Soft Skills: The Missing Pieces
What is a Soft Skill?
We all know about hard skills: reading, writing, typing, etc. These are the technical skills that you learn in school and from different experiences throughout life. For example, if you were a housekeeper, your hard skills might be: cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry. You know it takes much more than that to have a successful career as a Housekeeper. But have you ever tried to define these seemingly intangible qualities? This is where the term Soft Skills becomes important. The dictionary defines Soft Skills as “personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.” But what does that really mean?
Why are they Important?
Soft skills are the qualities that can be the difference between a good employee and a great one. They mainly include things like emotional intelligence, problem solving, adaptability, communication skills, and productivity. Basically, these are the attributes that characterize our relationships with other people. They also provide a foundation for how we learn other hard skills throughout life and contributes to how successful we are in those endeavours. In 2012, 255 US Employers were surveyed by Research Management and Consulting Firm, Millennial Branding, and 91% said good communication skills and confidence are one of the most important skills that they look for when hiring. Surprisingly, they also said that this is one of the hardest skills to find. Make yourself stand out from the crowd by honing your soft skills. Keep reading to understand how you can use these skills to your advantage in your career.
Use it to Your Advantage
We want to help you be successful in the next career move you make so we have compiled a list of some of the important soft skills to have in Caregiving and Household staffing industries and how you can use and improve them:
Being able to communicate effectively with your employer is key. Being sociable can help with getting to know “the real you” in an interview, negotiations, and everyday life. If you feel like you need to improve on your communication skills; you can take language classes, listen to or read in the language you want to improve in, practice with friends and family or even write and give mock speeches until you feel more comfortable.
Nonverbal communication consists of things like your eye contact and body language. This can be just as important as speaking out loud when you are making a first impression. To show that you are comfortable and confident; sit up straight, relax your shoulders and keep eye contact with the person you’re speaking with.
Self Confidence and Assertiveness
Having confidence in your abilities is an extremely important factor that is often forgotten about. Often, many of us don’t want to be perceived as conceited but we believe that if you have a strength, let it shine! Talk about what you are good at and how it can BENEFIT your current situation. This way you avoid bragging and effectively communicate your point.
Obviously, getting stuff done is important. Like the old saying goes, the most successful people “work smart, not hard.” Having a good work ethic and time management skills can help you be successful in any job. To help improve your productivity: make lists with completion dates beside each item so you know when you need to get that task completed by. If a task seems too big, break it up into smaller pieces and put dates on each piece. This can help you show that you are organized and keep things from piling up.
Focusing on improving these qualities can go a long way in helping you to be the perfect fit for the next position you may be interested in. Use what you’ve learned today and apply for a job with us.
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February 20, 2017
As Canada’s leading nanny, eldercare, and household staffing agency for over 35 years, we give you the confidence to select only the best so you can find the right fit for your family — the first time.