The Importance of Soft Skills

Date:  2021-04-26 07:30:00
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George Washington University
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Transferable skills are also known as essential, core or generic skills. Transferable skills refer to those skills that a person develops in the process of doing a variety of things in their lives and the individual can make use of them in their next job. Recognition and communication of the transferable skills that a person possess are crucial in their effort to search for new employment. A person, therefore, needs to critically evaluate their past experiences whether in school, at home or in work to identify any skills that they have developed from previous experiences to make use of them. The person should then determine the ways in which they can take advantage of the skills that they have previously acquired in the present job or current situation (Bancino and Zevalkink, 2007).

There are many universally accepted transferable skills that an employee can apply in different working conditions. The ability to use critical thinking, solve problems and make decisions is a transferable skill. Other skills include the teamwork, leadership abilities, intrinsic motivation, proper time management, effective listening and communication, skills in research and data analysis, numeracy skills, personal development and information technology. A combination of the above skills is vital in enhancing the productivity of an employee in whichever workplace that they might be involved in. It is therefore very critical that a person should develop generic skills throughout their life to enhance their productivity in a career (Robles, 2012).

Transferable skills enable an employee to be versatile in taking up of new tasks and obligations hence quickly adapt to a new job. Transferable skills help an individual to fit in a new job even if it is not an area of his or her specialization. The skills are vital in enabling an individual to cope and work in an unfamiliar environment as they are aware of how they are supposed to conduct themselves professionally. A person does not need to necessarily have been trained in a particular field so as to be able to work there. Possession of transferable skills will enable a person to engage in a new job and fit well while producing the best results for the employer. For instance, possession of problem-solving ability as a transferable skill can help a manager to resolve problems regardless of the work environment. Possession of transferable skills can, therefore, help a person to be employed for a new job even when they are not qualified for it (Morgan and Adams, 2009).

Transferable skills are among the skills that employers look for in the modern world. The world is changing, and as a result, new technologies and methodologies are coming up for doing things. One of the emerging issues is the application of transferable skills in the search for suitable employees in the job market. The traditional way of laying an emphasis on the area of training of an individual is fading gradually with the trend being replaced by the idea of transferable skills. The employment of workers with a great possession of transferable skills has proven to be vital in the working place as people who possess such skills are more likely to be highly productive.

Employers therefore in their bid to get the correct workers go for those people who can be able to maximize output without putting into consideration which field the person has training in. Recruitment in the job market is all about the productivity that an individual is capable of giving to a company and not what they have specialized in. Transferable skills are therefore necessary as far as the employment issues are concerned which enhance the ability of a worker to perform effectively and efficiently. A potential employer is assured of high productivity when a prospective employee has the necessary core skills (Shakir, 2009).

A person does not need any training to be able to possess the transferable skills. The skills develop as a person learns works and interacts with others in different scenarios. A person can learn some skills when they encounter situations in their daily lives from which they derive the skills. These imply that a person does not have to go to a specific training so that they get the transferable skills. Conversely, a person interacts with others and different work environment they command different situations and as a result, end up acquiring new skills (Heckman and Kautz, 2012).

The transferable skills are universally applicable. A person can not only use the skills in an employment setting but also use the skills in their daily lives. People encounter different issues in their lives and therefore can make use of the competencies in the live situations they are in. A person does not have to use the skills specifically in their workplace but can even apply them in their daily lives. An individual may use the skills in different types of a job regardless of the particular area where they have trained. Transferable skills can be used in as many job settings as possible, and an individual cannot get tied to any particular job due to their transferable skills (John, 2009).

Sources of Soft Skills

Course Work

Schooling provides a conducive environment and a stimulating factor to the development of soft skills. People spend most of their times in school than in other social places before employment, and this can be a golden opportunity to develop soft skills. Teachers pass down right skills to students in the course of teaching by directly speaking and encouraging them out or indirectly through acting as role models. Teachers can emphasize values like honesty, integrity, time keeping and personal management which a learner can pick, embrace and practice after that. A student can acquire some vital skills that are important for their future lives in the course of interaction with other students. A learner will cultivate the skills of communication and listening skills as they participate in group work and assignments which require either working in groups, consulting others or doing a presentation in front of the class. Students who are elected or appointed leadership positions in school can make use of the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills and communication skills (Baron, and Morin 2010).

Volunteer Work

Volunteer work is not just a task that should be taken up by the elderly or people after retirement. It profoundly adds to the development of not only hard skills but also soft skills. Engagement in volunteer work can also provide an excellent avenue for the development of soft skills for an individual. Engaging in volunteer work helps a person to broaden the experience and the exposure in the area of service. Volunteer work helps a person to explore their passions and develop or strengthen the skills that they had before. Most are times when the requirements to volunteer, based on the interests and passions of a person, and as a result, the volunteer gets a chance to develop new skills. A person, therefore, ought to utilize the volunteer service time to boost their abilities which can be useful in their next job. A volunteer interacts with different kinds of people during their placement, and as a result, a person gets to learn new soft skills.

Previous Jobs

Every occurrence in life gives an opportunity for a person to learn a new thing. A job is not all about a salary and changing from one position to another does not necessarily happen in the event of failure to be dissatisfied with their income. A person can derive soft skills from the jobs that they have previously held and apply them in their future job. Many are times that people leave and just forget about their former jobs, but this should not be the case. A person should reflect on the job that they were doing and pick out the most significant events. An analysis of the events should be done to identify any skills and lessons that a person learned from the experience. The interaction with others that a person had in a particular job could be an appropriate source of soft skills as an employee is called upon to fulfill different objectives in a firm. Leadership capacities in employment could also help a person to enhance or develop soft skills which they can use for the rest of their lives. Reflecting upon a past job is, therefore, necessary for an individual to identify any soft skills that they developed from the experience (Laker and Powell, 2011).

Training

A good employer offers the workers with a variety of training exposures. Training provided to workers could be in the form of seminars, conferences and even on the job training. Employees are given an opportunity to interact with highly ranked personalities during training. The workers can, therefore, develop transferable skills during the encounters with the great characters. Most great people have a story to tell about their success hence employees can draw from their lives and cultivate soft skills. The people called upon for train can also exhibit desired personal skills from which employees can borrow and imitate the great skills displayed. Training, therefore, does not just entail being equipped with hands-on skills but is an appropriate forum for developing soft skills to employees. Workers can also be trained specifically on the soft skills that they need to have in their day to day lives (Sharma and Sharma, 2010).

General Life Experience

Life is all about the encounter with new people, new experiences and new challenges. Social interaction in life gives a person the chance to learn many soft skills. The learning in life starts from home and spreads to other social situations such as during games, parties and even religious meetings. The relationship with families provides an avenue in which a person develops transferable skills especially when it is encouraged by the parents. Parents can help and support their children to develop good communication skills, leadership abilities, and teamwork through the various activities done in the family. Interaction with family members, friends, and relatives either in church, mosque, during family gatherings and even games time, offer great opportunities for developing soft skills. Different avenues of social interaction help a person to develop soft skills that he or she can widely apply in all jobs and life in general (Schulz, 2008).

References

Bancino, R. and Zevalkink, C., 2007. Soft Skills: The New Curriculum for Hard-Core Technical Professionals. Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers (J1), 82(5), pp.20-22.

Baron, L. and Morin, L., 2010. The impact of executive coaching on self-efficacy related to management soft-skills. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31(1), pp.18-38.

Heckman, J.J., and Kautz, T., 2012. Hard evidence on soft skills. Labour Economics, 19(4), pp.451-464.

John, J., 2009. Study on the nature of the impact of the soft skills training program on the soft skills development of management students. Pacific Business Review, 10(12), p.09.

Laker, D.R., and Powell, J.L., 2011. The differences between hard and soft skills and their relative impact on training transfer. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 22(1), pp.111-122.

Morgan, G. and Adams, J., 2009. Pedagogy first: Making web-technologies work for soft skills development in leadership and management education. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 20(2), p.129.

Robles, M.M., 2012. Executive perceptions of the top 10 soft skills needed in todays workplace. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), pp.453-465.

Schulz, B., 2008. The importance of soft skills: Education beyond academic knowledge. Nawa: Journal of Language & Communication, 2(1).

Shakir, R., 2009. Soft skills at the Malaysian institutes of higher learning. Asia Pacific Education R...

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