Q&A: The Importance of Soft Skills

by Harjyot Dhanjal
by Harjyot Dhanjal

I had the pleasure of interviewing our Account Executive, Avery Wojcik. Based on her experience, Wojcik believes that communication must be at the forefront of any candidate’s soft skillset. Being able to explain your thought process to your peers and executives, proactively relay information, and convey a positive attitude are critical steppingstones en route to a fruitful career. Recently she gave insights on the importance of soft skills and how effective they are in landing a job.

What is a soft skill?

Soft skills are your personal attributes. They relate to how well you can work and interact with others. Unlike hard skills, soft skills are more difficult to learn, given their innate nature. You cannot measure the skill or test it.

Why are they important?

It concerns the kind of culture that an individual will introduce to the work environment. You want someone to add to the culture and not detract from it. The soft skills an individual brings to the work environment can make a huge difference in the foundation of effective teamwork and organizational success. Therefore, soft skills are extremely important when it comes to being a cultural fit for a company.

Which soft skills are most important and why?

Most importantly communication is key. I always hear clients mention how important communication is. Managers and Executives can’t properly collaborate on projects and within teams without it. It’s important to communicate effectively with your peers and leadership, which helps the business run smoothly.
Second, being an ambitious self-starter – someone who is always actively looking to better the workplace and can work independently. Especially when doing projects. Since Leadership oversees a group of people, they are not always aware of minor tasks needed. Someone who can “step up” when not asked.
Attitude and trainability is third. You can’t teach attitude or humility when someone is being trained or critiqued. You need an individual to be open-minded to constructive criticism and always strive to evolve.

Can you acquire a soft skill?

Yes and no, depending on how much that person is willing to change. You can become better at communicating, but it’ll be harder for you to acquire the skills necessary for better communication. For attitude, it’s difficult. If someone does not believe there is anything wrong with their attitude, then there will not be a chance. It takes acknowledging or admitting an attitude problem for change to occur. Some individuals cannot do that. You either have self-awareness and open-mindedness or you don’t.

Why are they important in interviews?

Hiring managers have said, “I can’t teach people a good attitude or positivity, but I can teach the job.”
If you have a great personality and are eager to learn, but do not possess all the technical skills, 9 times out of 10 they will choose the positive personality instead of the person who has all the technical skills but is negative.

Wojcik has been working in the technical staffing industry for 3 years now. Her experience has led her to believe how important soft skills are in a work environment for productivity, culture, and organization. She can say with confidence, that soft skills can help you excel in your career and working relationships.

by Harjyot Dhanjal

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