Soft skills to improve your career

by By Hafiz Rasid (hrasid@sph.com.sg)
published on 21 June 2016

Ready to climb up the career ladder?

Go beyond your technical skills and adopt useful soft skills to gain an advantage. There is more to work than fulfilling your job description.

Mr Adrian Tan, a job hunting coach at a career coaching and planning agency, shared some tips fresh graduates and seasoned workers should take note of for a successful career.

Proactive prospecting

Instead of waiting for the right opportunity to land on your lap, always be an active seeker of jobs and new avenues. 

He said: “For instance, if you are a freelancer, having your services listed online should not be the extent of your effort. Always be on the lookout for any openings or opportunities through the relevant industries. Network to cover key prospects instead of having clients approach you.”

Acquire new knowledge

Mr Tan shared that the key to being relevant in the marketplace is continuous learning.

Having the core skills necessary for your job may land you that first interview, but showcasing your incremental skills gets you employed.

This includes skills learned in co-curricular activities or personal hobbies that set apart you from the crowd.

Brush up on cultural intelligence

Approach your work with a global mindset, as Singapore is a hub for many multinational corporation.

He said: “Singapore is a multi-cultural nation that serves stakeholders from many parts of the world. It is vital that we become aware of the different cultural aspects of foreign customers and foreign colleagues. Embracing diversity will help you and stakeholders to reach common goals.”

Know your three As

The workforce is dynamic and often-changing. To adapt to the marketplace, Mr Tan advised employees to take control of the three As: attitude, anchors (such as family values and beliefs) and actions.

He said: “There are some factors shaping the workforce that are beyond our control. What we can do is to manage the three As, and make them work for us, shape our lives and create success in the workplace.”