I just finished an article for Matt Gervais at SearchWinIT.com tentatively entitled “Write Your Way to IT Career Success.” Over the years, I’ve written numerous articles on the importance of soft skills for career development with a special emphasis on the following topics:
- written communication
- verbal communication and presentations
- project management
- time management
- people skills and people management (these are two different, but related sets of soft skills)
Although you will only seldom see these topics explicitly mentioned in your current job description, or in descriptions for such future jobs as may interest you, you’ll have to take my word for it that all of these things matter in varying degrees for any and every job around.
As you think about ways to improve your employability, and to improve your performance reviews and interview results, don’t forget to think, talk, learn, and and act in these various soft skill domains. As your skills and knowledge in these areas grow, so will your value as an employee. Even though they may not have the same cachet as an advanced degree or another high-end certification, soft skills can add as much value (and occasionally more value) than such things to your career prospects and opportunities. That’s why you should make learning, developing and improving soft skills an important aspect of your career and learning plans. Don’t forget: it really counts!