What do entry-level and mid-career professionals have in common?
All can make better contributions—and gain greater rewards—in today’s workplace by focusing on soft skills development.
For Millennials, those skills mesh seamlessly with their work-life ambitions. This generation looks on work not just as a way to earn a living, but also as a vehicle for adding another layer of meaning to life. Communication, negotiation, team-building, collaboration, and interpersonal skills are the tools we all need to sustain more productive human relationships. And that includes our relationships with colleagues and employers.
Because they’re relatively new to the workforce, Millennials can cultivate these soft skills as they develop the work habits they need for the industries, markets, and environments in which they work. This variety of on-the-job training will prepare them for both immediate and long-terms opportunities in their chose professions.
Their Gen-X and Baby Boomer coworkers may find it more challenging to adapt to the changing workplace. They may even need to unlearn habits formed by now-outmoded workplace dynamics. Technology can complicate matters further by recasting human interaction in a virtual context.
But regardless of career stage, everyone in the workforce today faces uncertainty about how the future will unfold. How will their jobs change in the next year? In the next decade? Will those jobs even exist? What steps can they take to ensure that even if their jobs become obsolete, they’ll remain not just employable, but valuable?
Soft skills support the ability to remain productive and even improve individual performance as automation and digitization transform the business world and employees’ roles in that world. Equally important, they establish a foundation for continual learning and professional growth—which, in turn, aids in remaining adaptable and resilient as professional roadmaps present unexpected detours. At any stage of any career, soft skills can drive optimal individual and enterprise-wide performance now and into the future. These capabilities will continue to set the most successful people and companies apart from their competitors.
For more information about soft skills development,