“Soft” Skills & Emotional Intelligence Will Help Get You Hired & Promoted
Skills: Hard vs Soft
As your career progresses one of your goals is to ensure that your “hard” skills — tangible, teachable skills and abilities that allow you to perform your job — are up to snuff. But in your effort to hone your hard skills, don’t ignore your “soft” skills.
Soft skills, sometimes called “people skills” or “emotional intelligence,” are less tangible qualities that determine how you manage your own behavior, as well as interact with and get along with others. While soft skills are more difficult to measure than hard skills, they are just as important when it comes to job prospects and advancement.
We spend years mastering on our hard skills. We should spend a comparable amount of time proactively improving our soft skills. This article explores 7 ways lack of soft skills can kill your career.
7. Emotion Overload
Are you quick to anger, or easily frustrated? If you can’t control your emotions and keep a cool head when the going gets tough, you’ll be perceived as a hothead who can’t think clearly.
According to the Penn Behavioral Health Corporate Services, emotional outbursts are threatening to co-workers and colleagues, and can result in low productivity. Learn how to cool it, or expect to cool your heels on the bottom rungs of the ladder.
6. Lack of Self-Confidence
It’s normal to feel challenged as you make the larger transitions throughout your career. But it’s one thing to feel nervous, quite another to let them see you sweat.
If you don’t have belief in yourself, you can be sure that no one else will. Figure out what’s causing your lack of confidence — lack of training or experience, for example — and address it head on. Start by pretending you believe in yourself. Sooner or later, you’ll convince yourself you do. And once that happens, others will be convinced as well.
5. Poor Communication Skills
Are you considered a good listener? Can you articulate your own thoughts and ideas in a way that others understand and appreciate?
Good communication skills — and that means on both the giving and the receiving side — are necessary to develop the strong interpersonal skills that are so integral to an organization’s success. A study done by Rice University showed that communication occupies up to 90 percent of a typical manager’s day, so it makes sense that poor communication would be a total career killer.
4. You’re a Quitter
If your energy flags during challenging times or during difficult projects, or if you have a habit of being impatient and giving up, the proof will be in the pudding: goals simply won’t be met.
When promoting employees, organizations look for individuals who have persevered during tough times, encouraged others to be their best, and have helped to motivate and drive co-workers and colleagues. If you have a habit of giving up when the going gets tough, don’t expect to go too far.
3. Can’t Deal with Office Politics/Politicians
Don’t think you can escape them.
There’s a Sabotaging Sam, Complaining Cathy, and Passive-Aggressive Pete in just about every office. Whether you get sucked into their drama or remain above the fray is up to you. An ability to both get along with and get the most out of difficult personalities, as well as a gift for avoiding inevitable office politics, will stand you in good stead.
2. Inability to Coach, Mentor & Guide
Those who are willing to help others succeed are seen people who ultimately affect an organization’s bottom line. Spend some time recognizing the expertise and excellence in others, and help them hone and develop those skills as well as acquire new skills to increase competency.
Helping others through constructive criticism, feedback, and guidance will not only help others further their careers, it will also help you further yours.
1. Lack of Networking/Self-Promotion Skills
How do people know how great you are? Encourage people to be in your network by attending the right industry events, reaching out to the right individuals, and engaging them in interesting conversation that brands you as an expert.
Learn how to subtly, yet effectively, promote your work results, knowledge, and skills by keeping in touch with people who have influence. When you begin to influence people who have influence, you have set yourself up to succeed.
Take a Long Look in the Mirror
How do you stack up? Give yourself an honest assessment.
If you’re committing one of the above seven deadly sins, you’re killing your career! Start paying more attention to the soft skills that are necessary for you to get ahead. As your emotional intelligence grows, so will your job prospects!
Whether your people skills are top-notch or you still have some work to do in the long-term, the one thing that’s imperative now is that you’re paid fairly. Whether you’re looking for a job or going for a raise/promotion in your current position, you’ll first need to know how much your job is worth. And Salary.com can help.
Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what’s a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.