You may have heard the term soft skills while studying, but do you know what it actually means? What are soft skills, and when and how are you learning them? If hard skills are technical and gained from professional experience, soft skills are the opposite. Also known as transferable skills, soft skills are less specific but just as important, relating to your attitude, personality and potential.
How important are soft skills to your career? What particular traits can be considered soft skills? Below are some key examples.
An invaluable soft skill, communication is something you use every day. Whether you’re looking to make new friends on campus, project your ideas in class or answer interview questions competently, good communication is essential. However, it’s not just about being confident and raucous – good communicators are able to adjust their tone and style, depending on the audience and subject matter.
Like communication, leadership skills don’t involve you being able to take over a group project or be in control of every situation. Being self-motivated, having a positive mental attitude and being an effective communicator all add up to good leadership skills. This will also be beneficial when it comes to interviews, as future employers will look to these three skills and see you have the potential to go far.
While leadership is desirable, you also need to be able to work as part of a team. It is a soft skill that is beneficial to all aspects of life – when you’re out with friends, you need to know when to lead the pack or just be a good listener. A good team player is able to be receptive and responsible, while also knowing when to be in the charge of a situation.
Again, flexibility is a skill that’s great both in and outside of work. Employers will welcome flexibility, as it demonstrates a willingness to try new things, excellent teamwork and an open mind. Sometimes you may have to do last-minute tasks or plans may change, so being flexible to such events is highly welcomed.
When you are faced with a challenge or problem – whether it be in your day-to-day life or while studying – how do you solve it? Are you able to approach it calmly and efficiently? Do you know when to ask for help and when you can solve it alone? Knowing the answers to these questions will help your future career immeasurably.
Though crucial in any industry, soft skills are particularly important in the world of hospitality. Being a good team player will be vital when you work in a department, and being able to approach challenges with a cool head will improve guest satisfaction. This will all help you ascend to a high-ranking role, whether it be as a hotel manager, restaurant owner, F & B director or a managerial role in an entirely different sector.
During your studies and in your future career, you will face demanding deadlines, big changes and problems to be solved. Having the soft skills listed above will help you face them effectively and confidently, while showing to employers you have what it takes to be a future leader.