As the work environment gets more competitive, organisations are looking for professionals and critical thinkers who are empathetic, resilient and adept at the latest digital technologies, explains S J Raj.
According to McKinsey's Future of Work report, 'social, emotional, and technological skills are becoming more crucial as intelligent machines take over more physical, repetitive, and basic cognitive tasks.'
With the increased adoption of technology, remote and hybrid modes of working, and an emphasis on inclusive work culture, employers are now increasingly focusing on effective soft skills.
Whether you are a fresher searching for a job or an experienced professional looking for growth, you must remain mindful of the importance of soft skills and hone them to improve your career prospects.
Here are the five soft skills that you must learn and incorporate in order to excel at your workplace and boost your career growth:
Empathy is the capacity to understand the perspectives of others and relate with them.
Empathetic individuals are capable of cordially working in a team and driving better outcomes.
It's a crucial work skill that also helps you develop great working relationships with your external stakeholders and win their trust.
Empathetic individuals often make good leaders.
According to research conducted by the Centre for Creative Leadership, 'managers who show more empathy are viewed as better performers in their job by their bosses.'
2. Digital mindset
We're living in an era where one needs to be adept at various digital technologies and systems, irrespective of the niche or industry.
Furthermore, with the growing talent pool, professionals must keep pushing their limits to stay relevant.
In today's competitive environment, you must develop a digital mindset to learn and master new skills quickly and stay ahead of the curve.
3. Curious and Learning 'on the go'
Today's business environment is dynamic as organisational needs keep evolving with time.
To keep up with growing business mandates, you need to be curious and motivated to learn on the go.
It will help you acquire new skills and hone your capabilities. Also, a curious mindset can help you become an active contributor and increase your chances of getting recommended for senior positions.
4. Critical thinking and analysis
Today, various roles require professionals to make complex decisions at regular intervals.
When faced by a tough challenge or situation at work, it is important to be able to understand, analyse, and segregate information for making intelligent, informed, and balanced decisions.
Critical thinkers have the ability to ask the right questions at the right time and find solutions for potential challenges.
They are crucial assets for any team as they tend to be more creative, contribute to the organisation's success, and have a greater chance of rising up the ladder.
Resilience is a highly underrated quality but significantly relevant in the current times.
For instance, the pandemic-induced lockdown heavily affected the routine and work-life balance of professionals.
The pandemic was in fact a good reminder that one must be resilient to face any uncertainties that come your way and be able to thrive at your work despite the intensity of challenges.
According to the global firm Deloitte, 'soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030, compared to half of all jobs in 2000.'
Improving your soft skills will not only help fast-track your career growth but will also be instrumental in shaping your personality, helping you become a better individual and professional.
S J Raj is senior vice president, HR operations, Newgen Software.