Skills That Will Serve You Well In Studying Online & Finding A Job
Published on: October 25, 2021
Soft skills are often overlooked or underappreciated compared to other abilities but are invaluable for studying as well as finding employment. A lot of soft skills that are taken for granted by most people are very in-demand among employers. Of course, in addition to the necessary talents and abilities, it is also essential to raise your digital literacy if you want to succeed.
What Exactly Are Soft Skills?
As the name implies, soft skills are traits that are a natural part of your character and influence how you interact with other people. Unlike "hard" skills, which are technical skills that can be learned, soft skills have more to do with who you are instead of what you know. In addition, while hard skills are measurable, it is much harder to change or even acquire soft skills.
Why Are Soft Skills Important To Prospective Employers?
It is a common misconception that all you need to succeed in your studies or your job is to work hard and rely on the hard skills you have mastered. However, in reality, soft skills are usually just as necessary, especially when teamwork, collaboration, and communication are required. Companies value employees who are not only good at their jobs but also able to fit in with the company and fellow employees. Unfortunately, many companies struggle to find employees with good soft skills as these are not prioritized as much as cognitive skills or hard skills during education.
What Are Some Examples of Soft Skills That Employers Value The Most?
While all soft skills are important, there are some that tend to be more in demand among employers than others. Here are just a few examples of soft skills that are often valued the most in prospective employees.
Is It Possible To Learn Soft Skills?
Some people are without a doubt better at specific soft skills than others, but it is not impossible to learn and develop soft skills. However, the process of doing so is usually much harder than with other skills. Also, unlike hard skills, it is much harder to measure how successful you are at improving your soft skills.
One of the most valued soft skills is communication, which allows you to communicate with those around you clearly, whether verbally or through other mediums. Lack of communication can cause delays, confusion, and failure in the workplace, which is why it is such an essential soft skill.
No matter how good you are at your job, there will always be times when unforeseen problems can crop up. However, being able to solve these problems quickly and efficiently is something that employers highly value.
Not everyone is born to lead, but strong leadership skills are often required to steer a project or task in the right direction. For some people, leadership skills come naturally, and taking the lead can really help their career progression.
Creativity is obviously more important in some industries than others, but every business can benefit from employees who are able to think outside the box.
Time management has always been important, but with the increase in online degree programs and work-from-home jobs, it is more important than ever. Without proper time management, productivity can suffer and deadlines missed. Traditional office environments used to provide a natural structure for time management, but this skill plays a more important role now that work environments have shifted.
Being able to communicate efficiently is important, but listening can be surprisingly difficult for some people. This skill is more vital than ever as remote working conditions have shifted the need for meetings to online environments. Without good active listening skills, people tend to disengage from conversations, adversely affecting their interactions.
What Is Digital Literacy?
Digital literacy is another skill that matters much more than what people might think. Although definitions can vary, digital literacy basically boils down to being able to make proper use of technology to create or communicate and find and evaluate information. This means that digital literacy involves much more than simply being able to read something online, which is what a lot of people think it means.
Why Is Digital Literacy So Important?
The enormous role that the internet plays in our lives has made digital literacy extremely important. Not only are more businesses online, but remote learning has made digital literacy essential for students too. Students without proper digital literacy skills will find themselves at a disadvantage.
What Can Be Done To Improve Digital Literacy?
One of the barriers when it comes to digital literacy is the intimidation factor when dealing with new technologies. Younger people are typically more open to learning and understanding new technologies, while older people can be too set in their ways. Continued education in the workplace can be a great way for employees to improve their digital literacy. Although it is a skill, digital literacy can also be considered a mindset, and those who embrace it will find that it can improve other aspects of their lives too. If you want to test your digital literacy, online options are available, such as Northstar (https://www.digitalliteracyassessment.org/).
The focus on hard skills has left many students unprepared for studying or working as they were unaware of how necessary soft skills and digital literacy are. By being aware of this fact and actively improving your skills, you can enhance your prospects and lead a better life. Soft skills such as emotional intelligence, empathy, and creativity are among the skills employees value the most as they are virtually impossible to automate. As remote learning and working continue to become more common soft skills and digital literacy will continue to be important factors that should not be overlooked.