Soft skill is something which is extremely essential at all times not only at the workplace but also in our social life as well. The COVID-19 pandemic situation has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating and this present pandemic situation has forced us to change a lot of things in our present lifestyle and behaviour, so I am sure now and beyond, an employer would be looking for several soft skills. Our workplaces are changing very rapidly in many unforeseen ways and would continue to change frequently in the coming years. Therefore, regardless of their jobs, all employees need to acclimate rapidly to these massive changes ranging from working remotely to changes in operations and fulfilment.
Gartner Talent Neuron data shows that the total number of skills required for a single job has been increasing by 10% year over year since 2017. Furthermore, one of the three skills in an average for the year 2017 job posting in IT, finance or sales are already obsolete.
Therefore, the kind of changes happening in our social life and at workplaces shows the importance of the role of essential soft skill that would grow in multi-fold and employers are eagerly looking for the following skillset as an essential tool for employment.
- Digital Capabilities
Almost 85 per cent of the respondents in the McKinsey survey revealed that their business has somewhat or greatly accelerated the implementation of technologies that have become digitally enabled employee interaction and collaboration, such as videoconferencing and file sharing etc. Roughly half of those survey reported that there is increasing digitization of customer channels, for example, via e-commerce, mobile apps, or chat boxes whereas 35 per cent have further digitized their supply chains, for example, by connecting their suppliers with digital platforms in the supply chain management. In this technologically advanced age, one needs to have command over digital tools for the necessary collaboration and communication whenever required. Hence, whether you’re looking for a new job or want to start your own business, digital skill is the ultimate key to success.
- Communication Skills
The need for effective communication skill is well taken by the industry in the era of complex business but now it has become more important in this virtual world of communication. Managing all stakeholders in the virtual media of communication has become a present challenge for us. Imagining, a young graduate is facing his life’s first-ever job interview in the virtual platform where probably a lot of things are not in his/her control. Therefore, it’s suggested to have a lot of practice and preparation before appearing for the job interview. Communication skills are needed to speak competently with a wide group of people while managing good eye contact, exhibit a varied vocabulary and express your language & views to your audience, listen effectively, present your ideas appropriately, write clearly and concisely, and work well in a group.
- Cognitive Skills
Cognitive skills are something that our brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention etc. It enables each one of us to own and direct ourselves on the right path. It helps to solve problems in our workplace and improve the quality of work. It helps us to sustain attention, segregate our attention, gain attention, long-term memory, working memory, processing speed, visual processing, auditory processing, logic & reasoning etc.
- Emotional Skills
Along with IQ, nowadays organizations are giving priority and importance to Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Adversity Quotient (AQ). These all are very closely interlinked and interdependent on each other as well. The way we are behaving in different situations and the way we are controlling our emotions is the key to success in our life. These all control our behaviour helps to manage relations, avoid negative influence and helps us to manage even in positive situations.
Following are few key indicators of emotional skills:
- Express feelings with words
- Self-controlled behaviour
- Ask for help when needed
- Shows affection towards familiar people
- Aware of other people’s feelings
- Pride in accomplishment
- Pay attention and wait for the turn to talk
- Adaptability & Resilience
Quick recognition of changes, challenges or roughness defines the alternative and effective plan of action to implement the same is extremely important in any space of life as well as more important in our professional life. It requires a lot of mental strength and internal & external collaboration whereas it is also necessary to develop a habit of keeping us updated on the regular basis.
- Motivation & Influence
The world is changing to find its own way to motivate an individual in the process to influence others in changing their minds, facing the challenges, taking into confidence & self-commitment etc. Negotiation and influencing skills are extremely valued in any kind of organization.
- Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
Critical thinking gives an end-to-end overview of conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication as a guide to believe and take necessary action. Thereby recognizing the problem or foreseeing the problem, finding out the root cause & finding an alternative approach to solve and implement a solution is an essential skill for today’s world.
Henceforth I strongly believe that the above listed soft skills set would help you to answer a lot of important questions during your interviews. In today’s corporate world, while collaboration and teamwork is an important aspect for a bright future, the listed skill sets are an extremely crucial part for career progression and even unavoidable attributes for the freshers as well as the job seekers.
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