IT professionals sometimes get a bad rap. They’re perceived as nerdy, socially awkward, and just, well, too techy! While this is totally unfair, you may need to remind yourself that when advancing your career or meeting performance goals, you do need to demonstrate strong soft, as well as hard skills.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills, aka interpersonal or transferable skills, are those necessary to successfully interact with colleagues, clients, and vendors, as well as manage projects and teams. Employers value them greatly as they enable people to thrive in teams and within organizations as a whole. In fact, mastery of key soft skills can be the deciding factor in landing your dream job or promotion.
Here’s a snapshot look at seven critical soft skills:
- Communication: Oral and written, as well as active listening and collaboration strengths, help you to learn and respond effectively to any circumstances you encounter. And don’t underestimate email, text and other online etiquette, as more and more business communication is played out this way.
- Creativity: In 2019, LinkedIn analyzed 50,000 professional skills to discover which ones were in the highest demand. Of all of them, creativity ranked top among soft skills and second among overall responses (right after cloud computing). With IT pros constantly focused on problem-solving and innovating, creativity is essential in helping teams and organizations move in the right direction.
- Determination: IT projects can be frustrating. Professionals come to expect roadblocks due to financial constraints, system failures, or numerous other factors. It’s critical to stay the course, driving toward desired results despite all the bumps in the road.
- Flexibility: This is the willingness to embrace new challenges, calmly, and without fuss. It means stepping in and helping out whenever and wherever needed, taking on extra responsibilities, and adjusting quickly when plans change.
- Leadership: Employers look for people with the potential to become leaders – or better leaders than they already are. Effective leaders have the ability to inspire others and guide teams to success. They display a consistently positive attitude, can make quick and effective decisions, and are strong self-motivators.
- Negotiation: To be an adept negotiator is to know how to be persuasive and exert influence while sensitively seeking a solution that benefits all parties involved. This can apply to anything from selecting project team members to developing budgets and selling your idea to an organization.
- Presentation: Even the best ideas fall flat if they’re not conveyed effectively to all necessary stakeholders. IT pros need the ability to clearly articulate their vision and work results to audiences in a way that captures their attention, engages their input, and motivates them to act in accordance with desired outcomes.
The PrideStaff Fresno team has a long and proven track record of matching top IT pros with leading employers region-wide. As you realize your career dreams, we can help you develop the perfect hybrid skillset – with emphasis on both your hard and soft traits – so you stand out from the crowd in the best possible way. Contact us today so we can tell you more!