The lockdown has definitely got all our routines jumbled up. Our work skills have been impacted too. While I manage to showcase time-management, flexibility and multi-tasking even now, yet some of my work skills need revamping. Employers are always looking for people who have a good work experience and a great educational background. That is not enough though. They are also looking through the magnifying glass for people who showcase great work skills.
There was a list that was published by LinkedIn that lists down various skills companies are looking for in their employees.These skills are broken down into two kinds.
- Hard Skills
- Soft Skills.
Hard skills often relate to your educational and professional qualification. They also refer to the technical knowledge you possess. Some examples of hard skills are – Database Management, Statistical Analysis, User Interface Design, Marketing Campaign Management etc. As a writer, a hard skill that I possess is SEO marketing. Similarly, when I was a Team Leader at a BPO, one of the hard skills, that I proudly could showcase was my knowledge with excel.I also could comprehend and analyze data easily.
Soft skills, as the name suggests, requires you to be soft in your approach. It refers to your personality traits. Leadership, Communication Skills, Dependability, Integrity, Creativity, Team Work and many more, fall under the bracket of soft skills.
It is imperative that an individual possess a good blend of both these skills. Hard skills are work skills that can be learnt however soft skills is something that needs to be imbibed in you.
If you know to speak and write a foreign language fluently, that too becomes one of your hard skills. Every organization would require its employees to perform certain tasks using certain technology. Your proficiency in those technical systems becomes your hard skill.
Soft skills are equally important because they help you carry on with your every task. There are employers that rate soft skills higher than hard skills because the soft skills make you the person you are! It is always advisable to strengthen your soft skills before you work on your hard skills. After all, being a good learner and adapting to changes is considered a great work skill.
The following work skills can never go out of fashion. I completely agree that balancing work-life balance is not easy. However, the better you are at practicing and displaying these work skills, the better your job prospects will be. It is significant that when you are questioned about any of the work skill you possess, you have an example to quote with it.
There is an avalanche of technology and opportunities available to us. What we do with them? How we use them to maximize the output, depends on your creativity. While you are trying to be creative at work, you need to sprinkle some creativity dust on yourself too. Being creative, not just improves your performance at work but it also helps you focus on your personal growth too.
Flexibility – Well, we are not just talking about being adaptive to change. Here, I am referring to cognitive flexibility too. Your mind needs to be flexible and lithe in its thoughts. It is always easier to come up with solutions to situations when you broaden your perspective. Being able to quickly move between different ideas and thoughts is beneficial to both office and personal space.
How well can you negotiate – I can tell you negotiation is not just restricted to money. Being an entrepreneur, freelancer and a parent, I have upped my negotiation skills for sure. Negotiation and interpersonal skills are something that will never go out of trend. We will always need people to talk, negotiate and lead the way.
Service Orientation – Every organization needs you to be service oriented. You may not be necessarily go-getter. I am not someone that jumps at every opportunity because I like to weigh my pros and cons. However, as an entrepreneur and freelancer, I always ensure that my clients get the best service. There can never be any compromise on service. If you serve your people and customers well, they will always come back to you.
Judgement and Decision Making
While you may not be a eager-beaver, you can still be a quick thinker. Remember I spoke about having cognitive thinking skills. Your ability to think out of the box and your analyzing skills, is what will help you with the decision making. You need to analyze all aspects of a situation including contingencies too. For me it was easier to make decisions when I would align my decisions to the organization’s goals.
Work Skills and Emotional Intelligence
I have worked in a corporate set up. I now work as a freelance and also assist an entrepreneurial set up. Emotional Intelligence not only is important in your personal life but also in your work space. How you take care of your own emotions and manage the emotions of people around you makes a great difference.
This work skill, I believe is a blend of everything and is also the most important. You are a great team player when you are able effectively make decisions and take good judgement. As a team player I have always maintained a healthy emotional intelligence and actively contributed to my team’s goals and objectives. Only when you consider your team’s success as your own success, will you be be able to share responsibilities easily too. Most relationships are successful because they are based on efficient team work!
People Management – I have always strived to be a people’s person because, it’s your people who make your employees and consumers too. As a leader and an employee, it is imperative how you handle your people and their skills. You need to positively impact their work and personal journey.
Critical Thinking – To achieve results, you need to analyze your inputs and outputs. You begin with observing, interpreting, evaluating and reflecting. Your decision making and problem solving skills display how good a critical thinker you are. An organization has to be always prepared with a contingency plan. Critical thinking helps you comprehend well and utilize your ideas to achieve personal and business goals.
There are so many skills that we practice in our daily lives without realizing that they co-relate with work skills. If you are someone fresh out of college or if you are someone who thinks, your skills have hit a slack, you may want to consider, brushing up on these skills during the lockdown.