There is more to climbing the career ladder than your qualifications. In fact, most employers pay less attention to what you know and much more on how you will fit within a company ethos. While this may vary between companies, there are always a few traits that every business wants from its employees. These soft skills are often ignored by employees, when, with a bit of work, they can make the difference between career progression and getting stuck in a rut.
No matter what job you are in, you are almost certain to be working as part of a team. If you can’t get on with your colleagues, then your career will suffer as a consequence. Many people don’t realize that during a job interview, your potential employers are primarily looking at how you would fit in with the rest of the team.
Being a team player is as simple as being friendly, courteous, and approachable. Be the one who offers to go out and grab the coffees, and be open to providing help if people ask. A happy office is a productive office, so taking a bit of extra time to give the right impression benefits everybody in the long run.
Managers love employees who can think outside the box. Problem-solving skills are one of the most sought after traits in the workplace, and you can give a boost to your status if you can demonstrate your talents.
Contrary to popular belief, problem-solving is not an innate skill. Anybody can learn to think differently, but it does take an awful lot of practice. One of the most useful approaches is to expand on what you know in your field. A lot of problems often come down to a gap in knowledge, so the more you know, the more likely you are to find a solution.
Every company wants leaders; the people who will grab hold of a project and drive their colleagues on to better results. If you can show your leadership credentials, you will benefit the team and boost your career prospects. Whenever a promotion is up for grabs, it is the natural leaders that are first in line.
Improving your leadership skills requires self-confidence and the ability to take control of situations when they are not going well. It is in adversity that a leader truly shows their skills. To improve, examine those around you and see how different people act. By working out what you should and shouldn’t be doing, you are learning how best to react in a given situation.
Communication is key in any walk of life, but even more so in the workplace. Whether you deal with customers, colleagues, or are reporting back to your boss, everything you say needs to be understood. If you are unclear, both your work and your career will suffer as a result.
The trick to communication in a working environment is to be open, concise, and friendly. Remember, you are all trying to get a job done as quickly and efficiently as possible, so there is no place for ambiguity in your words. Be concise, but remain friendly and approachable with your tone to get the best results.
There will be times when you need to move outside of your area of expertise to help with another project. When this happens, you need to step up to the plate to prevent the team from falling behind schedule.
Being adaptable in the workplace is achieved through a broad breadth of knowledge. Whenever you get the chance, try to expand your horizons by asking colleagues about their work, researching the latest in your field, or taking relevant courses. Not only will it help at work when needed, but you will also give your career prospects a real boost.
Unfortunately, conflict is part and parcel of the working environment. With so many personalities stuck together in the same room, it should be of little surprise that arguments happen. However, it benefits nobody to let disagreements simmer, and it often takes somebody to act as a mediator to defuse the situation.
Trying to resolve conflict is one of the hardest roles within the workplace. A word out of place can exacerbate the situation, making everything worse. The key is not to take sides and let the individuals involved get their points across. A lot of the time, disagreements are brought about through a simple misunderstanding. Other times, the conflict may be irreparable, making it even more critical for those involved to find a way to work together professionally.
There are several benefits to improving your soft skills in the workplace. Not only does it boost your career prospects, but it also helps provide a more productive office environment that benefits everyone. Improving yourself in the workplace should be a continuous goal, and the more you grow, the more benefits you will see. You just need to keep working at it.