Soft skills span personal attributes that are non-technical in nature. According to HubSpot’s Sophia Bernazzani, “Soft skills are the combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and personality traits that make it easy to get along and work harmoniously with other people.”
While prolonged career success can ultimately depend on an individual’s ability to combine hard skills, or technical skills, and soft skills, research suggest hiring organizations place more value on a candidate’s soft skills.
HubSpot has created the following list of seven soft skills needed to achieve career growth.
HubSpot’s Seven Soft Skills for Career Growth
- Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is composed of five key elements: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. It is defined as your ability to recognize and manage your emotions.
- Team Player Attitude
Most jobs require some degree of teamwork in meetings, brainstorms, or cross-functional projects. Your ability to work well with others while providing a positive attitude and presence can make or break your tenure at a company. In addition to being able to respectfully work with others, Sophia Bernazzani also recommends being able to run effective and inclusive meetings and being open to new ideas.
- Growth Mindset
Growth mindset is a term coined by psychologist Carol Dweck to reflect viewing “your abilities, talents, and intelligence as skills you can grow and improve upon.” Instead of looking at challenges and failures as complete disasters, look at them as opportunities to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
- Openness to Feedback
Being able to receive developmental feedback, like constructive criticism, is critical for any individual. This feedback is meant to aid you in your development so there’s no reason to put defensive walls up. People that provide you with developmental feedback don’t do it because they hate you, but because they want you to be the best you can be.
Your job, company, and professional environment are always changing. Whether it be a company take-over or a simple seat change, being able to accept change with a positive attitude is very important for successful career development
- Active Listening
Active listeners pay close attention to speakers in one-on-one conversations and meetings. They engage by asking questions or offering responses and they don’t need things repeated to them because they heard them the first time. This is important because active listeners make for respectful colleagues and effective workers.
- Work Ethic
It’s unreasonable to think that you will succeed in a role without putting in the necessary work, time, and effort. If you’re looking for a new job or a promotion, improving your work ethic can serve to show your superiors that you are ready for increased responsibilities. Sophia Bernazzani recommends, “If excelling means learning new skills or tools, dedicate time to learning those outside of work hours so you can make your time in the office as effective as possible.”
All of the skills mentioned above are an important aspect of achieving career growth. Research also suggests there are other soft skills that can make or break a candidate’s chance of landing a new job or promotion. Let’s take a look at the most valued soft skills as determined by a recent study conducted by Bloomberg.
The Sweet Spot
These soft skills are referred to as “The Sweet Spot” because they are the most valued, yet least common in job candidates today. According to a Bloomberg study, in which 1,251 job recruiters and 547 companies were surveyed about the skills they seek the most but struggle to find, the most important soft skills for job candidates are:
- Problem Solving
Developing soft skills isn’t as straightforward as picking up a book and studying for a test. It takes a conscious effort, willingness, and commitment to self-development. To get a deeper understanding of soft skills and to learn about the easiest way to assess and develop the soft skills that truly impact employability and promotability, access your complimentary eBook – Soft Skill Development: Ensuring success beyond the classroom.