Python, Javascript, Data Analytics. These seem to be the top trending skills in today’s job market as the world moves towards digitalization and automation. But are these technical skills really essential for us to secure a better career or succeed at work? Despite the great emphasis on technical skills, let’s not forget that soft skills are equally important. Few years’ down the road, technical skills like programming might become common knowledge and everyone might possess these skills in their resume. So, what sets you apart from other workers? What differentiates those who excels and does not? The answer is quite simple. The soft skills, which are harder to acquire and irreplaceable by technology! Find out six competitive skills that you should work on to open greater pathways for your career and succeed at work.

1. Problem-Solving

We have been solving problems ever since we were young, from working out the math problems when we are a student, to figuring out the day to day problems that we face. Problem-solving goes beyond just finding a solution to the problem. It requires the ability to recognize the problem, analyze its impact on your company and determine which is the optimal solution to reap the benefits and reduce the costs. As we can no longer use yesterday’s solutions to solve tomorrow’s problems, being able to think of creative solutions to solve complex issues is highly sought after in workplaces.

2. Communication Skills

Speaking and writing is the most basic form of communication and we do it on a daily basis. But the truth is, while everyone can communicate, not everyone can communicate effectively and persuasively. Whether you are a sales manager or a web developer, good communication skills can come in handy when you are trying to sell your ideas or engage in multimillion-dollar discussions. It reduces the chances of misunderstandings in the workplace and shortens the time required for meeting

3. Interpersonal Skills

Even before you join a company, you are being judged on your interpersonal skills during job interviews. This skill is known as the ‘human touch’ because it is all about understanding others around you. The ability to empathize with others, or see things from their perspective through the understanding of their emotions and reactions is highly regarded in the workplace. Employees need to feel that they are being seen or heard. Constructive discussions can only occur when colleagues have emotional understanding. Working on multi-department projects will be a breeze when you hone your interpersonal skills as colleagues are more likely to trust you and your decisions.

4. Decision-Making

Have you ever felt so frustrated by the indecisiveness of the management? Have you ever dedicated so much time and effort into a project only to have it cancelled because of the decisions of your boss? (I have been in this situation a couple of times!) Skilled decision-making requires you to analyze the situation, predict and evaluate the outcomes of possible actions. It is a reflection of your refined judgement and thought processes which can open the doors for future leadership positions.

5. Self-Management

Don’t we all dislike bosses who micromanage our work? When bosses micromanage, it is often a sign that they lack faith in your work. Chances are, they think that you do not have enough self-motivation and are unable to utilize your time efficiently. If you are keen in leadership positions, show your company that you are capable of effectively prioritizing tasks and contribute in a cost-effective way. If you want your boss to stop micromanaging your work, show them that you take your work seriously.

6. Adaptability

As Alvin Toffler once said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” The technical skills that we possess today will be irrelevant five years later with the emergence of new technology. Rather than focusing on what we know, we should turn our attention to things we don’t know and expand our knowledge and skills. Workers with a growth mindset not only are able to excel in their career, but are also able to bring their company to greater heights.

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