Your technical skills might help you land your first job out of school. However, developing your soft skills helps you to create meaningful, long lasting relationships with colleagues that drive individual, team and organizational success.
According to (ENG) alumni and Senior Director of the Engineering Development Group at MathWorks Shannon Tran, “We see a lot of great candidates with very strong technical skills. In my experience, leadership potential and solid soft skills is what separates future super stars from the larger pool of strong technical candidates.”
Did you know that listening is the most important soft skill to develop according to many industry experts? Although written and oral communication skills rate high, it is your ability to listen that makes you a valued, trusted and respected employee.
Additionally, Tran mentioned additional soft skills that are important for interns and recent college grads.
- Initiative: Identify opportunities and move them forward, propose solutions, and drive your work forward.
- Coaching: Mentor peers, explain the why for your decisions to bring others along, and be open to feedback and suggestions from others.
- Time management: Manage time and priorities well.
- Collaboration: Work well with others, encourage others to participate, and freely share knowledge with others.
- Conflict resolution: Seek to understand, learn from past experiences, challenge processes respectfully, and be more concerned with solving problems than assigning blame.
If you work on these skills, you’re well on your way to succeeding in your career aspirations. You can build soft skills by taking on leadership roles in campus clubs and organizations, networking in classes, volunteering with an organization whose mission you value, or in many other ways. For more information on building skills, check out our website!