How to build a career entirely on Soft Skills
Published (updated: ) in Leadership and Soft Skills.
I believe there are two ways one can advance his career: either becoming a highly qualified specialist or providing general utility to the team and organization. The first ones often become seniors – senior engineers/programmers/lawyers. The second usually becomes managers: middle managers, Project Managers, Process Managers, etc. Governing other people requires less hard skills and more communication, discipline, and leadership – all being Soft Skills.
Here’s the way you can advance your career with Soft Skills ignoring Hard Skills entirely:
1. Focus on consulting your colleagues & solving organizational, processual, and project-related questions instead of executing the work itself.
2. Be ready to develop your career in management. Work on your management skills, be it Process Management, Process Management, or Budgeting.
3. Be proactive and communicate a lot. Your success entirely depends on this. You don’t want a hiring manager to decide between you and another candidate. You want him to hire you immediately as you lack the Hard Skills to compete directly.
4. Develop a portfolio. Every knowledge worker should maintain a portfolio. However, you hope to skip the tech interview entirely because of your previous experience and great self-presentation.
5. Act like a manager when allowed. Take responsibility for projects and processes, develop a contacts network, and communicate with other teams directly instead of relying on your manager. Your manager will appreciate that in a couple of weeks due to reduced workload and pressure.
Remember, you need Hard Skills to get your first job. Noone becomes a manager immediately after graduation. However, you can expect to stop developing Hard Skills once you establish yourself as a regular specialist in your field.
Learn how to lead and manage your team, communicate with other teams and departments, document projects & processes, resolve conflicts and deliver results through office politics. A strong combination of Soft Skills will allow you to build a long-lasting career!