Hard skills concern an employee’s ability to do a specific task, and soft skills are more about the way they do them, how they adapt, collaborate, solve problems, and make decisions.
Soft skills are typically more difficult to measure, but they can also help a person thrive in a variety of roles and industries.
Creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence are needed to be successful in nearly any role.
According to LinkedIn, when looking for soft skills, companies are focusing on candidates with emotional intelligence (EQ), a mix of self-awareness, self-regulation, social skill, empathy, and motivation.
“Skills which have become most critical for people are mostly soft skills or human skills such as creative thinking, reasoning, collaboration, complex problem solving etc. and job-oriented skills such as using data effectively, virtual collaboration and 87% think that good English language skills will become an important gateway for global employment opportunities,” Ozhan Toktas, Managing Director for Pearson Middle East, told AMEinfo.
Some of the below soft skills may look obvious, but there are surprises as we look at the top ones sought after by recruiters in the years to come.
1. Problem Solving
How you approach a problem, process the situation, generate ideas, and implement solutions out of the box will be critical to your career success. It requires you to be tenacious, and results-focused to build a reputation as a go-to person.
Companies look for employees with high analytical skills who are great at investigating a problem and finding the ideal solution in an efficient and timely manner.
Also known as critical thinking, this includes brainstorming, detecting patterns, interpreting data, observing, theorizing, integrating new information, and making decisions based on multiple factors.
3. People management
Strong people management soft skills are about building and strengthening relationships, keeping the team on track, giving the right motivation, understanding the needs of a person on your team, and helping others achieve their goals.
You need a strong ability to deal with work stress, have clear communication with your team and be a great time manager, prioritizing, scheduling, and delegating
Persuasion in the workplace entails convincing others to agree to a commitment, to follow a course of action, or to purchase a product or service. Persuasion, often an innate personality trait, can be improved with the right training. With automation, AI, and machines infiltrating the workplace, negotiating is something that only us humans can do and do well.
The world has evolved due to people’s creativity. Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Joseph Pistrui says that jobs that require imagination, creativity, and creative analysis are much harder to replace.
6. Active Learning
Future workers will need to be adaptable to respond to the changes happening around them. You will need to become an active learner and keep up with new developments in your field and requires upskilling and reskilling for lifelong learning.
7. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is all about being tuned in to people’s feelings and surroundings. This allows you to navigate different situations, manage behavior, and make decisions that achieve personal results.
In a future setting, this is one of the most critical soft skills to have, especially as a manager or supervisor, since it will allow you to create a positive atmosphere and a dynamic workplace where machines and humans can coexist.
8. Cognitive Flexibility
Cognitive flexibility is the ability to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. In today’s fast-paced world, we’re used to juggling several jobs and multitasking. According to a report by the World Economic Forum (PDF), a higher level of cognitive abilities will be required for a wide range of jobs in the future.
9. Social Intelligence
Social intelligence refers to your ability to connect with others. Beyond basic communication, it allows you to form more profound and meaningful connections through empathy and to navigate social environments with ease.
10. Virtual Collaboration
Remote work options are becoming increasingly common in most businesses. In the future, then, having the ability to collaborate with your virtual team using technology-mediated communication will be a must.
From meetings and discussions to projects, you will need to be ready to complete your tasks and work with a diverse team on a virtual basis.