No matter what walk of life you’ve chosen, there are several universal skills that contribute to the success of your career. These skills are the foundational skills upon which you will develop your technical, or career-based skills.
Not only are these soft skills essential to a successful career; they are fundamental to a productive life. How many do you have checked off?
- Organization. The ability to keep organized is one of the most essential life skills. If you can’t keep yourself organized, you will have a very difficult time with every other task in life.
- Time management. Keeping track of your day and your activities is crucial to your productivity.
- Prioritization. Like time management, it’s important to be able to keep your priorities straight. Get things done in order of importance in order to maximize productivity.
- Self-management. The most successful people are able to discipline themselves and hold themselves accountable. They do not need someone else to watch over them and tell them what to do, they take care of things because they know they should and because they want to.
- Goal-setting. Goal-setting isn’t as simple as it seems. There are a lot of steps from setting a goal to finish and it takes a while to master the process without giving up on the follow through.
- Dressing for all occasions. Even though it may seem silly and vain, dressing appropriately is a very important skill to have as an adult. Oddly enough, many of us don’t have this skill and don’t even realize it! There are different occasions that call for different types of dress; learn them, and keep the staples in your closet!
- Public Speaking. Not all of us will have to speak in a large public forum, but we all do have to speak in some public settings. Practice getting comfortable with speaking and annunciating clearly.
- Writing. Not everyone is the best writer, but everyone should have some basic writing skills. When it comes time to write emails, proposals, evaluations, etc., you’ll want your writing to be coherent and fluid.
- Problem Solving. You’ve got to be able to trouble-shoot and problem solve on your own. There will always be times when you will run in to problems, and there won’t always be someone around to show you how to fix them. Being resourceful is a very important skill to have.
- Self-care. While self-care may not seem as though it relates to your career, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you are not taking good care of yourself, your work will suffer greatly. You need to get adequate sleep, eat well, get enough exercise and take care of your mental health in order to function at your absolute best.
Don’t let the term “soft skills” fool you. It’s the soft skills that allow you to play hard ball in life.