Are you already looking for your next job?
If you’re under the age of 32, there’s a good chance you are. After all, according to a recent survey from LinkedIn, the new normal is four jobs by the time you’re 32.
That’s almost double the rate of job change for Gen X.
I have a number of friends who are open to the next opportunity and looking to move beyond the job they’ve taken out of desperation.
When you’re ready to make a career change, there are skills you can’t take with you. Hard skills might not translate from one job or career to the next.
But you can develop soft skills that can help you almost anywhere you go, and no matter what you do.
One of the most translatable soft skills is problem-solving.
No matter where you work, or what your position is, problem-solving is always in demand. The ability to identify issues and find solutions is one that helps in work and life.
Creativity in problem-solving will get you even further in whatever work you do. Someone with the ability to see things from a different angle, or find a solution that others couldn’t see, has the potential to go a long way in any profession.
We don’t often think of organization as a skill. However, it’s on of the soft skills that can set you apart from others.
It’s not just about keeping a neat and orderly desk, either. Being organized is about seeing connections and being able to manage logistics.
Can you keep track of different moving parts and put them in an order that makes sense? Do you know which team members are best suited for different tasks?
If you have good organizational skills, you are more likely to to be of value as a manager, or fulfill other important responsibilities where such talents are needed.
We live in a world that changes quickly. Technology advances at an increasingly rapid rate. Social conditions change. Work conditions change. Everyone is scrambling to keep up.
One of the most valuable soft skills today is an ability to adapt. Adaptability allows you to quickly conform to a new situation. It also means you can take on different responsibilities and manage different personalities.
Adaptability, and its related skill, resiliency, can help you approach any situation and turn it to good account. Think fast on your feet, make the most of anything, and your co-workers and bosses will notice.
Thanks to the Internet, writing skills are increasingly important. The ability to craft a well-written tweet or Facebook post can help you get ahead.
Not only that, but writing is one of those soft skills that can be used in almost any profession. If you can write white papers, put together an internal memo, or create easy-to-understand emails, you can make yourself useful.
Consider taking a basic writing course. You don’t need a degree in writing. A little reminder of the fundamentals and some practice can take your writing to the next level and set you apart from others.
Don’t forget about your ability to present. Your comfort level in front of others can make a difference.
Do you want to be the go-to person for presentations to clients and potential partners? Brush up the way you make presentations.
Your presentation skills can also influence your ability to be more effective in your job. Good presentation skills include the ability to communicate your ideas. When you can effectively share your vision, you’re more likely to be applauded and taken seriously.
You can put your presentation skills to good use on behalf of your bosses, or as a way to be more effective in general. No matter how you do it, presentation means a lot.
Good work ethic.
Talent isn’t everything. Sure it can open some doors and give you a good start.
However, hard work can often make up for a lack of talent.
A good work ethic is one of the soft skills that just about everyone admires. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, working hard enhances your reputation.
Hard work gets you through even when other soft skills aren’t enough. Hard work added to just about everything leads to a greater chance of success.
Plus, when you show you can work hard, people see that you are willing to do what it takes to succeed.
While you eventually want to shift to working smarter and taking advantage of your talents, hard work can get your foot in the door and help you establish a good relationship with those around you.
There are no soft skills softer than interpersonal skills. The way you interact with people can make a huge difference in your success at work — and in life.
Sometimes it’s difficult to deal with other people, but developing that skill can take you a long way. As an introvert with ADD, I’ve worked hard to develop some people skills.
I still struggle, and it’s really hard work for me to filter and be sociable sometimes. But I do my best, and I find that these interpersonal skills have opened more doors for me than almost anything else.
Some of the best interpersonal skills to work on include:
- Managing your body language
- Learning to read others’ body language
- Speaking with clarity
You might be surprised at far you can get with good interpersonal skills. You’ll get along with co-workers and bosses better, you’ll be seen as a positive influence, and you might even be pegged as a leader.
Don’t neglect your soft skills as you prepare for a career. No matter your job, or your future plans, work on the skills that can help you where you go.