According to Harvard Business School, an individual’s technical skills account for (nearly) 15% of his growth, whereas the remaining 85% (or so) is determined by his soft skills. While the technical skills define the type of work you do, the soft skills define the kind of person you are. Every non-technical work, to its simplest form, like the way you talk or the way you walk can be thought of as a soft skill. Few of the commonly used soft skills are time management, communication, presentation, and team work. There are many more which you can find on a job descriptions, speaking with a HR, or on the internet.
Every year, millions of students graduate from their respective universities; but not everyone is able to get a job. Various researchers have found that around 15-20% of the students (globally) graduating every year are employable.
So… what makes a handful of them tick while the others fuse?
Having studied from the same college, the batch of students graduating would have same information or skills. Of course, some of them would have a natural ability to perform well, but what makes them better is the ability to do more than what they have learnt technically. Think of a job like sales or marketing where you have the knowledge to collect data, but people who are able to connect with clients and present their data in a better way will be appreciated.
Is there any way I can learn or improve?
Definitely! And the best thing is you don’t need to go back to school or college. Naturally, these wouldn’t be easy, at times, or within your comfort zone. And, the first and foremost thing would need is an intent or willingness to learn and change. There are trainings provided by most of the organisations, if not then you can find incredible amount of study material online. But, before you search for course material you should be aware of areas which you want to improve upon. A good to way to do that is self-assessment and taking feedback from your peers and supervisors.
Trying to gulp it all at once could lead to a lost cause. Define certain goals around the skills you want to hone, and repeatedly practice them in your daily routine. Always remember, it’s not about changing others but you and you only. So, don’t force this upon others, however, finding a partner would put it on a fast track. Things we learn since childhood days are difficult to let go, and learning a new skill pushes us to do that. It’s like changing your behaviour, the way you perceive things, and the way you deal with a situation.
There would be times when you would want to quit, the easy way out; but remember it’s a need rather than a want. In order to progress in your career you need to get better at these. Any new skill would start with learning to self-manage.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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