7 Soft Skills Essential For Career Progression in 2023 and Beyond

In this article, we look at the seven essential soft skills for career progression in 2023 and beyond.

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Gone are the days when academic qualification was more than enough for career progression. If we look around today, skills are at the epicentre of the corporate world. In contemporary times, the competence of individuals is seen more in terms of their skills rather than the degrees they have or the institutions they come for.

When we talk about the spectrum of prerequisite skills for landing your dream job and thriving in your career, soft skills are gaining more traction than ever before. Simply put, your conduct, how you interact with others, and your ability to be a team player define your career prospects.

More than 93 percent of employers across the globe opine that soft skills are highly essential. Having said that, employers are looking for candidates who come with strong soft skills and the zeal to learn in a consistent manner. But what are the soft skills that are the most in-demand? Which soft skills brighten your career prospects? That is exactly what this blog is about.

In this article, we look at the seven essential soft skills for career progression in 2023 and beyond. So, let us get started without further ado.

7 Most Crucial Soft Skills in Contemporary Times

1. Collaboration

You may have your individual strengths and may have a knack for achieving milestones on your own. However, in the corporate world, you have to be an equally good team player as well. When you work on projects in team environments, your ability to collaborate will be tested at each step.

You will have to effectively collaborate with your team members in order to produce great results. For that matter, everyone would need that and when one individual fails to collaborate in a meaningful way, the performance of the entire team will take a setback. To substantiate, as per SalesForce, 86 percent of corporate managers believe that lack of effective collaboration in the workplace is the key reason for project failures.

Having said that, if you want to make your mark in the corporate world, your collaboration skills need to be exceptional. The greater the designation the more the significance of effective collaboration skills.

2. Clarity in Communication

Collaboration and communication can go hand in hand. Effective communication facilitates efficient collaboration. Let’s take an example for a more lucid understanding. Let’s say you are a project manager at an IT firm and need to consistently share instructions and feedback with your team members. Now, unless there is clarity in communication, how do you think there can be meaningful coordination and collaboration in the team?

Besides, if you can communicate in a confident manner and engage others by grabbing their attention, you surely have a long way to go in the corporate world. Speaking of the most crucial skills needed for senior managerial or executive positions, effective communication always finds a distinguished spot. With effective communication, you have a claim over the leadership positions in any organisation.

Lastly, when we talk about communication here, we are looking at it from a broader perspective. Effective communication is not simply about public speaking or verbal communication, there is a lot more to it. Great communication is inclusive of active listening, written communication, articulation, and politeness. Especially to build a career in customer success, communication holds ample importance.

3. Brisk Adaptability and Problem-Solving

Over the last three to five years, the corporate world has undergone some unimaginable and unthinkable changes. A large part of these strategic shifts has been inspired by technological advancements and the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, the corporate world is more competitive than ever before and the stakes are higher than ever.

Having said that, brisk adaptability and resilience have become essential soft skills for employees at all levels. If you can be resilient in the face of challenges and adapt quickly to find effective solutions to problems, you will be looked at as an asset. With brisk adaptability and effective problem-solving, you can step up your game and establish your authority as a leader. To substantiate, as per the NACE’s Job Outlook 2022 Survey, more than 60 percent of employers are looking for employees with strong and exceptional problem-solving skills.

4. Time Management

No matter how skilful, talented, or experienced you are, time management will always be at the heart of your career progression. Imagine that you are a CEO of a multinational company. Your employees are highly experienced and talented but are not effective at time management. Most of your employees are regularly late for work, fail to share daily updates, and miss their deadlines on most occasions. Would you be fine with having such a workforce?

Of course, you would want to change a few things about it or replace your employees with those who actually value time. You can teach anything to someone who is effective at time management, right? Similarly, when you look at it from the perspective of your prospective employer, your time management effectiveness can take you a long way.

When you have effective time management, you come across as someone who is accountable, reliable, and can be trusted with the delegation of important tasks. That is exactly what most employers out there are looking for.

5. Diligence

No matter which university you got your degree from or the years of experience that you hold. Eventually, it is your diligence that establishes your professional credibility. If you are sincere, you will win appreciation and will be a top-notch choice for important responsibilities. On the contrary, if you are not sincere and try to dodge responsibilities, the prospects of growth would certainly be limited.

Tomorrow, if you have your own company, would you rely on employees who are not sincere enough? Can you trust insincere people with imperative tasks that are crucial for the organisation? So, in answering these questions, you will definitely realise the significance of diligence. Even if we talk about part-time jobs for students, diligence is a basic prerequisite.

6. Creative Intellect

Can you think outside the box? Are you someone who can be a change leader and innovate like a pro to find modern solutions to modern problems? If yes, you certainly have a long way to go in any industry you go to. To validate, as per the World Economic Forum, creativity is an essential part of eight of the top ten employability skills for the future.

Creative intellect complements critical thinking, leadership, collaboration, and complex problem-solving. Having said that, creative intellect can act as a strong foundation to complement a host of other soft skills and hard skills. Even when it comes to technical expertise, creative intellect will certainly help to find a way around technical complexities.

Moreover, even if you are still a student and aspire to pursue higher education at the most eminent universities in the world like the University of Oxford or the IVY League institutions, creative intellect will give you the edge. Your creativity can land you in one of the top institutions in the world and needless to say, that in itself is a guarantee of a great career.

7. Emotional Intelligence

Do you know that more than 90 percent of exceptional performers have exceptional emotional intelligence? Vantage Circle further states that emotional intelligence accounts for around 60 percent of job performance. So, certainly, employers are looking for people who not only have IQ but also have extraordinary EQ.

But wait, do you have a clear idea of what emotional intelligence is? Let us define it for you once so that we are on the same page. The emotional intelligence of an individual is his or her ability to manage and control their emotions effectively and hence, make appropriate decisions. People with high EQ are not only efficient in controlling their own emotions but also the emotions of others. So, it is a trait or skill which will find much greater relevance as you rise through the ranks.

Furthermore, emotional intelligence has five essential components that are enlisted below:

1. Self-awareness
2. Self-regulation
3. Empathy
4. Self-motivation
5. Social skills

As you can see, for career progression, each component of emotional intelligence has its own relevance. To excel in your career, you have to be self-aware of your strengths and shortcomings. Besides, you need a great deal of balance between self-motivation and self-regulation to keep yourself going in the face of challenges and hiccups. Going ahead, empathy defines your ability to foster positive relationships in the workplace and that is further complemented by efficient social skills.

Final Thoughts

To encapsulate, soft skills are more in demand than ever before and have become an imperative part of career progression. Employers are looking for prospective employees and leaders who can make a real difference with exemplary soft skills and be a part of positive transformations. If you can offer a spectrum of soft skills that sets you apart from the rest, the corporate world will pamper you with both hands.

This article was guest written by Shivam Garg.

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