Office of Continuing Education

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December 11th, 2018

Group of people sitting around a conference table discussing a project.

Communication and collaboration are important soft skills for today’s employees.

Soft skills are increasingly important in today’s workplaces–especially for those who want to advance in their careers. A recent survey of recruiters found that 94 percent thought soft skills were actually more important than technical skills in getting a promotion. Here are some soft skills that will help you move ahead in your career.

1. Adaptability.

A 2017 survey by LinkedIn found that the soft skill most valued by hiring managers was adaptability. As workplaces continue to change rapidly, the ability to adapt to those changing conditions can lead to very real differences in productivity as well as contributions to a positive work environment, which doesn’t always happen in times of great change.

2. Communication.

One of the most-often mentioned soft skills for employees, especially those who supervise others, is the ability to communicate with superiors, colleagues and subordinates. Clear communication with others in the workplace brings about order and certainty about duties, expectations, and boundaries, while unclear communication leads to chaos and confusion about what is expected.

3. Collaboration.

This soft skill takes communication to another level and is essential for project managers and team leaders because it shows that they can get a group to work together effectively. Showing that you have the skill of collaboration even before you attain a leadership position can show your potential to do so, and the LinkedIn survey ranked this skill highly in the minds of hiring managers for this reason.

Person writing in a paper planner.

Managing your time well is a soft skill that may get you noticed in the workplace.

4. Presentation Skills.

Public speaking scares a lot of people, but leaders need to be able to do it well, often in many different situations and circumstances. Fortunately, this is one of the most teachable soft skills, and many courses teach the skills needed to make effective presentations.

5. Time Management.

Without this soft skill, your technical skills will not be as useful as they could be and you run the very real risk of not getting your work done the way your superiors want you to. It’s very difficult to advance in your career if you can’t show that you can get your current job done in a satisfactory way. Courses and many other resources can show you how to manage your time better and maximize your productivity.

6. Problem Solving/Critical Thinking.

For some jobs, particularly technology jobs that require constant troubleshooting and upgrades, problem solving and critical thinking are part of what you will do every day, but these skills can improve your performance in just about any job by helping you do high-quality work in the best possible way and discern the best way to approach situations and tasks.

While some people think soft skills are mostly innate–you either have them or you don’t–soft skills can be taught through courses that break down the skills and show you how to build and strengthen them. CCSU offers many courses that teach and grow soft skills, which can allow you to get a promotion at your current job or even move on to another, more advanced position.  View all our open courses to see how we can help you grow your soft skills.