing one’s work and managing time well for daily tasks ensures efficiency and productivity. Individuals might find themselves getting piled up with tasks, working longer hours, and left feeling confused, anxious, and stressed out if one doesn’t take these soft skills into account. Poor performance and missing project deadlines are effects of lacking organization and time management skills.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Organizations are undergoing rapid digital transformations, being able to adapt and work well with these changes will help you thrive in your career. There might be projects coming across one’s way that will require learning new technologies and adopting new skills to successfully complete them.
Foreseeing critical circumstances and analyzing the best possible solutions and making the right decisions accordingly. Ability to solve problems in a logical and organized approach.
Ability to take criticism well
“To make mistakes or be wrong is human. To admit those mistakes shows you have the ability to learn, and are growing wiser.”
― Donald L. Hicks
Nobody is perfect, even high-level experts can make mistakes or might lack certain skills in their area, admitting them and taking feedback and criticism positively is something one should do. Being self-aware and working on oneself is the way to be.
To put oneself in others’ shoes and appreciate their efforts and acknowledge and understand the problems faced by them is rare. Being empathetic toward your teammates, clients, clients’ end-users, and managers will ensure better work relations and a more positive approach to work.
Employers look for candidates who show an eagerness to learn new things and are passionate about their area of interest. Showing willingness to stay on top of the trends, brainstorming, asking questions, experimenting with new techniques, coming up with new ideas are skills everybody should have to get ahead in their careers.
Working on these soft skills from today step-by-step will ensure you benefit from them in the latter stages of your career. Some of the soft skills for tech professionals mentioned are important in life in general. Don’t forget to highlight soft skills during an interview, a job application, on a resume or cover letter, as it has been proven to give candidates a competitive advantage.