November 7th, 2017

Play up your softer side

Whether you’re thinking of moving up the career ladder or transitioning to a new role altogether, consider how you can leverage your existing skills. Hard skills can be learned, but one important area to remember to build is your soft skills. In potential new employees, companies naturally look at a person’s level of technical knowledge, education and expertise. But they also want people to demonstrate the soft skills that will enable them to perform well and be successful in their new position.

These days, employers value soft skills as much as technical skills. Soft skills are personal qualities that enable you to work well with others, be effective at accomplishing tasks, and achieve your goals. This is vital in any industry, including the financial services industry.

The softer side of work

Here are some of the soft skills that you can expect to use in any work situation:

The ability to communicate: One of the most important skills to have is the ability to effectively communicate with others. Great communicators are able to articulate their thoughts and convey their ideas both verbally and in writing. But it also requires that you be a disciplined listener. Remember, communication is a two-way street.

Performing well under time pressure: Time management comes in handy when you are expected to perform multiple tasks in a fixed timeframe. Your organizational skills and ability to execute will help you deliver high quality results on schedule.

Working in a team: Effective teamwork not only applies to your immediate team but cross-functionally as you work with people with unique job functions across an organization. The ability to collaborate and work well with others is a critical skill that allows you to fit into any company.

Solving problems: More and more, employers are looking for creative and resourceful problem solving. Taking action to address problems when they arise demonstrates initiative and a willingness to own the problem and the solution.

Being flexible and adaptable: The work world is becoming more complex everyday. New technology, evolving rules and regulations, and product innovations mean that keeping pace with a constantly changing environment is more important than ever. Adapting and adjusting requires you to embrace a mantra of lifelong learning.

Goal orientation: Companies want people who are willing to set aside differences and come together towards a common goal. Often this will mean working with your manager to set SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound to provide you with focus and set you up for success.

Developing soft skills is never a waste of time. In fact, they’re integral to your work success and they are always transferrable to the next job that you may hold.

Want more useful career tips? Read IFSE’s blog.