The Soft Skills That Can Get You a Job
Your dream job is harder to secure now compared to a year ago. High-profile firms have been retrenching staff by the thousands, and many others have frozen hiring in a bid to tighten purse strings. With more qualified candidates now available in the job market, technical skills alone might no longer be enough for you to stand out. Soft skills play an increasingly important role, say experts at two global workforce solutions firms.
Linda Teo country manager at ManpowerGroup Singapore branch, says: “Against today’s climate of rapid change and uncertainty, soft skills have grown in importance as they can be used across industries and job roles.” Betul Gumez Genc, country manager at Adecco within this region, notes that soft skills complement technical skills and knowledge.
Here are the soft skills that companies want, and how workers can develop them to secure in-demand job opportunities.
1. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
Workers can enhance their problem-solving and critical thinking skills by doing brainstorming exercises or practice using these skills by taking on more challenging tasks at work, suggests ManpowerGroup's Linda Teo. Meanwhile, Genc says that workers can take new learning opportunities enthusiastically and change their mindset when building challenges.
2. Leadership skills
When it comes to leadership skills, individuals need not wait till they are in a managerial role to do so, says Teo. “They can hone their leadership skills even as junior staff at work by showing initiative such as leading and guiding new team members and taking on more responsibility.
“Individuals can also get opportunities to train their leadership skills outside of work, such as through volunteer work and social activities.”
3. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is among human elements that cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence, says Genc. She suggests that students and those in the early stages of the career can start to develop soft skills and increase emotional intelligence by gaining experience through temporary jobs and. They can also actively participate in group projects, join school clubs or be involved in community work where there are opportunities to meet and learn from others, as well as develop themselves with real-life experiences.
Others who want to develop soft skills while going through their daily routine can be more observant to build situational awareness and also strive to articulate their thoughts in an engaging way, Genc adds.