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Monday, January 3, 2011

Develop Your Soft Skills(2)

These following three ideas are all pointing towards your soft skills development.

Soft skills empower you and create opportunities.
In my opinion, the main benefit of soft skills is empowerment. How does your tech skill translate to value? How do you create opportunity? Soft skills are useful for creating and taking advantage of opportunities – jobs, career and business. No matter how great your tech skills are, when job (and or opportunity) hunting, your marketing skills should be first-class. Otherwise others who may not be as capable as you, but who have better marketing skills might beat you to the jobs or work you want. There are opportunities in IT. But there are also challenges and competition. In such a competitive environment, perception often reigns supreme.

If your technical competencies are similar to those of other candidates how do you differentiate yourself? You claim to be a technical wizard. The problem however, and this is a big however, is how do I know if you are good if you can’t sell what you have - yourself or your ideas? Your certifications and previous work experience are important. But the issue at stake is this: can you convince the interviewer or clients that you will solve their problems and deliver value?

Soft skills not only improve your career, they also offer personal growth.
Interestingly, the acquisition of soft skills also empowers you by allowing you to build flexibility into your future IT career plans. How? Most soft skills are regarded as transferable skills, e.g. communication, project management, business and team work, which are needed in nearly all aspects of life, not just for your career alone. You need to grow not just as a techie but also as a person.

Do you have more tech skills than sense? Work on communication and leadership.As an IT professional, you have confidence in your technical abilities. But is your technical masterpiece built to last? Tech skills are important, but such abilities are no guarantee of career fulfillment. There is no way you can sustain an IT career with just tech skills. You get the job done but what is your impact? What is your influence? What really is your aim in acquiring that certification? Is certification an end in itself? No it’s for opportunity, for career growth. It’s good to acquire skills, but please be sensible. Unfortunately, many of us seem to emphasize having more skills than sense.

Having the required interpersonal skills provides a must-have foundation for career growth. They give you the ability to take advantage of challenges and opportunities that will come your way. When you empower yourself, you stay ahead of the crowd.

You can still learn more by checking on my Develop Your Soft Skills(3)

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