In a construction worker’s job, their hard skills refer to specific, concrete and technical abilities, such as the ability to drive and operate a forklift and crane. But the soft skills of a construction worker, like effective time management, stamina and level-headedness, are harder to define or even learn in school. Soft skills typically refer to someone’s unquantifiable interpersonal and personality qualities.
Though some of these professional soft skills may not come to you naturally, you can still learn them with practice and effort. These nine soft skills can help you get to your next promotion.
1. Vocal and Engaged
If you haven’t expressed your desire to take on additional work, or don’t express enthusiasm for the job you currently have, you probably won’t be on the short list for a promotion. To get there, you need to truly take charge of your career and be present at work every day.
Your company might have internal clubs or programs that promote or train for leadership roles at work, but how would you find out if you didn’t tell anyone what you wanted? When you’re engaged, you don’t let yourself sit back and get bored or comfortable in a role; you’re constantly looking to improve and build on your position. Show your manager that you’re ready for more responsibility and actively take the initiative to make a greater impact at work.
2. A Resourceful Networker
Your next promotion might come from outside your immediate circle, department or company. Successful networkers don’t just exchange conversational niceties at mixers; they’re aware that the next big opportunity can happen anywhere. Networking doesn’t actually stop when your professional get-together is over; take advantage of any chance that presents itself to meet new people in your industry.
3. An Active Learner
In order to grow and evolve your career, you need to expand and improve upon your abilities. You need to show that you’re ready to rise to the occasion and work hard to get there. Whether this means taking courses, reading books, becoming a mentee or something else entirely will depend on your career and where your interests lie. Active learners are always hungry for knowledge, and this skill can help you become indispensable at work.
4. Excellent Communicator
No matter what job you currently have or industry you work in, possessing excellent communication skills can help you progress. You can properly express yourself and your feelings verbally and in written language. You might even be able to speak confidently in front of a crowd. But what some people leave out of this equation is the requirement for exceptional listening skills. When you’re not able to step back and internalize what someone else said, you’re not effectively communicating. Excellent communication skills can also help you develop and strengthen work relationships, another necessary component of landing a promotion.
You likely won’t find a job that won’t ever evolve; companies will always seek new ways to save money or resources. But adaptable workers actually look for ways to improve their workflow or environment. These people welcome fresh, new ideas from others rather than resist them. Adaptable workers also welcome constructive feedback, especially since it helps them perform better. They can take on new responsibilities without pushing back or losing focus.
6. Positive & Even-Tempered
A person with an even temper and positive personality can help diffuse tense situations and manage relationships effectively. They possess a level-headedness that’s crucial when managing others or working in a challenging environment. Plus, people simply want to surround themselves with upbeat personalities; you probably won’t get a promotion if you’re unpleasant to be around.
7. Effective Time Manager
Today’s digital workplace has more distractions than ever, and even tech tools that promote multitasking can actually put a damper on productivity. A lot of job-seekers like to boast their multitasking abilities, but time management skills are very different from diverted attention. Time management involves prioritization; do you know what’s most important at any given time? An effective time manager produces results on time every time, without someone checking in or watching.
Are you satisfied just going along with the status quo? Or does your curiosity help you collect information, identify patterns and solve big problems? An analytic worker is observant: Logic and critical thinking come naturally. They often use data or abstract information to find and solve complex issues.
All employees should be responsible for their duties in their job. But accountability goes one step further than responsibility: You can’t share accountability. When you’re accountable for your work, you have no one else to fall back on, so you see to it from start to finish. You don’t look to blame others for mistakes; you just fix the problem and learn from it.