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11 Essential Career Soft Skills

In today’s job market, it’s not enough to be a technically skilled worker. employers are increasingly looking for candidates with strong “soft skills” – personal attributes that enable you to interact effectively with others and get the job done.

11 Essential Career Soft Skills

While hard skills are specific to your job title and usually learned through on-the-job training or formal education, soft skills are more general and transferable. Here are 11 essential soft skills for your career:

  • Creativity
  • Initiative
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Engagement
  • Leadership
  • Networking skills
  • Self-awareness

In order to be successful in your career, it is important to have a variety of soft skills. Here are 11 essential career soft skills that will help you succeed:

1. Creativity:

It’s not about having a lot of ideas, it’s about turning those ideas into something that others will want to use. Creativity is the ability to think outside the box and come up with new and innovative solutions.

2. Initiative:

It takes a lot of effort to start something new, and even more effort to keep it going. You need to be willing to take risks and be entrepreneurial in order to be successful.

3. Critical Thinking:

It’s important to be able to think critically and analyze information, which is essential for problem solving. If you can think outside the box and come up with creative solutions, you’re well on

4. Communication

The ability to communicate clearly, concisely and effectively is critical in the workplace. whether you’re writing a report, presenting to a client or simply exchanging emails with a colleague, being able to communicate your thoughts and ideas clearly will help you to be more successful. Communication: Being able to effectively communicate with others is crucial in the workplace. Whether you are communicating with your boss, co-workers, or customers, being able to express yourself clearly and concisely is essential. Communication: It’s not enough to be able to talk about yourself; you also need to be able to listen to others and understand what they’re saying. Being a good communicator means being able to effectively convey your ideas and views to others.

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5. Teamwork:

Being a team player is another important soft skill for career success. Being able to work well with others towards a common goal is a valuable asset in any workplace.

Teamwork is more than just being a pleasant person to work with. I define teamwork as active participation in collaboration with others—the ability and desire to partner seamlessly with anyone in the company to accomplish whatever is needed.

That type of close working relationship will not come without sticky patches. My team has had its share of these moments and we always try to believe the best of each other’s motives, respect the diversity of opinions represented and keep our focus the quality of the work. I know that each person is striving to create the best possible product for our clients and because we are committed to teamwork, we are able to navigate our creative and sometimes even personal differences.

6. Problem-solving:

The ability to identify and solve problems is another key soft skill. In the workplace, things will inevitably go wrong from time to time. Being able to quickly and efficiently solve problems will help keep the workplace running smoothly.

7. Time management:

Managing your time well is another important career soft skill. In the workplace, there are often deadlines and time-sensitive tasks.Time management affects many other soft skills, like dependability in meeting deadlines.

“When someone can get work done in a timely manner, they immediately become more valuable,” said Steven Page, vice president of digital strategy at data and digital marketing services agency Giant Partners. “Also, your employees will want to give you important work to do because you can have an optimal turnaround time.”

8. Engagement

Engagement can be summarized in my 5-minute method to success: show up five minutes early, leave five minutes late, and care while you’re there. It means joining wholeheartedly in the goals of the company, caring about the outcome and giving it your best every day.

Anyone can go through the motions, but it takes an engaged worker to bring passion to the role. Sadly, there is an astounding lack of engagement in many candidates today. When hiring, I look for someone who cares for more than just the paycheck, but also about the larger mission of the company and how they can further it. I’m looking for people who believe in what we’re doing and want to be part of that vision.

If you’re truly not engaged in your work, you might be in the wrong career field. But before you jump ship, ask yourself if the core of the problem is not actually the work itself, but the person doing it—you. Successful people engage themselves deeply in what they do, even if it’s not yet their dream career. Bringing your best to where you’re at is how you get to where you want to go.


I consider every person in my company to be a leader in their area of expertise. That’s why I hired them: I can’t be an expert in everything, and so I must rely on others to fill these gaps and bring the talents and perspectives that I lack.

Leadership is more than just the ability to take charge of something, though ownership is a big part of it. Leadership is, in many ways, the sum total of a person’s soft skills. It’s how you bring those soft skills to bear on everything else. Leaders are constantly developing their abilities and becoming better versions of themselves. Ironically, it’s those who are willing to learn who are the true leaders. Such individuals can process feedback and use it to fuel their growth—reminding me why I hired them in the first place.

Soft skills make or break the hiring decision

As a business owner I hire people, not technical skill sets. And that’s why their professional skills can make or break the hiring decision. If they can’t communicate, be engaged, participate fully, think critically or demonstrate leadership, it doesn’t matter how technically qualified they are. They won’t have a long-term future at my company.

The way that individuals handle themselves in interactions at work is the greatest determinant of their caliber as professionals. As the world automates, professional skills are the currency of the future—and the key to unlock a career where you can contribute something irreplaceable every day.

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10. Networking skills

Networking is crucial on many levels. One of the benefits of a strong professional network, according to business coach and consultant Connelly Hayward, is that it becomes a resource to help overcome challenges and solve problems.

“When we have people to discuss things with, we open up the possibilities for insights and solutions,” Hayward said. “We not only elevate our own thinking, but we get their best think also. Great thinking happens when ideas, thoughts, challenges, problems and solutions are openly and freely discussed. A strong network of people we are comfortable with reduces the barriers of free-flowing conversation.”

Tyndall echoed this sentiment. “You’d be surprised how often someone else hits the same problem at the same time. When you get together to discuss, now you have a brain trust of different expertise that can help come up with the best solution. Networking is crucial for solution development.”

11. Self-awareness

A general sense of self-awareness supports all other soft skills. Not everyone can be a master communicator, networker, time manager, etc. However, cultivating self-awareness will help you understand essential skills you lack so you can cultivate them.

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11 Essential Career Soft Skills

November 9, 2022

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