Five Soft Skills Useful in Every Job

Soft skills are often not taught in a classroom. Instead, they are usually learned from experiences a person has while mastering each job over time. Soft skills are something that you take with you from job to job, and that contribute to your success regardless of what your title is.

Here are five soft skills that most companies look for, not only in applicants, but in all employees:

1. Communication (verbal or written): Good communication allows you to get necessary information from coworkers about projects, problems, and expectations on the job. Good communication with customers includes asking important question (who, what, when, and why) so that you can learn exactly how to solve the concern or match the need to the appropriate company product.

2. Teamwork: A company’s success usually depends on a team of employees, not on individuals operating independently. Those who work well as team members – sharing information, cooperating and supporting one another – contribute importantly to the overall productivity of the company.

3. Adaptability: Time constraints and priorities change all the time, on the job, and to be flexible is a highly sought-after soft skill. The employee who adapts to changes, rather than resisting them “because we’ve always done it this way,” not only smooths the way for improvements but also models adaptability for others.

4. Problem Solving: Employers are so used to having employees complain about the little things, like the change of coffee brand in the break room, that someone who can see alternative solutions to a derailed project is a fresh of breath air for company.

5. Conflict Resolution: Things go wrong on the job and people get crosswise with one another from time to time. The person who avoids the temptation to “dig his heels in,” or takes sides in a dispute, and instead looks for a compromise is exercising a valuable soft skill. Finding ways to resolve conflicts calls for objectivity – the ability to set aside one’s own emotions and look at the conflict from different points of view. It’s the ultimate soft skill that incorporates all of the four others, and is the basis of good leadership.

Each of these soft skills can be learned, and it turns out that the more they are practiced, the more opportunities you will create for yourself.