Technical skills can take you far in your career. But everyone will eventually get to the point where it is not enough. Then, you have to step out of your "cave" of comfort and welcome not only technical skills, but also soft skills, such as communication, mentoring, problem solving, etc.
The work environment is becoming more transparent and the different roles are increasingly collaborating, which means IT technicians are collaborating not only with each other, but also with people from different teams and roles. When it happens, soft skills can save the relationship between colleagues and the atmosphere inside the company.
The importance of soft skills is evident in promotions and climbing the career ladder. When someone wants to make progress in their career, they need to demonstrate the ability to communicate well with people of different roles, levels and backgrounds. The need to demonstrate good communication skills not only with people inside but also outside the organization. Therefore, if you are striving to further advance your career, a good way to achieve this is by taking the time to improve your soft skills.
Career development is one thing. But even if you are not currently looking for a new job, that time may come in the future. Human resources experts say it's not the easiest thing to find IT professionals with relevant soft skills. Therefore, learning and applying them in the way you communicate with others can give you a competitive advantage in your industry.
Communication is key to everything. Especially when you are an IT professional. You share multiple e-mails, messages, proposals or project documents every day and are often up-to-date with everyone who works with you. Therefore, good communication is essential. And as long as written communication is most common, so is the verbal one. As an IT expert, you are often asked to explain technical processes to your colleagues, clients or employers. It is very important to do this easily and clearly so that the person you explain it has a clear vision.
It is also very important, for example, to show and describe parts of your technical work in a way that will lead to the interest of the recipient who is likely to support or accept your project.
Mentoring is another important soft skill. IT professionals often take time to teach new employees, employers, or product users everything about the project they are working on. Once you have successfully navigated the technical processes with a dose of calm, understanding and patience, it will be greatly appreciated.
Presentations are a large part of the tasks of IT specialists. They are often asked for a presentation, both in a 1: 1 interview and in a team meeting. Regardless of the form, your thoughts must be clearly expressed to others. Showing your best ideas may lose their value by communicating them in the wrong way, e.g. incomprehensible, chaotic. Presentation of yourself is also essential to have clear vision of how you are perceived by others
Your presentation skills can be improved by working on accessibility and communication.
Everyone (client, employer, co-worker) will eventually come to you in search of a solution to a specific problem. When it happens, you will be responsible for conducting the entire "problem solving" process. It is not correct to say that you just need to react to the problem. Thinking ahead is essential, and so is being proactive about things that could go wrong and things that you think need fixing. Creativity is also a big part of problem solving because you really need to be able to think outside the box and come up with ideas for improvement or potential solutions and soft skills play an important role in this process.
While it is desirable for some IT professionals to work alone, collaboration is a big part of the IT business world. Collaborative work that required collaboration grew in the past few years. The key to creating an effective team is the ability to collaborate with other team members. Good communication makes a good team.
Self-awareness is often described as a very difficult skill to learn. Altough there are several effective ways to do this. The most important thing is to get feedback from others. Receiving feedback in business situations is very common. Your manager can provide feedback during all kinds of reviews. It is also useful to ask for feedback in a less formal way, from colleagues who can tell you more about your strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, you will have a clear vision of how you are perceived by others
IT professionals constantly develop solutions by solving technical problems. To do that, a dose of creativity is essential. Forward thinking requires your imagination to solve problems the right way. Creating unique solutions is one of the features desired by employers when looking for an IT professional.
IT professionals often face inconveniences such as setbacks or unexpected changes. It can be project-related technical issue or a problem reported by the client. Therefore, you need to be flexible and look for solutions right away.
Good negotiation skills are essential in every IT position. Not only when recruiting for work, but also when working with suppliers. The ability to come to an agreement that satisfies both parties is a very desirable soft skill.
Other soft skills helpful for IT professionals:
Soft skills are needed in all industries. Be sure not to ignore soft skills just because you are developing a career in technology. Soft skills are essential for everyone, especially IT professionals who often face communicating with others by showing them their projects, explaining their work or even teaching them.
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