The world is constantly evolving. Those with a high probability of success will have mastered the art of adaptation. Recognize and accept that your academic credentials alone will not suffice to land and keep a job. Several decades ago, it was necessary to possess certain hard talents in order to obtain employment. As the world evolves, Soft Skills have become an indispensible characteristic required to flourish in today’s arduous employment market.
Before I get deeper into the most in-demand soft talents in South Africa, it is critical to grasp the distinction between hard and soft abilities. Hard skills refer to your general knowledge of a subject. The majority of people attend college for four years to learn how to do anything. Almost everyone has at least a bachelor’s degree. The world is teeming with individuals who have mastered specific trades. It is no longer about credentials or abilities.
The emphasis is now on how those hard talents are applied. Degree holders are distinguished by their soft skills. They determine whether an applicant is hired or not. As the economy begins to open up, it is critical to hone your soft skills.
Let us begin by focusing on the points I made in my introductory remark. The planet is undergoing change. You must adapt or perish. Things are progressing at a breakneck pace. One must continuously keep up with the ever-changing world in which we live. Not everything you learned in college will be applicable in practice. Most jobs offer a probationary period. During that time frame, one must demonstrate adaptability to new situations.
One should not be inflexible in their approach to work. There is a requirement for quick thinking and agility in completing assigned duties. As an example, consider the present COVID 19-induced lock-down, which requires quick adaptation to the new normal. The majority of people have never worked from home in their whole careers. Managing such ad hoc situations is critical for growing your brand at work.
South African businesses are on the lookout for intelligent employees, and one of the most significant characteristics of intelligent employees is emotional intelligence. You can have all the degrees the universe offers, but they are worthless if you are emotionally unstable. In my interactions with successful business leaders, one characteristic that stands out is their emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is defined as the capacity to understand oneself first and foremost.
I often mention that self-discipline is the highest form of discipline when I speak at Leadership Seminars or am called to speak. If you can control your emotions in private, you will find it much easier to control them in public. Work situations can be extremely stressful and necessitate a high level of tolerance. When pressure is applied, it is critical to maintain the highest discipline lest you submit. Emotional breakdowns will lower your market value at work.
Hiring managers are searching for individuals who possess exceptional social skills and the ability to work cooperatively with others.
Making money is a rather straightforward process; it all comes down to persuasion. If you are unable to persuade, you will die impoverished. That is all. Persuasion is a learned talent that requires time and attention to master. While it frequently comes effortlessly to others, others must work at it. One positive aspect is that once you envision yourself winning a job, you may be assured that you possess superior persuasion skills.
You would not have gotten the job if you had initially convinced the hiring manager. You cannot, however, rest on your laurels. You must constantly improve your persuading abilities. Others may believe that their occupations do not require persuasion abilities. Allow me to state unequivocally that this is one of the major falsehoods of the twenty-first century. A mechanic must persuade the car’s owner that his vehicle has a problem and must be repaired.
An IT guru must communicate with clients and convince them to upgrade their devices and adopt fourth Industrial revolution models. Every job demands the ability to communicate. Choose your words carefully, talk with passion, demonstrate a thorough understanding of your trade, and enthusiastically offer your goods!
Life can get monotonous if the same thing is done repeatedly. At work, the same concepts apply. There are times when one must generate novel ideas in order to address issues that arise within an institution. Conventional methods are not always the best course of action. If you want to succeed in the competitive South African job market, you must demonstrate an ability to think creatively about new ways of doing things in any institution where you may be positioned.
Do not be frightened to experiment with fresh concepts. Employers are naturally drawn to willing employees. Business is extremely competitive. There is an ongoing requirement for innovation. Innovation and creativity are inextricably linked. If you embrace originality, think creatively, and provide solutions to any institution, you will quickly become indispensable!
While honing your hard skills, devote time to honing your soft skills. A Japanese concept, Kaizen emphasizes the need of continuous improvement. This means that you, as an individual, should constantly strive to develop yourself. There is a limit to hard skills. Soft skills are always available to help you improve your market value proposition. Develop them, master them, and you will be able to maximize your potential.