Future Proofing Your Skills
Do you have all the skills you need to pass the technical interview, but can’t seem to secure a new role?
The answer may lie in developing your soft skills.
These skills are important as they allow us to interact with others in a collaborative and positive way. What’s more, as roles become more management based (due to the ever-increasing use of automation and machines), the ability to work in harmony alongside people and machines simultaneously will draw on these essential skills.
Here are some of the most important soft skills that people in tech need now, more than ever:
Almost every job application you read will stress the importance of having good communication skills. But it goes beyond just being able to clearly state what you mean. Being an effective communicator also means having the ability to talk to people across all sections of a workplace, whether that’s another developer or someone from upper management.
When you are talking to people, make eye contact and be aware of your body language. Another great point to remember is: don’t write, talk. It’s almost always better to try and talk to someone face to face because it is easier to convey tone and intent and you are building rapport at the same time.
Creativity may not explicitly be a soft skill, however, having a grasp on ingenuity, abstract thinking, or generation of creative ideas will greatly help within the workplace. Thinking outside of the box for a solution, or bringing an original angle to a problem is of great benefit to a team.
The more you encourage creative thinking, the more you learn to tap into your creative abilities. Make brainstorming part of your regular routine. Whether it’s formal team brainstorming meetings or through setting aside time to brainstorm yourself, you might be surprised with the number of new ideas you come up with.
Being able to adapt and be flexible is extremely valuable in the workplace. Versatile and highly adaptable people are usually more reasonable, understanding, and make better leaders. As businesses and processes evolve in line with technological developments, adaptability becomes even more important.
Welcome change and the opportunity to explore new ways of doing things. Pioneer new practices. Be open-minded to new ideas and non-judgmental of others. Be flexible and enthusiastic in unfamiliar situations and try and share your positive outlook with others in your team to help get more people on board.
As they say, “teamwork makes the dream work.” Being a part of a productive team means being able to collaborate with everyone else in a group environment so everyone’s strengths can be tapped into. People appreciate others who bring a team mindset rather than trying to go it alone. We’d go as far as saying that when teams work well together the results and outcome are always better than the sum of their parts.
Ways you can improve your skills in this area include trying to keep an open mind to others’ ideas and input. Everyone has different viewpoints, what makes you a good team member is recognising this and using it to the greater advantage of the team. Praise other people’s efforts and ideas even if you disagree with them.
This is a big one that is far too often overlooked in the workplace. Building mental toughness will help you respond appropriately to feedback and be aware of and accepting of changes that will impact you.
Listen carefully and be open to accepting criticism. Taking on board feedback from others allows you to identify weaknesses and use that to improve and develop new skills.
Ultimately, being irreplaceable means being knowledgeable of your strengths and weaknesses and becoming the best version of yourself. Whether you’re working on your soft or technical skills, the future of the workplace is uncertain. By working steadily on developing yourself, you will become very valuable to your organisation in a world of fast-moving change.
Free download: So Good They Can’t Ignore You: The Tech Jobs in Danger of Being Replaced by Technology and How You Can Make Yourself Irreplaceable